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The Middle Turns Ballerina into Mean Girl
The Middle is going to add a taste of Clueless and Mean Girls when it returns with its fourth season this fall, which means I will probably end up hating this show just a little by the time it gets through this new storyline. You see, Bunheads’ ballerina Bailey Buntain – try and say that five times fast – is guest starring in a role that we have seen countless times. She’s exactly like Tai Frasier from Clueless in the sense that she starts out rather unpopular, but once she gets a little push from helping hands, it turns out she’s got quite the knack for being popular and really doesn’t need any help at all.
And just who is the unfortunate good samaritan who helps Buntain’s character reach this high social status? According to EW, it is none other than Sue (Eden Sher). When Jenna (Buntain) arrives a lonely freshman girl, Sue is asked to be a sort of mentor to Jenna, but it seems Jenna will be a quick learner, figuring out how to climb that social ladder faster than anyone would have thought possible. And chances are she’ll forget all about how Sue helped her. They always do. And that’s why I hate these stories. They always start and end the same. A new girl is unpopular, learns to be popular, forgets her old friends and becomes high on her own power, and ultimately she falls from grace, having to beg forgiveness of the people who liked her for who she originally was.
I can’t say with any certainty that Buntain’s character will absolutely follow this classic structure, but there’s no reason it won’t either. It’s an easier pill to swallow than having her turn her back on Sue and never pay any kind of price for it. But it’s also not very interesting, but really, The Middle isn’t exactly the kind of show I would expect to start flipping classic formulas on their heads.