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Wonderfalls – Viewer Collection

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There was a time you’d be watching “Wonderfalls” right now. But it didn’t happen, because broadcast television isn’t about bringing interesting programming to an audience, but about selling an audience to advertisers.

And “Wonderfalls” doesn’t have a lot good to say about sheer, grasping commerce or at least the mouth-breathers who assistant-manage it.

The series is now available on DVD thanks in large part to their net-enabled fanbase at www.savewonderfalls.com. The three-disc set in a nice slip-case features all 13 ‘sodes which were shot and in the order they were intended in what is a clear arc.

The series is a magic-realism story set in a Niagara Falls which doesn’t exist. While the story is told in NF, USA, the series was shot in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Toronto, Canada, with a largely Canadian cast.

The set includes commentaries on six ‘sodes, plus a “making of”, “visual effects doc” and the music video of the theme song by Andy Partridge.

The commentaries are really illuminating about how a teevee series gets to be made with details such as dialogue scenes which are weeks and hundreds of kilometres apart.

“Wonderfalls” is one of those series which probably was too good for teevee, and a certain indication that DVD sets like this are a strong commercial alternative to declining networks.

The three discs include 13 ‘sodes in widescreen, and you can spend many hours just freeze-framing Caroline Dhavernas’ incredibly expressive face (oh, is that just me? well, nevermind).

If you are into dead-pan humour, magic-realism, and a romantic story which isn’t at all mushy, this is the best souvenir of Niagara Falls you can get.

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About Jim Carruthers

  • “‘sodes”? I’ve always seen the preferred contraction “eps”. When did this happen or did you make it up? “‘sodes” sounds like a CSI term or some kind of tech geek-speak from Star Trek.

    I came to WF kinda late but did enjoy it before the big bye-bye. It was fun watching Jaye being dragged kicking and screaming into maturity.

    I agree with the comment about DVD sets becoming a kind of second life for discontinued series. (“discos”? Just kidding.) I’m not sure they can supplant actual broadcast runs in terms of cash flows, but that may only be a matter of time and new methods of reaching those all important eyeballs with advertising.

  • I think “sodes” is a reference to an episode of Wonderfalls where Jaye has an episode and her mother calls it a “‘sode”. Hope that cleared things up for you.

    BTW, the freeze-framing? Not just you 🙂

  • There are several references throughout to Jaye’s ‘sodes, particularly when she confides to her brother inanimate objects are telling her to do things, and her sessions with Dr. Ron (who she steals the brass monkey from). It is one of the highlights of this series how the writing is clever without being gimmicky.

    In the commentaries, they make a point how “the locals” don’t look at the falls in the on location scenes, for example, so if they do that, why wouldn’t they use the word ” ‘sodes”?