TV Recap

‘Bunheads’ Recap: Episode 5, ‘Money for Nothing’

Reviewed by Laura Motta and Aileen McKenna

July 17, 2012

Photo by ABC Family
This week in Paradise, we meet another hot guy, who is sure to disappear again forever after this episode. Oh, and there’s financial turmoil, Fanny and Michelle arguing, as always, and Sasha ricocheting between wan kindness and scowling disapproval. Mostly scowling, though.

In which Fanny breaks out the hatboxes…

Michelle wakes up with a possum on her bed because that’s the sort of terrifying thing that happens the minute you leave the big city. Instead of screaming like any normal urbanite, Michelle calls Fanny to ask what to do. Fanny is no help because she has other problems. Namely, that huge stack of bills Truly is helping her sort into hatboxes depending upon how urgent it is to pay them. It’s paying season, y’all! That awesome time twice a year when all adults sit down and decide if they should pay their utilities—oh, wait, that’s just Fanny. And that only happens because she lives a place called Paradise where the electricity doesn’t get shut off after six months of nonpayment. Paradise indeed! Meanwhile, Boo is in training for her new waitressing gig and her super nerd boss says the most important part of her job as a waitress is to climb into the dumpster and jump around to smoosh down the trash. Boo, darling sweet child, climbs right on in and gets to jumping. In fact, she takes this responsibility so seriously that back at the dance studio the girls can actually smell Boo before they see her.

In which Michelle gets bum rushed…

We meet dumpy, unshaven Sal quite unceremoniously as he tries to browbeat Michelle into telling him which of Fanny’s three payment hatboxes he falls into—last year he was a ‘Might Get Paid’ and those people never get paid! Sadly, Michelle can’t help him. So instead he analyzes the exact shape and position of her derriere at length and tells her exactly what kind of dancer she is, or was. In order to escape the creepy bum analysis, Michelle hurries inside where bills are flying everywhere because sad sack Truly has opened a window. As everyone panics and tries to grab the flying slips of paper, Fanny reveals there is just no way she can pay all the bills, and Michelle finally puts her foot down. No more ridiculous hatboxes. She’s hiring an accountant who does real math!

In which the Hot Young Thing finally appears…

The girls visit Boo at work, demanding all sorts of free food, and mercifully opting out of the opportunity to humiliate her by excoriating her high-waisted, deeply pleated mom jeans. This is where we learn that Baby Megan Hilty apparently has a boyfriend we’ve neither seen nor heard of before, and they’ve been soulmates since the second grade. Sasha remains dubious about second grade soulmates—as Sasha is judgmental of all things—but that’s okay because a hot guy appears to interrupt the proceedings! Godot is the son of the restaurant owners just back from an extended trip to Costa Rica, which has obviously done his tan, shirtless body some good. We’d tell you more about Michelle and Fanny’s visit to the accountant—where Michelle learns Fanny doesn’t charge like, anyone, for classes—but we hardly remember that scene because, hello, a shirtless guy with floppy long hair happened and we might as well be teenage girls now too.

In which Michelle and Fanny have their six thousandth tepid disagreement...

Now that Michelle has realized that Fanny's Dance School is more like Fanny's Elaborate Nonprofit Charitable Dance Giveaway Association, she's not happy. Why Michelle gives a damn is sort of up in the air. But she suggests that Fanny get on the stick, make her students pay, and diversify her product line into the area of things that make money, namely, classes for toddlers and dogs, and Zumba. Fanny gets (justifiably) annoyed, and is all like, “You have some nerve telling me how to run my dance studio when you sit around and do nothing.” Ok, she doesn't really say that. Then she suggests that Michelle get up off her shapely tush and do some teaching. Michelle, terrified of all things that spell commitment, and the looming sense of her own mortality that's triggered by the notion of teaching, rather impolitely declines.

In which we wait (and wait...) for Godot...

The Bunheads return to Oyster Bar en masse so they can gawk at Godot, but they come all dressed up in an avalanche of street clothes that would only be worn by people whose fashion vocabulary spans no further than the Capezio corner of Shoe Barn. Baby Megan Hilty, in particular, turns up in what can only be described as a Megan Hilty Halloween costume, complete with fetching beige fishnets. The point, you see, is to attract Godot's attention. Their little Mall Madness party is then unceremoniously crashed by Michelle, who eats some fries and offers some motherly insight about Godot's likely lack of hygiene, employment prospects, and multi-syllable vocabulary. Michelle peaces out and Sasha seizes/doggedly manufactures the opportunity to saunter up to the bar and talk to him/procure an alcoholic beverage. And saunter she does, in her fetching, match-y pink eyeshadow. Godot hardly notices, but we do catch a glimpse of both his soul patch and his cleft chin, the combined vertical aesthetic of which decidedly spells “stoplight.”

 In which we wonder if the tea is organic and free trade...
Back to Boo as the human trash compactor, who is rescued – SIGH – by Godot, who emerges holding a cup of tea. He woos her out of the dumpster and offers her the shirt off his back, along with some words about how surfing in Costa Rica changes your smell. Boo is charmed but not giddy in love with our small-screen Matthew McConaughey, which is robably why he gives her the time of day. Meanwhile back at the studio, Fanny is handing out costumes for her Flower Festival ballet. Well, she is until Michelle demands that everyone pay up for their dance lessons. A parental freakout ensues, students flee the school like a barn on fire, and Fanny, once again, begs Michelle to teach. Michelle's post-thirties single/childless feminine terror once again says no.

In which there is a literal (as opposed to dream) ballet...

At the restaurant, Godot gives Boo a mix CD and calls her Bettina, which leads the dull Bunhead to wonder, “How is Boo short for Bettina?” Maybe she's not so dull after all. Sasha seethes in jealousy, of course. Later at the dance school, Fanny introduces her Flower Festival ballet entitled Paper or Plastic? (It’s, of course, an allegory of all the crushing environmental issues facing the planet.) Boo stars as an evil grocery store checkout girl. Baby Megan Hilty is a bee. And the dull Bunhead stars as a second-string bee somewhere so far in the background that we're sort of wondering if the show's creators aren't entirely hip to the fact that the dull bunhead is, in fact, dull. Michelle, of course, has succeeded in winning back all of Fanny's dancers, and in gratitude, Fanny offers that teaching can bring real joy. Can't imagine where this is going next week...

Laura Motta and Aileen McKenna blog as Lucky and The Mick on their Broadway-themed blog of insanity, The Craptacular.

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