Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The best TV show you didn't watch

Hillary and I just finished watching the "Wonderfalls" DVD set, and I must say that the ill-fated Fox series (which was cancelled after airing only four of the thirteen episodes that were filmed) has quickly catapulted into my "favorite shows of all time" list.

"Wonderfalls" tells the story of Jaye Tyler, a young woman with a bitingly sarcastic sense of humor who discovers that inanimate objects (virtually anything with an animal face) can talk to her. She comes from an extremely successful family -- her mother is a famous author, her father a doctor, her sister an attorney, and her brother finishing his Ph.D. Jaye, however, is content working at a gift shop overlooking Niagara Falls, settling on a slacker lifestyle despite her ivy league degree. Between the pressure from her overachieving family, her inability to decide what to do with her life, and Jaye's uncertainty over whether the talking animals are real or not, the storylines are very rich and original. The show's casting is absolutely amazing (if Caroline Dhavernas, who plays Jaye, doesn't start showing up in more shows and movies, it will be a crime), and the dialogue and camerawork is just perfect.

However, I'm not surprised that the show failed. Not because of a question of quality or a lack of demographic appeal, but because it wasn't given a fair chance. This is one of those shows (like "Scrubs" or "Arrested Development") where buzz has to spread by word-of-mouth -- and that takes time. Much more than the four weeks that Wonderfalls was given.

When the show was first aired, Fox did absolutely no promotion. I had heard something about it in an online forum, but given the ambiguous title and lack of hype, I figured it was just another Buffy-esque teen-friendly drama/adventure show.

Oh, how wrong I was. Wonderfalls is now probably my fourth favorite TV show ever, right behind "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", the new "Battlestar Galactica" series, and "Mystery Science Theater 3000". That's some impressive company.


At 2:05 PM, Blogger vo0do0chile said...

its' probably second or third on my list. it's one of the better written shows i've seen. I love shows where the writers take risks and aren't afraid to do break those conventions of story writing (like "the girl always gets the guy or the main character's wife can't die or the main character can't get shot or only "ensign ricky" dies or has horrible problems)


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