Candice’s Top 5 TV Shows: #1 – WONDERFALLS


And now we reach #1 on the list of my top 5 TV shows. While I’ve had doubts about one or two of my previous choices, and may have reordered a couple more, WONDERFALLS was always going to be top of the pile.

What is the show about?

Jaye Tyler (Caroline Dhavernas) is a lazy, sarcastic, 24-year-old Niagara Falls souvenir shop employee. She lives in a trailer park, frequents the bar where her best friend Mahandra (Tracie Thoms) works, and tries to stay sane around her highly achieving family. When a coin tossed into a fountain hits her on the head, Jaye soon finds inanimate objects talking to her. Inanimate objects with animal faces, naturally. It’s distressing, but like any perfectly reasonable young adult, she builds a collection of figurines, soft toys and wax lions, and does their bidding.

Which, surprisingly, leads only to (mostly) good things for those involved – even if it takes insane, borderline criminal antics to get there.

But complicating matters for Jaye is Eric Gotts (Tyron Leitso), a honeymooner from New Jersey. When his wife cheats on him with a bellhop, Eric, heartbroken, takes a job at the bar and decides to stick around Niagara. It’s not long before he’s propositioning Jaye – and falling in love with her. And she might just be falling for him too. He’s a nice guy. It’s a shame she’s kinda crazy.

Why I love it:

Where to even begin? Wonderfalls was a perfect blend of drama, quirk and comedy from Bryan Fuller, the awesome mind behind Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies (#4 of my top 5). Like those two shows, Wonderfalls had sharp, witty dialogue, a visual boldness, and crazy by the bucketload. Given the subject matter, this wasn’t a show with a mass appeal – which is probably why it lasted one season. But considering some other cult shows of the noughties that have only lasted one or two seasons, Wonderfalls is in good company.

It’s also rewatchable to the extreme. Wonderfalls is the only series I keep stored on my laptop, one of its 13 episodes set to play whenever I have a lazy hour with nothing to otherwise watch or read. Whether I’m in the mood for drama, humor or just something to watch in a break between chores, Wonderfalls is my go-to viewing.

Why people should watch it:

Wonderfalls‘ quirkiness may put some people off watching. But for whoever is left: you might just find yourself recognising elements of Wonderfalls close to home.

You may or may not be the slacker Jaye, the lovelorn Eric, the responsible Sharon or the curious Aaron, but you will recognise them in your friends and family. You’ll probably appreciate one of the four romantic relationships in the show: the slowly building, the whirlwind, the tentative and the rock steady. Maybe you’re the immigration lawyer, the waitress or the perpetual student.

Maybe you, too, have animal faces tell you to ‘save him from her’ or ‘have a pancake’, but I would hope not.

Quirks cast aside, Wonderfalls was a series about being who you need to be and appreciating the people – friends, family and acquaintances – that make us all who we are. Well, all that and a talking smoosh-faced lion.