The pilot of Bunheads hasn’t even aired yet on ABC Family, only streamed online early for free, but already people have been expressing mild concerns about the way the episode ended. Some are surprised, others disappointed and then there are those who’re worried about what this means for tone of the show. I was relieved. There was only thing that really irked me about the episode: Hubbell. So when we learnt in the last few minutes of the series premiere that he had been killed in a car accident, I felt a lot more confident in the direction this show was going.
Hubbell was really only necessary to get Michelle to Paradise. The two didn’t have much (if any) chemistry and I couldn’t imagine myself getting excited by, or investing in, this relationship throughout the course of the show. The whole pilot I was wondering what the writers were going to do with the character. Yes, he’s sweet, but he’s also a bit of square and not a good fit for her. I could understand why Hubbell was attracted to a gal like Michelle who is beautiful, talented, confident and strong. I could also see why she accepted his proposal as her ticket out of Vegas. It was an opportunity to get away from a crappy apartment, a job she no longer cared for, and a chance to forget that failed audition for her dream job. But in the long term was their relationship really ever going to work? Was it going to be engaging enough to keep me interested? And I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help wonder, where was Michelle’s Luke Danes or Max Medina? Then the ending happened and I was like “aha!”
“There’s a plot development late in the pilot that seems tonally at odds with everything that’s happened to that point. It suggests either a very different kind of series going forward, or one that’s going to have to work very hard to get back to the light quality of the earlier scenes.” – Alan Sepinwall of HitFix.com
The above quote expresses how several viewers have felt about the reveal at the end of the pilot. However, I’m not worried at all. I think the show will still be light and fun, I can’t imagine Hubbell’s death will affect the tone that severely. What it might do is allow Fanny and Michelle to bond or grow closer due to his death… naaaah! More likely I think it could undo the progress they made at the bar and it’ll help keep the tension between those two. And we want that tension because seeing these two ladies spar and go head to head? Now that is what I want to watch! Let’s not forget Michelle confessed to Fanny she didn’t love Hubbell and while she might have seemingly accepted that, after his death her feelings may be quite different.
It also opens up the prospect for a new romantic lead for Michelle. I think that’d be interesting to explore, in terms of how Fanny, Truly, and all those who loved Hubbell, will react to the possibility of Michelle entering into another relationship. It provides the opportunity for a better leading man – no disrespect to Alan Ruck as he played the character as he was supposed to – someone perhaps who can really go toe to toe with Michelle. Not that I think Michelle needs to fall straight into a relationship or that we’ll see that right away. I think Hubbell caught her when she was feeling her worst, but I think she’s really one fiery and independent lady. I’m cool with seeing her go it alone too. I’m just glad Hubbell’s out of the picture.
(Inspiration for this blog’s title: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgrP6fzGKjg Better Off Without by Summer Camp)