A Niagara Falls giftshop – not the most obvious place to look for someone to help people in need…
One of the odder items to come out of Bryan Fuller’s fertile imagination finally gets a Region 2 DVD release (it’s been available in the States pretty much since the show ended). Wonderfalls is definitely an acquired taste: it may be too whimsical for some, or simply too weird. After all, it’s based around the concept of someone receiving instructions from talking animals (check out the episode Wound-up Penguin for a lovely take on this). But give it time: once you’ve watched a couple of episodes, you’ll either wonder how the hell it got on TV in the first place, or want to watch the rest as quickly as possible. That’s something it shares with Fuller’s other hits, Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies!
The show never really got a fair chance in the States, with unadvertised time slot changes, although, as the various commentaries reveal, the creators had some well-thought out plans for the future (and yes, they did include Jaye, the lead character, being committed to an asylum). Interest in it has peaked at the moment, following Caroline Dhavernas’ performance in Hannibal: Jaye is a very different prospect from that, but shows Dhavernas’ ability to sell a role that walks a fine line within the heightened reality that Fuller creates.
Verdict: Not a series that I’d have necessarily have sought out to rewatch, Wonderfalls rewards multiple viewings, and is worth the investment of time. 7/10