Wonderfalls review (DVD)

You probably haven't heard of Wonderfalls, because way back in the mists of time (well, 2004) it was dropped by its TV network after just four episodes had aired. Is that a reflection on the quality of the series? Absolutely not. What we have here is an unusual and quirky show that deserves to find an audience on DVD.

You probably haven't heard of Wonderfalls, because way back in the mists of time (well, 2004) it was dropped by its TV network after just four episodes had aired. Is that a reflection on the quality of the series? Absolutely not. What we have here is an unusual and quirky show that deserves to find an audience on DVD.

Our vessel through Wonderfalls is Jaye Taylor (Dhavernas – last seen in Hannibal), a likeable, slightly manic college drop out who has ended up working at a Niagra Falls souvenir shop. She lives in a trailer park, is unlucky in love and has an oddball family – so far, so meh. However, her life changes for the weirder when some of the gifts and other random inanimate objects – a wax lion, plastic pink flamingos and more - come to life and deliver cryptic messages to her.

The odd messages they shout, sing and whisper, thrust her into the lives of strangers who she must help in some way, causing a chain reaction of events and sticky situations where she starts to question her sanity. This probably isn't for everyone's taste as it takes a little time to warm to the characters who often seem to be overacting – but you quickly get used to this and learn to love them.

The humour is at times hit and miss – often jarring – swinging from light to dark. However, when the jokes hit, they hit well - especially some of the ridiculous slap stick moments, which is to be expected from the writers who also worked on Pushing Daisies and Malcolm in the Middle. At times it's sweet and mystic, other times there is definite Twin Peaks vibe – especially Jaye's mum, who is a great character. As is the ever-watchable Sadler, here playing against type as a loveable dad. Sometimes it feels a little under produced, but that's probably just its age showing.

Admittedly, Wonderfalls struggles to stand-up to today's current lavish, high standard TV output, but for something different, fresh, and frequently funny, it's worth taking a look at these 13 bonkers episodes.

EXTRAS ★★ Just the two extras, nothing ground-breaking and very dated: the featurette Greetings From Wonderfalls, a behind-the-scenes look at the making and casting of the series with interviews from the cast and creators; and the featurette Fantastic Visual Effects, a look at how they bring to life all the random objects that come to life and haunt Jaye.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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