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Wonderfalls - The Complete Series
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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
- 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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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?Read more ›
"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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This series is crazy awesome! I enjoyed each episode. It's a shame it was only on for one season :( The actors really make the show.Published 2 months ago by Merrell
One of my all time favorite shows, gave as a gift for secret santa exchange at xmas. Recipient unabashedly loved itPublished 3 months ago by Erin Youngberg
Minor Spoiler warning...
I see why this show was canceled after 4 episodes. The first 2 episodes are hilarious and light-hearted. Read more
A marvelous piece of television! No idea why they canceled this show. Very entertaining.Published 4 months ago by Christi Wheelock
This is one of my all-time favorite television series. I'll watch it a time or two each year and it always brings a smile to my face.Published 6 months ago by Donald A. Shinn
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