Wonderfalls is like a hipper Joan of Arcadia (I’ve never seen Joan of Arcadia – so I’m guessing). Our heroine, Jaye Tyler played effectively by Carolne Dhavernas, is an unmotivated college graduate who works as a cashier in a Niagra Falls gift shop. Instead of being talked to by God, Jaye is spoken to by objects such as a wax lion. These objects give her hints to do things that in turn end up helping other people (which tend to have a comical subtext to them). She is obviously bothered by the fact that she’s hearing inanimate objects speak to her. It will be interesting to see how this aspect is handled throughout the unfolding of the episodes. There will have to be some acceptance of this phenomenon; otherwise she may end up just accepting the fact that she’s possibly crazy.
The supporting characters in this show are great. Diana Scarwid is hilarious as the uptight and wired mother. The actor who plays the EPS Delivery man, (I haven’t been able to find out who plays him) is perfect in his role as the slightly over-sensitive, kind of clueless, everyday All-American Man. He finds out in the debut episode that his wife left him for another woman. His scene after the pen-induced tracheotomy was hilarious. Jaye’s sister, played by Katie Finneran , is played effectively as a wound up and sexually frustrated lesbian (we find this out in the first episode also – with no judging by our title character – just acceptance of the fact that she’s a lesbian). Her father and brother are only in one short scene, albeit a hilarious one (her father asks her if she’s had an orgasm lately).
There’s the obligatory best friend, aka token non-white character, as well as the love interest that was hinted at in this debut episode. Tyron Leitso who plays the potential new boyfriend is like every other boyfriend on FOX – slightly scruffy & burned by a previous relationship. He reminds me of David Conrad, who plays Michael on Miss Match (when is that coming back).
FOX has been promoting the show pretty extensively, but it’s in a time of death time slot: 7 p.m. Friday nights. FOX has never had a hit in this time slot. Once again, despite great critical reviews, the show received meager ratings (just like FOX’s own Arrested Development). I can never understand how crap like Hope & Faith can get buffo ratings and the good stuff flounders.