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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Complete Series


Starring: Caroline Dhavernas, Katie Finneran, Tyron Leitso, Lee Pace, William Sadler, Diana Scarwid and Tracie Thoms
Distributor: Mediumrare Entertainment
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 28 October 2013

Set against the backdrop of Niagara Falls, twenty-something graduate Jaye Tyler finds herself in a dead end job in a souvenir shop. But her life is about to change forever, when inanimate objects such as animal figures and cartoons start talking to her. These unlikely messages set off a chain of events that lead Jaye into other people’s lives and some madcap adventures. Jaye finds herself in many weird and wonderful situations that lead her to question her sanity. She seeks solace in her best friend Mahandra and becomes friends with local bartender Eric who tries to help answer the questions that plague her: Is the universe conspiring against her? Should she struggle with fate or surrender to destiny? Whatever the answers Jaye is gradually discovering that the seemingly random events in her life are actually bringing joy to those around her and are all part of something much greater...

Wonderfalls is a show that should have had a much longer run than the 13 episodes contained here. It's another Brian Fuller series that was cancelled way too early - mainly because the studio executives just didn't have a clue what the show was really all about. Other notable Fuller shows that were axed before their time include Dead Like Me (2003-4) and Pushing Daisies (2007-9).

Fuller admits, in one of the audio commentaries in this collection, that they knew the show was in serious danger of being cancelled and that the save Wonderfalls campaign started almost before the first episode had been broadcast.

Like Fuller's Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls sees a single girl at the centre of the story, forced to do things against her will. At first she resists (in Dead Like Me, it's because she doesn't want to take souls from people, while in Wonderfalls it's because she can't be bothered). In Wonderfalls Jaye Tyler (Caroline Dhavernas), an under achiever stuck in a dead end job suddenly starts to hear the voices of inanimate objects. They tell her to do things - the end result, however odd it appears at the beginning, is always to help someone. Why has Jaye been chosen to receive this special gift, but more importantly how can she make it go away.

The episodes have numerous ongoing story arcs, and the 'client of the week' main story just helps to push these arcs forward.

Originally only the first four episodes were broadcast in America; all episodes were shown in the UK but not in the intended order. This DVD release (and the extras included on it) were originally produced and released on Region 1 DVD in 2005.

It's an interesting show, but with only 13 episodes ever produced the writers never really got the chance to sink their teeth into the material.

Extras include audio commentaries with the creators (Bryan Fuller and Todd Holland) and cast (Caroline Dhavernas and Katie Finneran); Greetings from Wonderfalls (22 min, 46 sec which is a retrospective look at the show); and Fantastic Visual Effects (2 min, 59 sec).


Darren Rea

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