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Under-Appreciated Cancelled TV Shows: WONDERFALLS

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WONDERFALLS-title card

From Amazon.com Wonderfalls DVD reviews:

If you like quirky, deadpan humor, great acting, fun stories and good writing, you’ll like this. A. Bloom

Wonderfalls is a great show that everyone should seek out and find a way to watch it.  Especially if you are interested in the odd things I write about in my other posts.

I just rewatched all the episodes, and I figured that makes this the best time to write about it, while it is fresh in my memory.

Wonderfalls was broadcast on FOX in 2004.  It only has 13 episodes.  I watched it when it first aired.  I really enjoyed it and was sorry to see it canceled.  I happened to procure a partial set of the full series on DVD.  I am so glad I did.  Otherwise, this could have been a gem that could have slipped my mind and would have been lost forever.

Instead, it now lives on My Top Ten TV Shows of All Time list.

WONDERFALLS-trailer

It is a wonderfully quirky show about a twenty-something girl who is over-educated and under-employed.  She lives in a trailer that looks like the inside of Jeanie’s bottle, but isn’t quite as big.  She works at Wonderfalls, a souvenir shop for Niagara Falls, where the series is set.  It is one of those cheesy souvenir shops, with all the toys and stuffed animals that I love to visit when on vacation.  Except, well, the stuffed animals (and wax lions with smooshed faces) start to talk to her.

The first season is spent with her trying to hide this life-complicating issue from everyone, because she believes she is crazy.  (There does seem to be a higher force at work behind the voices, be it God, Fate, or Satan.)  Sometimes I wished she would just tell her family and friends.  Even when she tried, they mostly did not believe her.

If there had been a season 2, I would like to think everyone would have found out that inanimate animal objects were talking to her and causing her to act so out of character for her normal personality.  In the Special Features, the creators said they would have had her in a mental hospital for Season 3.  Eek!

Jaye’s best friend Mahandra McGinty and her family round out the rest of the cast.  Her family are supposed to be unlikeable people.  But they are all such fine actors that I tend to start liking them anyway.  Some of you may know Lee Pace, who plays her brother Aaron, from another show called Pushing Daisies.  I have never watched it, but I hear that was good, but under-appereciated as well.  He also plays Garrett in Breaking Dawn-Part 2.  I kind of liked him in that.  Didn’t realize until this week that it was the same actor!  (FYI—Alex Rice who plays Sue Clearwater in the same movie was also on Wonderfalls, featured in the episode called “Totem Mole”.)

WONDERFALLS-collage

Every time I watch the show, I re-fall in love with Tyron Leitso.  He hasn’t been in any other TV shows or movies that I watch since, but I really like the character of Eric, the messy love interest, that he plays for Jaye.  And I think that is my second biggest draw that keeps me re-watching and enjoying it: the blossoming love between Eric and Jaye, complicated by Jaye’s voices and Eric’s wife.  (Just watch the show.  The wife is a bitch.  No one would ever root for them to get back together.  Especially after what she did!)  Their relationship always puts me in a hopeful, romantic mood. Leitso is very similar in looks and mannerisms to Matthew Fox. It bothers me a little, because I prefer Leitso.

WONDERFALLS-wax lion

The first biggest reason I keep watching?  I really like Caroline Dhavernas as Jaye Tyler.  She is the type of person I wish I could be (except maybe without a voice so deep).  She lives her life how she wants, she tells it like it is, she doesn’t take crap from anyone (she does have to take crap from the talking objects though).  She sinks into a depression after Eric’s wife returns, and that is very painful to watch.

But every time I watch it anyway.

Because I keep rooting for them to be together.

Will Fate bring them together or push them apart?

And what is with all those non-specific pro-nouns anyway?!

I feel like the last five minutes of the final episode that show you what happens with Eric and Jaye is rushed and was probably added after they found out they were being canceled.  But I am grateful for that tiny piece of closure.

Oh, you want to know if they get together?

You will have to find it somewhere and watch for yourself.

The complete series box set is available for purchase at Amazon.com. Or, you can watch episodes for free on YouTube.com.

It was the little show that couldn’t [keep from getting cancelled], struggling for ratings as soon as it first came on the air.

It currently has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Amazon and a 7.9 out of 10 rating on IMDb.com.

You can add this to the list of other great shows cancelled before their time like My So-Called Life, Terriers, and Homefront.

Hey, wait a minute…Those are all shows on my Top 10 list as well!

From the final episode “Caged Bird”:

Eric: I’d like to return these.

Jaye: Are they broken? ‘Cause we sell a lot of crap here.

[Oh God!  Makes me cry just to read that!]

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4 responses »

  1. What a great sell! I may have to look for this show.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Veronica Mars | I'm not stalking you.

  3. Pingback: My Top Ten TV Shows of All-Time | I'm not stalking you.

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