Bunheads aired its last episode ever in February. ABC Family canceled the series, created by Gilmore Girls alum Amy Sherman-Palladino and starring Sutton Foster, in July. Anybody who ever watched it loved it. Bunheads was about a Las Vegas showgirl (Foster) who got married, moved to LA, and ended up teaching at her mother-in-law's ballet school. Nearly every episode featured incredible dancing and the series became an ongoing celebration of the art of ballet.
As a final grace not on which to end Bunheads, Sherman-Palladino reconvened several of the cast members, including Julia Goldani Telles, Bailey Buntain, Jeanine Mason, and Kaitlyn Jenkins (who couldn't perform due to an injury), for one final dance. Watch the video above and say goodbye.
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Bunheads has been tugging on our Gilmore-loving heartstrings all summer and last night’s finale was definitely no exception. From a Toe Terminator, to jukebox kisses, to a mace-accident, “A Nutcracker in Paradise” was one of the cutest finales we’ve seen in a while.
It’s sad to say we won’t be seeing our favorite ballerinas for at least four months, but don’t get your tutus in a twist just yet! We’ve got an exclusive video with the one and only Sutton Foster to help curb your taffeta cravings. But first let’s recap shall we?
Fanny (Kelly Bishop) is gearing up for her biggest production of the year, the grand performance of The Nutcracker—in July. Oh Paradise, you quirky little town! Although Fanny has reminded Michelle (Foster) 12,064 times that this performance is where most of her salary comes from, she is still worried that Michelle’s evil mice number will be sub-par.
But of course it’s not. Michelle put a modern spin on the number and traded in Wall Street bankers in lieu of mice. She also brought in a familiar face for their MIA Clara. Yup, it’s Sasha (Julia Goldani-Telles). The rebellious cheerleader traded in her pom-poms, laced up her slippers, gives a brilliant performance and everyone is absolutely overjoyed.
That is until “The Ringer” shows up. When Sasha quit, Fanny hired a replacement ballerina to fill her place. The only problem is this girl is good, like scary good. Michelle explains it best, “If Marvel comics had a crime-fighting ballerina, this ballerina would kick that ballerina’s ass.” And oddly terrified Fanny tells Sasha that she has to be the one reveal that robo-ballerina will no longer be playing Clara. The ringer literally dances circles around Sasha and says she’ll only stop after the curtain drops.
Meanwhile at the ballet fundraiser, Fanny is having a squabble with her boyfriend about Montana. Random we know. Earlier in the episode, Fanny had decided to rent a cabin in “The Treasure State” for a few months and asked a delighted Michelle to take over the studio while she was away. However, now she learned that Michael was planning on moving there all along, with or without Fanny. Once again it’s Michelle to the rescue and she tells Michael about Fanny’s Montana mission and all seems well at the end of the night. Oh and did we mention that Michelle has a full on, kinda random, make-out session in front of the jukebox with the cute bartender? No? Welp, that happened too.
Fast-forward to the night of the premiere, we finally get to see Fanny dance on stage, and although her performance wasn’t earth shattering, her cape was pretty fierce. The girls lined up backstage for a quick last minute hair spritz, but when Michelle reached into her “zombie-apocalypse-Vegas-slut bag” she accidently sprayed the tweens with mace. Not ideal. Now the girls are stumbling and fumbling onstage, and the ringer takes this opportunity to steal the spotlight.
In the hospital, an outraged Fanny informs Michelle that she had to cancel the next two weeks of performances and that Michael left that morning. After learning that Michelle was the reason for her boyfriend’s disappearance, Fanny blames all of her bad luck on her kinda/sorta daughter-in-law. Cue another dream sequence, in which Michelle is singing “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret in front of the director, aka Hubbell. She talks to Hubbell about all the problems she has caused and how much she misses him. She asks him if it would have worked out and he kisses her hand before she walks up.
Michelle walks into the hospital hallway to see an irate group of parents yelling at Fanny to fire the woman who maced their girls. As Michelle heads for the exit, Sasha stands on her chair in an act of loyalty exclaiming, “Oh captain, my captain!” Boo, Mel, Ginny and the other ballerinas follow suit and a very touched Michelle thanks them and then turns to leave. Now that you’re all caught up to speed, check out our exclusive chat below with Bunheads’ leading lady. Foster gushes about the fast-talking freshman drama saying, “I’ve just fallen in love with the show, I feel like I’m having the time of my life.” Plus find out who Foster “totally fan-girled” over when she signed on for the show. Bunheads will return to ABC Family this winter will brand-new episodes. Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera [Photo Credit: ABC Family] MORE: ABC Family Ups Original Series Cred: Keeps 'Bunheads' & More, Cancels 'Jane by Design' 'Pretty Little Liars' Recap: Cabin in the Woods 'Pretty Little Liars' Premiere Recap: Pretty Little Haircuts
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.