Never have I been more grateful for the sometimes absurd practices that pay cable has of sometimes splitting the seasons of original series between seasons. Oh, I find it a bit ridiculous that networks don't decide to show their entire first season at once, instead dividing it between 'summer' and 'winter', but if it means, as it does in this case, that we get eight weeks of new episodes of Bunheads, I'm willing to put up with it.
When we left Paradise, Michelle (the delightful and Emmy-worthy Sutton Foster) had just ruined Fanny's performance of The Nutcracker by accidentally macing the entire group of performers. (This has since popped up all over the net, much to Michelle's increasing humiliation.) Believing she had failed, she returned to the unfriendly climbs of Reno and the weaker half of a terrible magic act. Perhaps it's not so surprising that Fanny returned and forgave her, though there's a shade of teasing in the way she brings her back. (Some might argue that Kelly Bishop is just playing a variation of Emily Gilmore, the matriarch she played to perfection in Alexis Sherman-Palladino's other superb series Gilmore Girls. There are, however, two distinct differences. Fanny is much more disorganized and is much more forgiving than Emily ever was.)
But when Michelle comes back to Paradise, chaos and disorder follow. Truly, the store owner who was Hubbell's other beloved, has been forced out of her store by her unforgiving landlady--- who happens to be her older sister. Which is more delightful because said sister is played by Liza Weill, who seems exactly like Paris Gellar grownup. This is a synchronicity I don't mind. Their financial state is slightly more organized then when they were keeping all their receipts in hatboxes, but Fanny and Michelle still desperately need money, and their efforts to try and get some are both pathetic and delightful. And the four young girls who have been at the center of the show are beginning to develop individual personalities of their own. Sasha, the fierce one, is resisting the separation of her parents by refusing to live with either one of them, and now she seems like she's going to be abandoned. Boo is a state of panic because her mother has become pregnant for the third time, and is gradually going insane. Lena is becoming more downhearted by her brother Charlie's breakup with the girls she's been with since grade school. And all of the girls seem to be in awe of a pair of impressively talents siblings named Fanny and Cosette who seem to have all of high school in their sway. (The writers better do something with this storyline because it doesn't seem to be doing much, unless we actually see the children.)
Bunheads is one of the greater delights of basic table, a show that isn't pretentious or demanding, just fun. Some might just call it Gilmore Girls redux; I say what's wrong with that? That show was brilliant, fast-paced, and witty in a way that few series have duplicated. Besides, I haven't seen some of the more daring talents of that show in a while either. Is Yanic Truesdale busy?