Wonderfalls

I thought I had little hope of even catching a glimpse of it, since the show was axed by Fox and was only watchable through DVD (Region 1 DVDs!!). It’s unfair. It’s short lived with only one season, it’s relatively unknown, why did I bother? It’s because I was wildly curious about a certain tall actor with pleasantly soothing voice and substantial eyebrows called Lee Pace, after seeing him in trailers for The Fall and Soldier’s Girl in good old YouTube. At that time I didn’t know about Pushing Daisies.

Quick facts

A 2004 show, Bryan Fuller creates it, Caroline Dhavernas plays the lead with other brilliant casts including Lee Pace. Although cut short, it developed a rather loyal fan base. Imdb page here. A campaign to save Wonderfalls here.

What?

Well, I heard good things about Wonderfalls and started my research. It didn’t have any ground-breaking premise like Heroes! Dexter! Desperate Housewives! (don’t get me wrong I love those shows). The idea of having figurines talking to you as a central idea of a TV show itself is odd. The heroine, Jaye, is a disgruntled overeducated underemployed retailer in a tourist shop and there seemed to be nothing special.

I’m glad I bothered.

It was still a weird show, but with good, fun, quirky writing and acting, after the initial joy of finding the stuff online, I was quickly pulled in! After episode 2, I was intrigued. I can’t exactly pinpoint why I like it. The seemingly mundane lives of the characters and an interesting show coming out of it? Jaye’s intriguing mindset? Unexpected twists and wit? This show is so much more than animals talking to an increasingly agitated heroine. It’s very witty, it’s very snarky, like Jaye who always feels like an outcast – how can she not, in a family where the others’ name rhymes except hers (Karen, Sharon, Aaron, Darrin). Where her philosophy degree from Brown doesn’t take her anywhere, while other members of her family seem to go to boundless success (an atheist theologian of a brother, and a lawyer sister). Animal figurines from her shop and everywhere started to speak to her, ordering her to do things and driving her insane if she didn’t – things that she didn’t understand and often result in goodness. A very unwilling Joan of Arc you can say.

There are lots of moments of “HA!” on the screen, lots of rolling on the floor laughter, and also some squee factor. Bryan Fuller is very talented. And also very unlucky. His shows have always been unconventional, and axed by networks with ratings and mainstream mindsets. Wonderfalls was pulled after just four episodes – I heard, they kept changing the airing time – come on, it’s the quickest way to doom a show! but luckily a complete DVD set of the first and only season was made after appeal from mania fans. It’s a good ending that wrapped everything, but such a shame, so much potential to unravel, so much could’ve been done with 3, 4 other seasons?

Where to watch?

Here. (not complete yet but I am hopeful)

More tidbits

  • Australian Channel 9 did air this show (but I’m sure I wasn’t in Australia yet at that time), but as expected it pretty much disappeared into oblivion.
  • This comes from the creator of Pushing Daisies! I haven’t even watched Pushing Daisies as Channel 9 has been bragging about it being their best! Show! In! 2008! And it’s near the end and people are sick of waiting and still no free-to-air Pushing Daisies. How sad.
  • Apparently there are a lot of elements from Wonderfalls to be embedded in Pushing Daisies in season 2. according to some articles I read online! A deserving tribute to a show cut short. Lee Pace already took centre stage in Daisies but more stuff from this show is welcome.
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About toopai
part time couch potato, full time movie and drama enthusiast.

2 Responses to Wonderfalls

  1. Anonymous says:

    Awesome! I’ve found every episode besides 13 (season finale!). Any chance that one will make it up soon?

  2. potatoed says:

    The last 1 / 2 episodes from the link I found was quite recently uploaded, so we all can be hopeful. Anyhoo you can always download the torrent like I finally did :p.

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