It’s never easy when one of your favorite shows ends prematurely without a chance for a tidy series finale.
After months of stalling on a decision, ABC Family finally revealed on Monday that Bunheads has been officially canceled. Despite internet buzz among select circles that now qualify for collective relabeling as a “cult following”, ratings among the Nielsen commoners were never great, especially compared to the performance of the rest of ABC Family’s mostly teen-soap lineup.
As created by Gilmore Girls mastermind Amy Sherman-Palladino and a talented staff working with minimal resources, Bunheads was a literate, tragicomic fusion of ballet, Broadway, a female-majority cast, Sorkin-speed dialogue, showtunes, obscure entertainment punchlines from previous decades, dexterous back-and-forth rhythms, and musical numbers not set to the tune of current Top-40 hits or overplayed ’80s oldies. On a broadcast network, a show containing any two of these elements would’ve been lucky to reach episode three, even on the CW.
I refuse to let the unsurprising injustice pass in silence, but I’ve honestly not much more to say on my end beyond the tens of thousands of words I already devoted to its two half-seasons. I would hope my enthusiasm spoke overtly enough for itself in my episode recaps, the list of which remains archived in the entry for the series finale. I’d love to deliver a new rousing speech in its honor, but if you weren’t already paying attention before, I’d be disappointed if the show’s eulogy is what it took to convince you the show was worthy.
Since a DVD set is extremely unlikely anytime soon, latecomers and mourning fans can still purchase all eighteen episodes through Amazon Instant Video or iTunes. If you’d prefer a free sample, five random episodes remain available for streaming via ABC Family’s official Bunheads page for “a limited time”. I’d expect that page to be pulled in the near future so the channel can make room for other soon-to-be-classics such as Pretty Little Liars: Special Victims Unit or Son of Spell-Mageddon.
Otherwise, that’s the final curtain for Michelle, Boo, Sasha, Ginny, Melanie, Fanny, the late Hubbell Flowers, Truly, Matisse, Cosette, Frankie, Carl Cramer, icky brother Charlie, Tyler/Roman, Godot, Rico, Nina, Sparkles, TAFTPOKIRIP, Bash the barista, the Millicent Stone Performing Arts Center, and fond recollections of “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”, the movie truck, the Ringer, the Nutcracker Macer, and all the other dancers, too. Thus do they demi-plié and jeté offstage to join the ranks of all the other single-season casualties in my frequently frustrated TV-watching past.
Thanks very much to those MCC followers who enjoyed the show at least half as much as I did. As a parting gift, please allow me to conclude here with a special surprise: answers to the two burning questions that a ridiculous number of Googlers wanted to know more than any other Bunheads trivia in the world:
1. Bailey Buntain’s height. She’s 5 feet, zero inches (152 cm).
2. Casey J. Adler’s age. An article from Chapman University’s official site pegs him as a Class of 2011 graduate. If we assume he graduated at age 21, that puts him at age 23 as of this writing. If he was either a child prodigy or a lifer who took six or seven years to graduate, that figure could vary.
Thanks for the fun, the heart, and the memories, Bunheads. If anyone ever sets up a cupcake ATM in Indianapolis, you won’t be far from my thoughts.