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Wonderfalls - The Complete Series (2004)

Caroline Dhavernas , Katie Finneran  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (417 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Caroline Dhavernas, Katie Finneran, Tyron Leitso, William Sadler, Diana Scarwid
  • Writers: Bryan Fuller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 570 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (417 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006GAO18
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,765 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wonderfalls - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All 13 episodes, including 9 that never aired
  • Selected episode commentary by Caroline Dhavernas, Katie Finneran, Todd Holland, Bryan Fuller, and Scotch Ellis Loring
  • "Greetings from Wonderfalls" documentary
  • Visual effects featurette
  • Andy Partridge music video: I Wonder Why the Wonderfalls

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Wonderfalls is probably the most hilarious show you've never seen. An hour-long "dramedy" about a young woman who hears the voices of inanimate objects--which instruct her to help out total strangers--the show aired on Fox in early 2004 to critical acclaim and dismal ratings. After airing four times in terrible time slots, the show was quickly canceled, but not before a hue and cry from a small but fervently devoted cadre of fans went up, begging for all 13 episodes to be released on DVD. Thus, the highest-profile DVD release of a canceled show was born, and the nine unaired episodes of Wonderfalls are finally seeing the light of day.

You may be wondering: is it worth it to check out a show that was axed so quickly? The answer is an unqualified yes, as Wonderfalls is quirky without being precious, sardonic without being bitter, and smart without being a show-off about it. Jaye (Caroline Dhavernas) is a graduate of Brown University who's opted not to put her education to work, and instead lives in a trailer and works at a tourist shop in Niagara Falls, to the consternation of her affluent, successful family. All seems to be going well for this self-proclaimed slacker, until one day a small toy lion speaks to her in enigmatic epigrams, commanding her to help people. Loath to deal in any compassionate way with the rest of humanity, Jaye warily obeys, if only to make the voices stop. Soon, though, she finds herself to be an unwilling humanitarian and accidental hero when more inanimate objects start talking to her, and more people turn out to need her help.

The premise may sound a bit too off-the-beaten-path, but Wonderfalls' meddling with the ethereal was grounded in a keen awareness of post-college life and the travails befalling young twentysomethings who had no idea where their life was going. And instead of being sanctimonious or inspiring, the show was instead a complex mix of the heartfelt and the angsty, and Dhavernas was one of the most cynically hopeful heroines to grace the small screen. The rest of the cast was also topnotch, including Kate Finneran as Jaye's high-strung sister, Diana Scarwid as her caustic mother, and Tyron Leitso as bartender Eric, whose tentative romance with Jaye was both affecting and hilarious. Think of Wonderfalls as less of a failure and more of a rare opportunity to see some of the most creative television in recent memory. --Mark Englehart

Product Description

"From the producer of Angel and Firefly comes Wonderfalls with 9 never aired episodes. Although a recent graduate of Brown University, Jaye Tyler decides to ignore her degree, live in a trailer and work at a tourist gift shop in Niagara Falls called Wonderfalls—-much to the despair of her well-to-do family. But Jaye’s aimless life takes a startling turn after a lion figurine begins talking to her. Her family calls it an "episode," but Jaye knows better.

Fearing for her sanity, Jaye nevertheless starts doing exactly what an increasing number of inanimate objects tell her to do and is amazed when her outrageous actions begin changing people’s lives in unexpected ways. "


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
550 of 566 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Warning: Many spoilers.

The 2003-2004 television season was one in which critics and fans expressed their growing outrage at the decay of standards in commercial television. On the one hand, the WB decided to cancel the critically acclaimed ANGEL despite an unprecedented fan effort to save the show. A growing stream of increasingly offensive reality shows made many wonder if there was any future for scripted television, or whether we were doomed to see shows like the widely condemned THE SWAN. But for many, the low point of the entire season was the cancellation by FOX of the extraordinary new show WONDERFALLS after only four episodes, despite a host of great reviews, many of them proclaiming it the finest new show of the year. More than this, it was as if FOX were determined for the show to fail, first placing it on Friday evenings (the worst night of the week for attracting viewers) for three weeks, before putting it on Thursday night opposite a host of the most popular shows on TV, therefore dooming it to low ratings. With the great reviews, one would have imagined that FOX would have found the show a new time slot and built an advertising and promotional campaign around the critics' ravings.

Luckily, WONDERFALLS is being released with the four original episodes and nine more that were completed but not released. The great news for those who saw those first four shows is that the next nine are even better. Indeed, if you were angry at the cancellation of the show based solely on those four episodes, you will go ballistic when you see how good these others are. The writers were obviously in defense mode from the first.
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206 of 226 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonder-fall November 6, 2004
Format:DVD
"Wonderfalls" was one of those outstanding cult shows that burn bright and briefly -- it lasted only four episodes before being yanked, with nine more as yet unaired. Now fans of this cult show are rewarded with the full series, in all its witty, quirky glory.

Twentysomething Jaye Tyler (Caroline Dhavernas) is an underachieving slacker. She has a philosophy degree from Brown University, but now works as a shopgirl at Niagara Falls and lives in a trailer. Needless to say, her ultra-successful family finds this galling and disturbing, even though they themselves are far from perfect -- her sister Sharon (Katie Finneran) is a lesbian, her parents are splitting, and her brother is just a weirdo.

Then weirder things happen to Jaye. Suddenly toys are talking to her, and prompting her to help the people around her -- returning purses, dealing with ghosts, helping an old enemy from high school, and deal with a long-dead Indian girl. Following the instructions of her "muses," Jaye begins to learn a few things about other people, and the quality of kindness.

It's an unusual idea for a TV show -- an embittered young woman hears "muses" talking to her, including a stuffed lizard, lawn flamingos and a brass monkey. Most people would just check themselves into a padded cell, but that doesn't make for scintillating TV watching. So instead, it becomes a deeply warped inspirational series.

What sets it apart from other series is the surreal touch and wicked sense of humor. It's never made clear why Jaye hears toys and bookends talking cryptically to her -- is it God? Aliens? Her own mind? Pantheistic souls in everything?
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wonderfalls" is wonderful! December 4, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
[Summary: Too imaginative and quirky for FOX, but "Wonderfalls" is wonderful when you can view all 13 episodes. Higly recommended.]

"Wonderfalls" is an episodic comedy, set in Niagara Falls, New York. It's an "hour" (3/4 when subtracting commercial time) show, without a laugh track. Highly innovative, it uses its setting to great effect, including using View-Master slides for act changes and tourist tchotchkies to inspire unexpected acts of compassion in a previously lackluster protagonist.

OK, so you're a typical member of Generation Why Me, overeducated and undermotivated. You've found the ideal job working in a Niagara Falls gift shop, where you figure if you show up for work you've accomplished enough for the day. You just got passed over for Assistant Manager, losing out to a mouth breather who's still in high school. And now the knick-knacks you're supposed to be selling are talking to you, telling you to do things. You're not sure whether the voices are coming from God, Satan, or a tumor in your brain, but your biggest question is: "Why me?".

That's Jaye Tyler, youngest and weirdest of a family living in Niagara Falls, New York. Parents Darrin and Karen, sister Sharon and brother Aaron don't really understand Jaye. And neither did the FOX Network, which jerked "Wonderfalls" around mercilessly in their schedule and then dropped it, airing only four episodes after paying for thirteen. The people who buy new shows at FOX are a lot smarter than those (ir-)responsible for their schedules. "Wonderfalls" fell victim to the FOX Friday Night Curse, joining "M.A.N.T.I.S.", "Firefly", "Space: Above and Beyond", "Strange Luck", "John Doe", "VR.5", "The Lone Gunmen", "Harsh Realm", "Sliders", "Brimstone", "Tru Calling", "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it
As I watch the first 2 eps, this show is not funny. It's like what I would imagine a bad trip on acid is like. Everything is talking and nothing makes since. Read more
Published 19 hours ago by Speedster.exe
3.0 out of 5 stars nah
There is some humor in this, but mostly not. It heavily pushes liberal social agenda as it's primary purpose. Entertainment value comes second. Really disappointing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Show
One of my favorite shows with a great cast. The DVD menus are well structured and easy to use. Good price.
Published 1 month ago by Antonio Laborte
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and Fun
It's too bad when a TV show comes along that is fresh, creative, orginal and it only lasts a season and a half. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Transterrra
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!!!!
What a wonderful underrated show. I wish they would have given it a chance. There is nothing else like this on tv and I have been enamoured with since the very first episode!!!!
Published 2 months ago by Bbeau33
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, had potential to be more.
This show is like a great book but the author died before he/she could finish it. I am disappointed this did not at least get a second season. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mojohobo
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked Masterpiece
Before "Hannibal" and "Pushing Daisies," Bryan Fuller produced this overlooked gem about a slacker Philosophy major working at a gift shop in Niagara Falls. The hook? Read more
Published 3 months ago by Linda Burkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Great show
A friend introduced me to this series. So sad they never really got the chance to succeed with it. The main actress is on the show Hannibal now, which is a pretty unusual... Read more
Published 3 months ago by H. Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked 20 minutes into the pilot
10 years ago, I watched the pilot episode of Wonderfalls on TV for the first time. About 20 minutes in, the main character, Jaye Tyler, starts chasing after a quarter following a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sarah Jade
4.0 out of 5 stars A good show
It take a few episodes for it to suck you in, like 5, but it is a nice concept and good execution.
Published 5 months ago by JRCriton
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Can anyone tell me if the show is left with a cliffhanger?
no cliff hanger, wraps up nicely. Would've been great if they made more, but they planned the initial 13 ep run to hold together on its own.
Feb 5, 2009 by GaribalDi |  See all 8 posts
Please release on Blu-ray
You might be waiting a long time. Especially since this show was only 13 episodes. You might have better luck with "Dead Like Me" since they put out that complete box set.
Oct 22, 2009 by John Graham |  See all 3 posts
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