'Bunheads' recap: The Many Faces Of Boo

bunheads-320.jpgHaunted by dreams of her own failed auditions, Michelle is inundated with things from her apartment back in Vegas -- but that pales in comparison to Fanny's whirlwind of crazy, when the Joffrey Ballet threatens to move their auditions to Ojai due to the state of the studio's floors. After several abortive attempts to seduce various handymen, contractors and the like, an old fella is retrieved from Oxnard and the Flowers Studio flooring is rescued just in time. Along the way, we spend more time with those horrible surfer burnouts and make extensive use of the one ballet dancer of color in the company, but also learn more about Truly's shocking level of competence in everything besides being Truly.

Meanwhile, Boo's dealing with two fairly fraught relationships: The fairly ****ed up, food-oriented one with her mom, and her stutter-stopping romance with mean old Sasha. (Ginny and the other one aren't in the episode at all, making it even harder to know what they are all about.) Sasha steals from her mom's purse to replace Boo's toe shoes secretly, and in return Boo decides to overlook how horrible Sasha is. But the meat of the episode lies in Michelle and Fanny's easygoing, fairly brilliant and nonjudgmental conversation about Boo's body type and what it means to the rest of the world -- how sometimes being "seen" is less a matter of big bones and more, apparently, about putting on various wigs and auditioning over and over.

A somewhat slapsticky entry, right in line with the way this show defines itself by its sort of aimless (not to say nonexistent ) structure -- I swear there are at least ten minutes of shtick in this episode on curtain rods alone -- and not one but two fantasy musical sequences of Sutton Foster dancin' and singin'. As we continue to peel off layers of Michelle and Fanny's various disappointments and insecurities, it seems like the stakes are rising, but that could just be an illusion. Either way it's fun, the leads are great, and being this far along in a show and still having no clear idea of what the show is supposed to be about continues to be something of a vertiginous thrill.

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