‘Bunheads’ recap: Episode 6, ‘Movie Truck’

Boo strives to look good enough for a guy who has no interest in her. Ah, don't you miss being a teenager? No? Yeah we didn't think so.

The “previously ons” have a lot to say about Boo’s crush on Melanie’s brother, plus a loaded reminder about Sasha’s gay dad. So what two plot points is this week’s episode going to be about, hmm? With any luck, Sasha’s dad is fooling around with Melanie’s brother … but no, this is ABC Family, not some “Dirty Girl” special on NBC. Oh, wait, it’s too early for that joke, let’s back up …

The girls are locked out of the studio even though it’s always open early for them to warm up. Michelle shows up and makes a bunch of fast-talking, long-winded quips that no one understands until Sasha asks her to go away. She also tries to give Michelle some lip, but Michelle counters that if she stays so snarky she’ll end up on a “Dirty Girl” special on NBC. There we go! (And: Where can we find that special?)

Elsewhere, the more esteemed (read: old) ladies of Paradise are holding a book club for “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Ellen Greene (yay!) echoes our personal sentiments that you don’t have to read a book just because it’s a national best-seller, but some of the other women like that it’s raunchy and female-centeric. Truly wasn’t able to finish reading it because she was too ashamed to be seen with it. (Speaking of Christian Grey, where is Grant from Episode 3? Please add a man to this show other than Oyster Bar Dude, k thx.) Michelle asks why Truly is hanging out with a bunch of biddies and suggests she go to bars and find dates instead. Truly: “You want me to be a slut like you?” Michelle: “Yes, I get a coupon to Sizzler for every convert.” Hee. In the meantime, there’s a note from Fanny along with the keys to the studio. Someone’s not done being pushy about Michelle taking this teaching position yet!

Apparently, Fanny’s on vacation and she expects Michelle to cover her classes. But Michelle’s got weekend plans because it’s her birthday and her showgirl friend Talia is driving up from Vegas. Fanny gives her a hard time about throwing herself a birthday party “like an 8-year-old,” but says she can teach classes all day and party all night. Also, she’s installed a pole in the studio for “cardio strip tease classes” and swears it was Michelle’s idea until she remembers that she actually heard the suggestion from Fergie on “Leno.” Also, she gave away the first class for free so there’s a lot of takers! Probably mostly from Truly’s book club.

The girls are at the Oyster Bar discussing how Sasha’s parents are out of town and they’re going to sneak out to see an R-rated movie that takes place in a truck. Ah, there’s the title, then. Boo’s excited that Melanie’s brother is going to be there, which explains one “previously on.”

At the studio, Michelle’s trying to learn how to use the pole, which is when Talia shows up and accuses her of going from showgirl to stripper. She also brought Michelle’s last check from work. Michelle breaks the news that they have to stay in town all weekend and then takes Talia to show her the renovated little shack she calls a home.

Walking through town, Talia’s highly impressed by all the clothes at Sparkles, especially the ones with ducks on them. Truly’s making a coat out of teddy bears (thanks, Lady Gaga). Talia keeps talking about Michelle’s birthday until Truly outright asks if she can come along. It would be sad except that Michelle’s being very hostile and Truly’s being very adorable, so it all balances out. Finally, she caves and says it’s OK if they give Truly a makeover.

Speaking of makeover, the girls are all dolled up for their rogue movie night. But when they arrive at Sasha’s, her parents are still home. They’re actually in the middle of an explosive fight about Sasha’s dad’s gay boyfriend, Tim (second “previously on”). And just when you thought Josh would be nothing more than the butt of tween sex jokes in this show, he actually shows up. His role is “best boyfriend ever” so he’s brought Ginny AND her friends goody bags filled with sleepover accoutrement. Even though he knows they’re really just sneaking out to see a movie. Which doesn’t make sense, on top of being sort of clingy and creepy. Anyway, Sasha assures everyone that her parents are staying home but they’ll be sneaking out regardless.

On the other side of town (maybe, who knows), the girls have primped Truly into looking presentable and then they head out for a night of debauchery.

At the movie, we learn (maybe heard this before, but weren’t paying attention) that Melanie’s brother is an identical [LOOKING] twin, which makes Boo’s crush slightly more awkward. Does Boo secretly have a repressed crush on Mel? Maybe Sasha should be jealous! If Sasha is this bitchy usually, we’re very interested to see Relationship Possessive Sasha. The girls can’t get seats together, so Sasha devises a devious plot to have them shuffle all the viewers around until they can be together (for example, Melanie should go sit up front because she’s tall and it will make people move so they can see the screen). In the end, Melanie manages what even Sasha’s wiles cannot and get their last seat simply by asking nicely. But then Boo winds up getting a seat next to MaleMel instead, so she ditches her friends.

Meanwhile, Michelle, Talia and Truly learn that nothing’s open late in Paradise, so they’re left wandering around a quaint town fair straight out of Stars Hollow. (Or “Downton Abbey,” if your noble employers were gracious enough to give you the day off work to attend that episode.) And seriously, where is the beach on this show? Why don’t they just head toward the beach? They stumble upon the movie truck, only to find it’s sold out. Why that was ever an option for a birthday evening, we have no clue. Movies are the killers of party moods. Of course this has to happen because Michelle has to catch the girls at the movie. So Truly suggests they sneak in the back and then even pops booze out of her purse. Truly is turning into a better party friend than anyone ever anticipated.

The girls have to leave early because Sasha’s house alarm is going to turn on at 12:15 a.m. and stay on until 6 a.m. So why did they want to go to the movie, again? Sounds like a waste of a sneaky night out. They realize they can’t just walk out because Michelle’s there, though. They’re not really afraid of her, since she’s not their teacher (yet), but they’re afraid she’ll tell Fanny. In their crazed escape plan, Boo does wind up encountering Michelle but by then Michelle is too blitzed to really notice or know Boo shouldn’t be there.

Michelle is suddenly very, very drunk even though we know from experience you don’t get that plastered by drinking through a movie. She’s slurring her words and stumbling and she’s ready to pass out. But Truly says they made a pact to stay up all night and not take their shoes off. She suggests they find a cupcake ATM in Los Angeles. If they were going to drive to L.A. they should have just done that in the first place, rather than resort to sneaking into a movie truck. They say they’re too drunk to drive but Truly admits that she’s sober because she was pretending to drink but then spitting it back into the bottle. Ew! Why not just pretend to drink but never actually put it in your mouth? This girl has a lot to learn. At least she makes an awesome all-the-time D.D.

The girls get to Sasha’s but they missed their cut-off and the alarm has been armed. Sasha tries to jump up to an open window upstairs by standing on top of her parents’ car, but manages to fall through the soft top of the convertible. The other girls can’t do anything but laugh.

Back at Flowersville, the girls are sugared out on cupcakes because they clearly want to have the worst hangovers on the planet. And not like that namby-pamby hangover in that movie, you know, where they all purportedly have a hangover, because those guys are up bright and early and cohesive and chipper the next day, eating breakfast and handling babies. No, we’re talking about the kind of hangover where you army-crawl to the toilet and then vow to never move again and open your eyes fully for the first time just before sundown. Not that we’ve ever been there or anything.

The girls have been camped out in the driveway all night, but it’s almost time for them to sneak back in. Ginny and Melanie are asleep in the front seats, but Sasha and Boo are still awake on the car’s hood. Boo stares longingly at her hand, where Melanie’s brother scrawled some other girl’s phone number so that Boo could text it to him later. Lame! Sasha says she can do way better, but Boo likes him and she just can’t help it. Sasha reveals she got her official invitation to the Joffrey. She’s going to go and just leave a note for her parents, because she’s sure they won’t care if she’s gone. Quite frankly, if you want to act out and get your parents’ attention, sneaking around or disappearing doesn’t exactly sound like the way to do it. You need to get arrested or get in a lot of trouble at school or something. Not that we know that firsthand, either.

When they finally sneak back into the house, Sasha discovers her dad sitting in the living room staring blankly ahead. He’s apparently also been up all night. She could just run upstairs and get away with her antics but she goes to sit with him instead. At first it looks like she might ask if he’s okay or offer support, but instead she says: “I stayed up all night and wrecked mom’s car. Goodnight.” She leaves. OK, that’s a much better cry for help, thank you, Sasha, for continuing to live up to our awesome expectations of you. The dad seems totally overwhelmed by that news on top of everything else.

The scene cuts to Sasha doing a dark artistic dance piece in a black turtleneck leotard to “Istanbul (Not Constantinople).” It’s edgy and lovely, the perfect note to end this episode and capture her cagey, riotous feelings of rebellion. Plus, it means we get more dance on this show without it necessarily needing to be wedged into the plot somehow, leading to baby-shower-in-a-karaoke-bar levels of song segue justification not seen since “Smash.” In the end, Sasha slickly tromps offscreen like a living slice of teen angst.

More importantly, now we want a cupcake preferably from an ATM. How far of a drive is L.A. from NYC?


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