“Bunheads” mini-cap “Movie Truck” (1.06)

Yes, Virginia, there is a Cupcake ATM — a 24-hour Sprinkles machine in Beverly Hills.

Cupcake ATM is as real as Bunheads product placement. And round-the-clock frosted goodness may be coming soon to your city, because — god help me — it’s coming to mine. I want to go to there.

Michelle and her friends did go to there because it was her birthday, and her friend Talia came from Vegas to take her on a road trip to celebrate. But Fanny left for a spa trip without telling anyone until she called Michelle to tell her to teach classes while she’s away.

Did you hear that piercing cartoon brakes screech? That was the sound of the entire Bunheads audience. Because last episode, Michelle was cross at the very suggestion that she teach dance to help with finances. Now Fanny acts like that never happened — and Michelle’s only objection is that she has other plans. It’s like Amy Sherman-Palladino takes us right to the edge of a huge ravine, then we find ourselves on the other side without knowing how we got there. We didn’t even get the adrenaline rush from the jump.

That’s when I realized the key to Bunheads: cartoon physics, which is a real thing that I wish I’d majored in. Cartoon physics is how Road Runner could hang in mid-air over a canyon while Wile E. Coyote crashed to the bottom. Maybe “ASP Physics” would be more accurate, since she has her very own laws of the TV universe. Laws that let Fanny go to a spa and have a stripper pole put in the studio despite not having any money. If you accept ASP physics, the whole show becomes less disorienting and you can just go with it. Live in the TV moment and all that. It’s all very Zen. ASP Zen, that is.

Since Michelle can’t go on the birthday road trip to fun, Talia talks her into finding some fun in Paradise. (I wish that was as dirty as it sounds.)

Armed with Michelle’s last paycheck from Vegas, the friends wander through the town until they come to Truly’s shop Sparkles. Talia simply must go in because she sees a dress with ducks and once inside, falls in love with everything in the store. (ASP Physics.) She also likes Truly and invites her along for the birthday adventure.

The pretty little bunheads, meanwhile, are planning their own wild night out — sneaking into an R-rated movie at the Movie Truck, which may or may not exist in real life, but is a high point of life in Paradise. However, when the girls get to Sasha’s house, which is ground zero for the hijinks, her bitch mom and gay dad are having a throwing things kind of fight that has something to do with gay dad’s lover moving away.

The bunheads are very savvy about The Gay except when it comes to Ginny’s boyfriend Josh, who brings them pretty little overnight kits wrapped in pink tulle, complete with cucumber eye masks which he suggests they freeze for the best results.

Eventually, everyone ends up at the Movie Truck, where Boo ends up sitting beside her crush Charlie and, in another miracle of ASP Physics, Truly’s new outfit turns her into a superfriend. She can’t quite pull off the party girl routine, but she does show herself to be saner than we thought.

By the end of the evening, Michelle realizes — like she does every week — that Paradise is an OK place to be. But just to prove that only ASP controls ASP Physics, the episode doesn’t end there. Instead, Sasha does a WTF dance routine to “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” that I’m sure is supposed to symbolize her sense of isolation that is only transcended when she dances. Or something.

Oh, and Fanny, please come back.

Random ASP moments

“With snark like that, you’ll wind up with your own dirty girl sitcom on NBC.”

Michelle: “What book are you talking about?”
Sam: Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Michelle: “Great. Sorry to interrupt the end of literature as we know it, but has anyone seen Fanny?”

Truly: “You want me to be a slut like you.”
Michelle: “Yes! I get a coupon to Sizzler for every convert.”

“Here at Paradise Dance Academy we specialize in girls with daddy issues so we start ’em young.”

“I thought it was really poetic the way the killer cut off his own arms to finish the mountain but then there was no way to get them to the top.”

So what did you think of this week’s Bunheads? Did you miss Fanny? Is this the beginning of a Truly/Michelle friendship? Am I the only one who’s beginning to thing that Sasha is gay?