A rich man asked a Zen master to write something down that could encourage the prosperity of his family for years to come. It would be something that the family could cherish for generations. On a large piece of paper, the master wrote, “Father dies, son dies, grandson dies.”
The rich man became angry when he saw the master’s work. “I asked you to write something down that could bring happiness and prosperity to my family. Why do you give me something depressing like this?”
“If your son should die before you,” the master answered, “this would bring unbearable grief to your family. If your grandson should die before your son, this also would bring great sorrow. If your family, generation after generation, disappears in the order I have described, it will be the natural course of life. This is true happiness and prosperity.”
Very few of us actually think of own mortality in more than just abstract terms. Like Michelle points out to Fanny, the idea was not to put Fanny out on the street, or to kick her out of Hubbell and Michelle’s life. This will was not an indication of Hubbell wanting to sever ties with his mother. But he is no longer there to defend himself and to Fanny, Michelle’s words hold no weight.
The third episode of Bunheads feels like its slowed down its pace. Its a deceptive change because it brings in a completely new set of characters to populate its universe with, an story for its main ladies and some resolution for Fanny and Michelle. The season may be populating its universe with characters, but what it really needs is an alternative hang out destination for the characters. Just having Fanny’s studio as a hang out place is problematic for the future. It limits the type of people Michelle will interact with (dancers, their parents, Fanny’s friends) and what binds she may form with them. For now, while the show is working on Fanny and Michelle’s relationship, I don’t mind meeting new people in this manner, they’ve been interesting, they’ve moved the story along; but I would like to have some recurring characters to show up too.
Michelle meets Ginny’s mother Claire who is a brilliant sales person. She brings food, shares a story to put Michelle at ease; she comes across as warm and caring; and for a moment I believed (as did Michelle) that a potential friend had finally made her way to her home, but then it turned on its head when it turns out she’s a real-estate agent hoping to have her property listed on her roster. She prey’s on ignorance, overwhelms her with the responsibility of being an owner of a 7 acre estate that has been thurst upon her. All Michelle wants is to step back, let Fanny take charge, but Fanny mistakenly believes Michelle intends to sell off her property and had invited Claire over herself.
Fanny’s paasive-aggresive routine at breakfast is so well done, its no wonder Hubbell was still living at home with her. That mental image of Fanny slumming it for toxic tea, stone-age style got the biggest laugh from me. Also enjoying, how alive Hubbell is posthumously. How Michelle (and the audience) keep learning something new about him. Things he would’ve liked to have had a chance to share with Michelle himself. Things he no longer can because of a life cut short. Things he would’ve hoped would make her fall in love with him.
Speaking on which, I do believe we’ve met Michelle’s slow-burn, long-term potential love interest. Grant is an elusive rich man who is as much an outsider as Michelle is. The people of Paradise believe him to be terrifying and unreasonable, assume he made his money in a diabolical manner. They’re to scared to even walk down the road he privately owns. But he’s pretty normal, polite, helpful and the fact that he’s cut-off from the town and its grape-vine means he’ll be a safe place for Michelle to voice her thoughts about her life down there.
After two weeks of the focus being mainly on Fanny and Michelle, the girls finally get some time to shine too. Melanie’s brother is grounded and his punishment is to drive Melanie. Boo’s harbouring a crush on him; and both Melanie and Ginny try and help her get his attention. These three girls are closer and their’s is a friendship without the competitiveness Sasha brings in the mix. Sasha is the outsider who skirts in and out of their company, and chooses to put a strain on their relationship for all the reasons Boo points out. Her anger stems from lonliness and neglect. Her parents are distant, emotionally unavailable, and dance doesn’t provide the same joy and release it does for the other girls. During class hours, she only dances for attention, but after hours, when her parents don’t even notice that she’s missing she dances for herself. That’s when Michelle sees her and begins to see reasons why she might decide to stay. Boo’s mother comes across as warm, caring, approachable. All the things Sasha craves and may eventually find in Michelle.
At the end of the episode a compromise is reached between Fanny and Michelle. There’s a guest house behind the studio that feels more like a place Michelle could make her home. Finding Michelle a place to stay, while not being intrusive in Fanny’s house was an easy fix, but giving her something to do will be far more difficult because her skill set puts her exactly in Fanny’s path. How exactly Michelle manages to navigate making herself at home with the studio without making an enemy of Fanny remains to be seen and it probably wont be fixed as easily as the housing situation was.
- I’m septic-tank girl. I wouldn’t repeat “septic-tank girl” if I were you. You say something like that once around here and it sticks. That’s how I got the name “Bill”.
- Suck it, La Quiñata.
Shazia is part bionic, part crazy (parts not mutually exclusive), and would be happy conversing solely in TV quotes, forever hopeful she’ll be one-upped in her obscure TV references. She blogs here and microblogs here.