Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
Launched in March 2004 as a mid-season replacement, this supernatural comedy drama suffered a death as quick as its premise was quirky. Thanks in part to a punishing Friday-night time slot, Wonderfalls managed only four episodes before Fox pulled the plug. Less than a year later, however, the offbeat series found new life on DVD, where all 13 completed installments were released to brisk sales and critical acclaim (see Wonderfalls -- The Complete Series). The brainchild of veteran director Todd Holland (Twin Peaks, My So-Called Life) and Dead Like Me creator Bryan Fuller, Wonderfalls chronicles the misadventures of Jaye Tyler (Caroline Dhavernas), a Niagara Falls, NY gift-shop employee whose snarky world view gets shaken up when inanimate objects -- a wax lion, a stuffed chameleon -- begin ordering her around. Convinced she's cracking up, Jaye nevertheless follows the animals' instructions and unwittingly helps a broad range of unusual characters: an elementary-school Romeo, a stuttering stalker, a faithless nun, a mysterious housekeeper, etc. Her partners in crime on these assignments include sardonic pal Mahandra (Tracie Thoms), buttoned-up lesbian sister Sharon (Kate Finneran), and overeducated, underachieving brother Aaron (Lee Pace). Though unaware of their daughter's peculiar conversations with stuffed animals, Jaye's stuffy parents Karen (Diana Scarwid) and Darrin (William Sadler) also figure prominently in her adventures. So does Eric (Tyron Leitso), a hot, heartbroken bartender whose honeymoon was recently cut short when he caught his bride servicing the hotel bellhop. As Jaye flirts with Eric, fights with her family, and struggles to maintain her ironic detachment, she comes reluctantly closer to understanding the nature of her unorthodox destiny.
slacker, family-dynamics, underachiever, clerk, psychic-phenomena