One-season wonders: ‘Bunheads’ (2012-13) (TV review)

At the “Gilmore Girls” panel at the ATX Television Festival in June, producer Amy Sherman-Palladino said that in the TV business, if you’re lucky, “You get one.” Presumably, she meant one show where the actors, writers and environment come together to result in a loved and lauded finished product. By those standards, she actually got two, with the second being “Bunheads”(2012-13, ABC Family; available for digital download from Amazon). However, if you add “not being canceled after one season” to the requirements, “Bunheads” did indeed lack that extra stroke of luck.

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John’s top 10 TV shows of 2013

These were my 10 favorite shows of 2013:

1. “Bunheads” (Season 1, ABC Family) — I know “Bunheads” was the best show on TV in 2013 because it appealed to both the heart and the mind. And also because — with its dance numbers that attempted to illustrate the mood of the story — it was a daring work of art unlike anything else. Even Amy-Sherman Palladino’s trademark show, “Gilmore Girls” — to which “Bunheads’ ” quirky small town and obscure references owe a debt — wasn’t this ambitious. I also know “Bunheads” was the best show of the year because it hurts like hell that we aren’t getting new episodes or even a DVD release.

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John’s 10 favorite TV characters at the moment (Commentary)

As the 2012-13 season winds down, here are my top 10 TV characters, some of whom will be featured in season finales this month, and some of whom have already bid adieu for the summer:

10. Michelle Simms (Sutton Foster), “Bunheads” — Despite (or perhaps due to) coming from a theatrical background, Foster has joined “Gilmore Girls’ “ Lauren Graham in the exclusive club of leading ladies who can handle Amy Sherman-Palladino’s dialogue while also developing a character.

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John’s top 10 TV shows of 2012

Here are my top 10 TV shows of 2012:

1. “Parenthood” (Season 3-4, NBC) — I hate to have the same No. 1 two years in a row, but “Parenthood” — the only current series where having a Kleenex box nearby is a must — gives me no choice. During the run of “Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood” was “Jason Katims’ other show.” Now it is filling “FNL’s” niche as the major-network show that best captures the universal human experience even though parenthood, like football, isn’t universal. This fall has been dominated by Kristina’s cancer arc, but it’s the non-awards-baiting moments such as Max winning the student presidency or Julia finally connecting with Victor that really stand out.

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First episode impressions: ‘Bunheads’ (TV review)

“Bunheads” (8 p.m. Central Mondays on ABC Family starting June 11, with the first episode online now) is refreshingly familiar for “Gilmore Girls” fans in that executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino brings back the la-la-la background music, the quirky small town and the rapid-fire, witty exchanges. I’ll definitely be coming back for more, but the first episode is also slightly darker and weirder than “Gilmore Girls.”

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