Sunday, December 28, 2008


Well, that wasn't planned at all but I have to say it : Wonderfalls is genius. Bryan Fuller is one of the most creative people on television and he needs to do MORE. I've just finished watching the first and only season (the show was cancelled after the fourth episode but the entire first season and therefore series - 13 episodes - was released on DVD) and I'm in awe. I thought nothing could possibly be as good as his Dead Like Me but I was wrong. I won't compare the two because they're both excellent. Let me just say that Wonderfalls is a funny, smart, engrossing dramedy focuses on "Jaye Tyler, a recent Brown University graduate with a philosophy degree, who holds a dead-end job as a sales clerk at a Niagara Falls gift shop. Jaye is the reluctant participant in conversations with various animal figurines — a wax lion, brass monkey, stuffed bear, and mounted fish, among others — which direct her via oblique instructions to help people in need." Now if this premise doesn't give you the butterflies like it did to me, I don't know what will. The heroine is a strong, witty, sarcastic young woman (oh come on if you know Dead Like Me you know what I'm talking about) brilliantly portrayed by Caroline Dhavernas. The show is quirky, geeky and funny like nothing else. The casting is impeccable, we've got Jaye, a GREAT layered heroine who hears animals talking to her and by listening to them, changes people's lives for the best (she resents doing it and thinks she's crazy, which she probably is anyway) :

Who'll fall for handsome Eric (Tyron Leitso), a bartender who's just left his cheating wife :

We've got Jaye's brother, Aaron (Lee Pace) who's slightly disturbed. He studies religion and will have quite a good storyline as well :

Here's the whole cast. Everybody's so committed to this wonderful, hilarious show that makes so many references to comics, SF, fantasy you're likely to laugh at a scene during it but also way after the fact. It's a total wonder Tracie Thoms, who plays Jaye's best friend Mahandra doesn't have more work. She's irresistible. In fact and while I'm at it, it's a wonder this show got cancelled. My guess is Bryan's too intelligent for the average viewer.
Of course, like everything that's great, this show is endlessly quotable :

Gretchen to Jaye : Did you end up over-educated and unemployable like you said in the yearbook?
Darrin: Sweetheart, when was the last time you had an orgasm?
Sharon: That sound you hear is stunned silence.
Jaye: Well, just look at them. They all work really hard everyday and they're dissatisfied. I mean, I can be dissatisfied without hardly working at all.
Mahandra: And what happens if you repress something?
Jaye: It goes away?
Mahandra: It comes back - all crazy and pissed off.
Dr. Ron: Are you an atheist?
Aaron: As a theologian, I feel it’s irresponsible to define myself in those terms. But yeah.
Dr. Ron: A theologian who doesn’t believe in God?
Aaron: There’s more of us than you think.
Jaye: I was just rude to a customer. I can’t be Employee of the Month.
Alec: You don’t have a choice. Peggy said I can’t get it anymore now that I’m management. The honor comes with a certificate and a parking space on the first level of the structure.
Jaye: I park on the street.
Alec: And the afternoon off.
Jaye: I humbly accept.

Well, I'm not going to quote the whole show but hopefully you get the picture ! Now I'm off to watch Pushing Daisies by you've guessed whom, Bryan Fuller. I heart him so much. Go watch Wonderfalls on YouTube, it's a real treat. I'm taking a passage from my favourite review on IMDb :

"What is so fresh and invigorating about "Wonderfalls" is that it plays like a catalog of things that everyone (and common sense) says that you aren't supposed to even try in a TV show - only done extremely well. Plot points feature an exorcism (which I lambasted in Fox's disaster "The Pitts"), psychotic female stalkers, lengthy film homages and an on-paper unlikable, increasingly morally ambiguous heroine. Even gutsier, the tone and visual style fluctuates with each episode as the show plays with different genres. The episode themes vary from a non-linear crime & mystery, a psycho thriller, a "Scooby Doo" caper, a classic romantic comedy and a high school drama. The shows are paced brilliantly, filling the hour full and throwing one creative twist after another at the audience ever few minutes. The show is giddy over itself, eager to get to the next wacky twist. If nothing else, "Wonderfalls" certainly takes the prize as the most unpredictable show in memory."