The fact that ABC Family’s newest series, “Bunheads,” comes from “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is so apparent during the show’s premiere episode that the music and the snappy dialogue alone are enough to transport you back to Star’s Hollow — and that’s even before Kelly Bishop (the erstwhile Emily Gilmore) shows up as the disapproving mother figure, Fanny.
“Bunheads” is funny and charming while being heartfelt at the same time, i.e. all the best parts of “Gilmore Girls” with a little dance class thrown in. Sutton Foster is perfectly cast as the newest fast-talking heroine, Michelle, a Las Vegas dancer who elopes with her longtime admirer and moves to his sleepy California town. She’s kind of a slightly more sarcastic Lorelai. And there aren’t enough good things to say about Bishop or the “GG” rhythm she slips back into so easily. “You should’ve been a radio announcer, or an auctioneer,” she tells her new daughter-in-law.
The four teen dancers were also charming (it’s hard to describe this show without using that word — sorry, this’ll be the last one), but the real heart of the show came at the end, when Fanny and Michelle bond over the fact that they both had promising dance careers before life got in the way. And then, of course, we were left with quite the cliffhanger for a premiere: Michelle’s new husband has crashed his car, seemingly dead just as his new wife and mother began to get along.
It’s pretty powerful stuff for a pilot, and makes for a promising season to come. What did you think of the “Bunheads” premiere? Will you keep watching?