Herc Loves WONDERFALLS
Wonderfalls 1.2 FAQ
What’s it called?
Teleplay is credited to Tim Minear, a “Firefly” mastermind who wrote and directed last season’s insanely well-crafted Wolfram-centric “Angel” finale.
Jesus Christ, Hercules! Another “Wonderfalls” post?
Underkill didn’t save “The Tick” or “Firefly” or “Star Trek” now did it? I experiment now with a different tactic. But don’t worry, the minute Fox crucifies this genius show, I’ll be right back to discussing useless reality hourlongs. Anyway, writing this review gives Herc an excuse to watch “Karma Chameleon” a fourth time!
What does TV Guide say?
Jaye is told to help a stutterer “get her words out,” but she'd prefer to get the woman out of town when she copies Jaye's hairstyle, job and interest in Eric. Bianca: Sarah Drew. Alec: Neil Grayston. Eric: Tyron Leitso. Mahandra: Tracie Thoms. Jaye: Caroline Dhavernas.
Is it true you like this episode better than “Wonderfalls’” brilliant pilot?
I do. As hilarious as I found the pilot, this one is just as funny and bolsters the funny with effortless, undemanding style.
“Copies Jaye's hairstyle, job and interest in Eric”? Do the words “Single White Female” make their way into the dialogue at any point?
They do. This episode pays repeated homage to the 1992 Jennifer Jason Leigh thriller.
The big news?
Did they use the theme music last week? If not, it’s introduced this week.
Is the theme music the new Ryan Adams version of “Wonderwall” that seems to be popping up on every hourlong from CBS to UPN?
No. It’s a custom-made ditty by Andy Partridge (of XTC fame) that I initially despised, but now quite look forward to each Friday. “I wonder why the wonder falls on me,” indeed.
What else is TV Guide not telling us?
“Karma Chameleon” is not only enormously entertaining, it’s revelatory, and likely key to understanding the weirdness that is overtaking young Jaye Tyler’s life. The stuttering clone is obsessed with Jaye, and really does come to figure her out. If you’re curious about what’s doing with the retail job and the trailer park, much is explained this week.
“Son Aaron is the youngest non-Asian to win the prestigious Fulton Scholarship for religious studies and is currently pursuing his doctorate in comparative religion.” “Sure used up a lot of them on Aaron.” “You weren’t, though, were ya?” “I need more environ-friendly plastic bags. Konichiwa!” “Yes, I was just looking for … Oh my God! It really is mine!!” “Here’s five back!” “Exactly. In the back. Up on a high shelf.” The mouth-breather’s Butters-like injury. The scary casting of Jaye’s sneery doppleganger. “He could very easily … paralyze … you.” “You think I’m his type?” “You’re the one who called for it!” Jaye’s sour-faced incredulity as Binky’s duplicity falls into focus. “‘Grease’?” “Stealing my organs after you stab me??” “‘Losers’?” “In theory.” Dhavernas’ delivery of the lines “You’re sure not having any trouble getting your words out tonight” and “You know some people will swallow just about anything” and “Three years, huh?” and the sheer loathing with which she rolls her eyes when Binky reveals she’s “sought answers in various world religions.” “This is my fault. Jaye! I thought you knew I was kidding!” “Ironically? I think I saw a little of myself!” “Can you really blame her?” Jaye’s sitcom-tied appraisal of the size of her trailer. “And if there were pictures? I’d buy two copies.” “No, you’re the fake. The letter’s real.” “I am not 35!” “It – it doesn’t say that …” “It was implied.”
Herc, if you could forward the great Tim Minear any message, what would it be?
“Dear Mr. Minear sir: If the Fox people elect to discard ‘Wonderfalls,’ it will be a loss only to us, the consumers of fine televised entertainment. You, of course, will be freed from the penny-ante universe of weekly television and reap zillions authoring fabulous feature screenplays that beautiful, newly-promoted 23-year-old development executives will reduce to unwatchable horseshit. If the Fox people elect to continue their support of ‘Wonderfalls,’ you will continue to receive only moderately gigantic TV wages, and perhaps be worshipped as a modern living TV god much as Joss Whedon and Aaron Sorkin and David Lynch continue to be. I personally am holding out for continued airings of ‘Wonderfalls.’ Though its continuance will do little for your bank account, it will make the world better for those who enjoy really smart comedy. Yours Sincerely etc. etc.”
How does it end, spoiler boy?
With 15 words: “Daughter Jaye lives in Niagara Falls; her blurb, and life, are a work in progress.”
Herc’s rating for “Wonderfalls” 1.2?
The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
***** better than we deserve
**** better than most motion pictures
*** actually worth your valuable time
** as horrible as most stuff on TV
* makes you quietly pray for bulletins
9 p.m. Friday. Fox.
Swing the crebbil!
Swing the crebbil!
Watch “Wonderfalls”!! Herc says it’s the season’s best new show!! 9 p.m. Fridays!! Fox!!
Looking for bumper stickers, plush toys and girls’ underwear covered with cartoon double-amputees? Visit The Herc Store!
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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March 19, 2004, 12:38 a.m. CST
And I think it's got potential. I didn't find it necessarily great, but I'll definitely catch it again.
March 19, 2004, 12:43 a.m. CST
sorry bout that ... i hit the return by mistake and entered a null msg ... but anyway (to quote ellen) i actually was writing to suggest that maybe herc got the lyric wrong ... shouldnt it be 'i wonder why the wonderfalls on me?' ... and ... i am quite certain that its 'penny ante' not 'penny enny' ... love ya herc but thats a very stupid error (almost as stupid as hitting return on this talkback without entering a msg)
March 19, 2004, 12:44 a.m. CST
March 19, 2004, 1:05 a.m. CST
Were we watching the same program? it is sort of what the x files was to twin peaks. if i hate it it will have to be a hit Scott
March 19, 2004, 1:08 a.m. CST
by Jim-Jam Bongs
I didn't attack the guy personally -- I made it a point not to, but merely brought into question his editorial judgement, and opined that he needs to broaden the variety of coverage on Coaxial. And for that I got banned. Dude, that's just sad on your part. Harry has far more integrity than you. THIS MESSAGE WILL SELF-DESTRUCT IN 5, 4, 3, 2...
March 19, 2004, 2:02 a.m. CST
Two words: Andy Richter
March 19, 2004, 2:30 a.m. CST
by Creamery Butter
Is "the weirdness" actually a dangerous bipolar disorder with hallucinations and homicidal urges? 'Cuz that's the only reason I watched the first episode to the end. If Jaye isn't eating human flesh by the end of episode 4, I'll be severely disappointed. ... Come on, fellas -- the absence of a laugh track clearly indicates that this show is "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" without a Y chromosome.
March 19, 2004, 5:13 a.m. CST
Just watched The Pilot. It's nowhere near as good as The Sopranos Or The Shield, but that's a pretty unfair comparison. I enjoyed it. I thought there were qite a few flaws in the pilot but it was defintly a B+. I don't know who the actress is who is the star, but she's the best thing about the show. I enjoyed the scenery with the soundtrack (not the female rock bullshit) but the Twin Peaks type stuff. It was cooky which brings me back to Twin Peaks. I didn't particulaerly care for how fast paced they tried to make it. The scenes when it would slow down it succeded. I didn't care for the typical angles that seemed more suited for a teen show, but hell it worked on Buffy. The writing was either really good, or a little too cheesy. The opening, the way the Indian princess sequence was shot, almost had me turning it off. I'm glad I stuck through it though. Anyways, I will watch tomorrow night, and recommend it. If this bullshit about Angel comes true, then it's probably the best thing on network TV for all of us Post Whedon fans. Now Herc, you should do something about Angel.
March 19, 2004, 8:09 a.m. CST
It was funny (lowercase, not uppercase), but I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I'll watch it tonight, and if it moves me (TO A BIGGER HOUSE!) then I'll probably keep watching it. What I want to know is, where's the Kingdom Hospital talkback? That's a weird show (not sold on that one either, it might be too weird, but I still haven't watched the Wednesday ep)
March 19, 2004, 8:11 a.m. CST
by Atticus Finch
The premise of this show is that a girl struggling with her place in life receives cryptic missives from a strange, mystic force or being. Said missives lead to a chain of coincidences that lead lost girl to a stonger relationship with herself and/or her family/friends. I watched the re-run last night and realized I've seen this show before...its called "Joan of Arcadia".
March 19, 2004, 8:20 a.m. CST
They were both developed at the same time, Wonderfalls just wasn't put on the air until now. It's not like they watched the first ten eps and said 'Ooh, we can do that!'
March 19, 2004, 8:55 a.m. CST
that Fox held Wonderfalls so laong that it's getting the inevitable "Joan-clone" tag. guess you can't really blame people for not knowing Wonderfalls was developed before Joan of Arcadia was on the air. I remember reading about the development of both shows and thinking even then that one would be tagged a pale imitation of the other. Joan seems like CBS' attempt to have a "Touched by an Angel" with a younger demographic, while Wonderfalls doesn't seem so much like a preachy show that will have some life altering situation get tied up into a happy loving bundle in an hour every week. I'll take Jaye's pessimism myself. And I thought "Touching Evil" was great! Is it okay to talk about it now, since it's on an hour later than Wonderfalls this week?
March 19, 2004, 11:24 a.m. CST
I just don't get it. I guess because I'm a lurker and not a regular poster. But Wonderfalls has been a critically acclaimed show with a very well received pilot. I enjoyed it immensely and really look forward to the next episode. Criticisms are fine, if you didn't enjoy the show. But what's this nonsensical 'Oh, watch Angel instead' or 'It's a Joan of Arcadia/Amelie/Whatever ripoff'. Watch Angel 'instead'? Hell, I watch Angel, and Joan and Kingdom Hospital and Wonderfalls and all of the other very high quality shows out there. I don't feel the need to CHOOSE one. If you don't like Wonderfalls, then that's fine. If you have something intelligent to say on the subject, then say so. But what's the use of slamming Herc for an opinion that is certainly not out of left field? Wonderfalls 1x01 was one of the most well received pilots this season, and Fox is at least making /some/ effort with the encore presentation on Thursday. Hell, if you don't like the show, what the hell are you doing in its Talkback to begin with? I hate 24 and, as such, I don't even read the talkbacks let alone seek them out for the sole purpose of belittling the reviewer's intelligence. Christ.
March 19, 2004, noon CST
by The Colonel
For a few words from someone like you, check out this review of Wonderfalls: ---------http://www.rawstory.com/exclusives/julianelle/wonderfall.html ------- The show is damn entertaining, SO FAR, and Dhavernas is cute and cynical. A nice mix. Hopefully Fox will hold onto a show for once. I'm not on board with all of Herc's unbearable hyperbole, but it's definitely worth watching.
March 19, 2004, 3:22 p.m. CST
Check it out: What else are you working on? I’m writing an animated pilot for the sci-fi channel based on a Mike Mignola comic called The Amazing Screw-On Head. I’m really enjoying working with the Sci Fi channel--but I’m also really looking forward to coming back for a second season of Wonderfalls.
March 19, 2004, 3:28 p.m. CST
. . . and I really enjoyed it. I got my wife to watch the Thursday rerun with me, and we're watching the second episode tonight. Thanks for finding the diamond in the rough for us.
March 19, 2004, 4:11 p.m. CST
You know I wasn't expecting much from this show- before I knew the connections to Firefly - and would have missed it entirely before I saw this sites promo of it and who it's coming from. In fact I just caught it last night - on it's 3rd showing of the 1st ep! Now I can't wait for the new one tonight. This shit is sooooooo fucking funny! "Poor Bitch and Shannon sitting in a tree.." I can't get over that!
March 19, 2004, 5:28 p.m. CST
by Barry Egan
March 19, 2004, 5:29 p.m. CST
by Barry Egan
Here's the real Jossverse news: Charisma Carpenter in Playboy!
March 19, 2004, 6:32 p.m. CST
...I friggin loved it! My only concern is, and I wonder if other people agree with me, that the concept could get old and tired really fast. You know, perky, cute girl helps people out. It's really cool and the handling of the idea is beyond brillant, but it also has the potential to get stale fast. I thought "Tru Calling" had an interesting concept, but I'm already bored and done with that show.
March 19, 2004, 7:49 p.m. CST
You heard me.
March 19, 2004, 8:57 p.m. CST
As there was nowhere else to put it right now, it's just been announced over here in the UK, Christopher Eccleston (Cracker/Our Friends In The North/Shallow Grave/Gone In 60Secs) is the new TV Doctor Who. Good choice IMO
March 19, 2004, 9:58 p.m. CST
I liked the 1st episode but tonights was putting me to sleep. This show is on friday nights and if they make the episodes too complicated and deep people will turn it off.
March 19, 2004, 9:59 p.m. CST
by Fuego Grande
I said when the wife asked if she should set the vcr. Anyone know of anywhere (barring p2p) that i could get ahold of tonight's episode? Or if someone could be so kind as to post it to one of the mutant enemy related usenet groups?
March 19, 2004, 10:07 p.m. CST
I'm hopelessly addicted after two episodes.
March 19, 2004, 10:11 p.m. CST
FOX will run a couple "Encore" episodes before the enxt one airs. Look for FOX over the weekend. You might get lucky.
March 19, 2004, 10:28 p.m. CST
What can I say...This show sucks! I want to give a show a break...but this show doesnt deserve it...maybe if one of the objects that comes to life is a rifle, and shoots the lead(and well the whole cast for that matter but luckily not minear.. HEY I HAVE IT!!! PUT ALL THE PAID PROGRAMING WHICH IS ON OVERNIGHT ON FOX..AND PUT THAT ON PRIME TIME FRIDAYS..AND ITS ABOUT THE SAME THING....PEACE
March 19, 2004, 10:43 p.m. CST
I saw this and last week's episode. The show's really good. I REALLY hope that it stays on the air, but unfortunately, this isn't possible. Almost no good show can stay on the air these days. Well, on broadcast TV anyway. The writing on this show is so good. The second episode was a lot better than the first, and if the cycle continues, like Herc said, it definitely will be the best new show of the season.
March 19, 2004, 10:45 p.m. CST
You know, absolutely nothing that Fox puts in this time slot will get good ratings, so you might as well stick to something, and it might as well be something great like Wonderfalls. If whatever you put in a time slot is bound to get low ratings, it might as well be a great show. I really hope Fox execs figure this logic and keep Wonderfalls on.
March 19, 2004, 11:32 p.m. CST
that joke at the end when the article is listing Jaye's family and their attributes. "A wise father. A compassionate mother. A protective brother. A sister who is 35." I thought that was very funny. Great reversal. Otherwise, kind of a ho-hum episode. I'm still won over though; Wonderfalls is pretty great.
March 19, 2004, 11:45 p.m. CST
by Stanley Spector
Bring back the trippy stylistic excess of "Wax Lion" and its director, Todd Holland! *** Speaking of which, Herc, did you catch the commentary track by Holland and Caroline Dhavernas posted on the Wonderfalls website this past week (but no longer there)? It ran the full forty-three minutes of "Wax Lion" and would be extraordinarily fascinating to listen to, if one were to have the episode on tape.
March 20, 2004, 12:15 a.m. CST
Do yourselves a favor and watch Dead Like Me. Same type of comedy, only with random violence, and swearing. Jaye is no Georgia.
March 20, 2004, 3:39 a.m. CST
I found tonight's to be a VAST improvement over the pilot. A+, defintly. No more of the fast edit Bullshit, and a lot more humor, both on the surface and below it. "The Gen Y Non Winner". Seriously, they should cancel that bullshit Smallville, and put this before Angel. And bring Angel back of course.
March 20, 2004, 4:53 a.m. CST
by Jimmy Jazz
Good characters, witty lines. What more do you losers want? Philistines.....Anyway, I laughed my ass off through this episode. Jaye's reaction shots were priceless. Caroline D'havernas is a Goddess. I recommend renting a movie called "The Edge of Madness", in which she plays an entirely different kind of character equally brilliantly. As for this show, I hope they keep it, but past history belay's my wishes. I am taping all the episodes (most probaly twelve) until it is cancelled and replaced with "Gay Midget American Island Temptation Survivor Idol", or some such Horseshit.
March 20, 2004, 4:55 a.m. CST
by Jimmy Jazz
That's "belies", "Belies my wishes". I no Amercan good.
March 20, 2004, 1:11 p.m. CST
Friends was a top ten show in Season 1.
March 20, 2004, 1:59 p.m. CST
I personally enjoyed the pilot more but would definitely like to see where this goes. Unfortunately though,seeing how low the ratings(2.6/5) dipped from the first weeks already low #'s(3.4/6),I doubt we'll be seeing the whole 13 episodes(on Fox,anyway).If Firefly & John Doe couldn't stay alive on Fox Fridays with better ratings than these,this isn't going to be different. One low rated crictical fav is probably all Fox will keep on at one time & Arrested Development seems to be filling that slot well.Odds are the only way we'll get to see all 13 will be on a dvd release or on a channel like Bravo or Sci-Fi,ala Now & Again.
March 20, 2004, 5:36 p.m. CST
yeah, it'd be great if this show got a chance to get it's legs and really take us places, but i suspect the jig is up (because alas the x-files it is not). i hope the geniuses at fox or old rupert himself realizes that this is the only affirming show on their roster and keep wonderfalls on for decencies sake (and not decency as defined by the screwheads either, because it's got a sexy thang sort of air about it), but i won't get my hopes up. anyhoo, enjoy it while it lasts.
March 20, 2004, 5:39 p.m. CST
Oh I have to draw my bugs bunny foot, through the sand, and say I dare ya to cross that line..and some of you I know are sayin "IM a steppin" To say that wonderfalls is better than smallville and especially "24" ARE YOU INSANE! Once angel leaves,,,(grrrr swear words to that) smallville or "24" could easily carry wonderfalls, cause it NEEDS TO BE CARRIED!. now what would really be cool is if the girl from wonderfalls meets up with joan of arcadia and they both get medical help for talking to god...and a false god! gives it a whole new ten commandment feel now dont it!! Now,I dare ya to step over that line......And Dat one....And Dat one..PEACE
March 20, 2004, 8:16 p.m. CST
by Jimmy Jazz
If who the FUCK these "nielsen households" are. I have never known any. Why do they keep hanging on to this obsolete dinosaur of a system? Judging from what actually gets high ratings, Nielsen people must be inbred, lobotomized mutants living in a cave somewhere. That's the only way I can explain how most of this cloned crap stays on the air. If they cancel this show, I am through with networks. I am tired of getting into shows that don't last the season. Leave the networks to the drooling zombies who actually give a shit about which shameless, exhibtionist slut the idiot picks to be his fuck toy or which no-talent FUCKHEAD wins their stupid karaoke contest. Fuck em all!!!!!
March 20, 2004, 8:29 p.m. CST
I can only hope that sometime really soon, when most people are running digital cable, satellite and TiVo, they can start pulling the viewership numbers directly from these devices and not relying on Nielson families to provide an accurate cross section of American viewership numbers. I'm betting that only true weirdos would consent to the type of stuff that being a Nielson viewer subjects them to, and thus what they watch doesn't really match up with what most of us really do.
March 21, 2004, 5:13 a.m. CST
March 21, 2004, 6:22 a.m. CST
I agree with the person who likes DEAD LIKE ME more. I won't be watching any more WONDERFALLS, but I did give it a chance because Herc liked it.
March 21, 2004, 12:53 p.m. CST
and i love to watch both of them, but at this point neither are as good as wonderfalls. maybe if smallville didn't have two if it's main characters seemingly willfully ignorant about the big secret that's ludicrusly obvious three years into the show, or jack bauer the functioning federal agent / smack addict i'd give them higher marks this season. at least wonderfalls has clever writing, creative whimsy (yeah- whimsy!) from the start(much like my precious arrested development), and pathos (thanks to that chick and her many wonderful expressions of multitudes of angst, and the fact that on this show people, like the rest of us turn to drink like the rest of us). frankly i think wonderfalls just seems fresher with many swell possibilities, and i think it should get chance.
March 23, 2004, 10:51 a.m. CST
I taped the first two episodes of Wonderfalls last Thurs and Fri due to Minear's "Please watch this" email - and I am so glad I did. I watched both Sunday and re-watched the first episode last night. The instant Big Huge Crush
March 23, 2004, 5:19 p.m. CST
The 2nd episode was as good if not better than the first. The transformation of the young journalist/stalker into Jaye's doppelganger was astounding and funny and scary all at the same time. The actress playing the doppelganger can really act and gave Caroline D. as Jaye a run for the money. The bit about the sister's age "I'm not 35!" was priceless. The creepy store manager's eye injury was played to perfection. He should wear the patch for the rest of the season. DEAD LIKE ME went into a tailspin with its third episode. I hope this does not happen with WONDERFALLS. My 15-year-old daughter loves this show, as she should. It's one of the few things we can agree on. That and the remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD, which we both loved.
March 23, 2004, 5:37 p.m. CST
It is at least as good as MONK, and this presents a problem. How many MONK episodes are shot each season, six maybe seven? Not nearly enough, and watching reruns within two weeks of the start of the season (whenever that is anymore) is disconcerting. We have fallen away from MONK for that reason. I hope this does not happen with WONDERFALLS. I do not want to gather with the family in front of the Tv two Fridays from now and find we are watching the 2nd episode again. That would be the last time we would gather round the set on a Friday night. This same shit happened with Emeril Lagase, a show that started out with a bang but then an odd thing happened: an episode running on a November night would be from last July. An episode broadcast in July would be from November. I have nothing against reruns, just not in prime viewing time, especially on a night when we are expecting a new episode. That ended Emeril for us. Reruns work when they are broadcast separate and apart from the time slot set aside for new episodes. LAW & ORDER reruns four or five nights a week on USA or TNT or whatever are a case in point. Happy to watch them, especially since I am not around whatever weeknight L&O's new episodes run. Same with ER. Plus these series have a full run, of up to 20 new episodes a season. Limited series are great but they tend to go south quickly.
March 23, 2004, 8:13 p.m. CST
by Mr. Waturi
Easily my new favorite show. Unfortunately, it will probably be cancelled because the chimps in the flyover states need everything spoonfed and familiar (no offense to my cousins that live in Missouri).
Awesome take on Wonderfalls! you should pack that in an email and send it to Fox, It doesn't mean much but it shows the love!
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