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From Aintitcool.com

Herc Gives WONDERFALLS 4.5 Stars!!!!!

By Herc

Monday 15 March 2004, by Webmaster

UPDATED!! Herc Gives WONDERFALLS 4.5 Stars!!!!! I am - Hercules!!

Wonderfalls 1.1 FAQ What’s the pilot titled? “Wax Lion.”

Who’s responsible? Teleplay is credited to “Dead Like Me” mastermind Bryan Fuller.

What does TV Guide say? Debut: She might not talk to God like Joan of Arcadia, but Jaye of Niagara does communicate with inanimate objects in this fanciful series. Jaye Tyler (Caroline Dhavernas) is a 24-year-old Niagara Falls gift-shop clerk whose uncertainty about her place in the world - and her role in her family - understandably intensifies when figurines start talking to her. Their cryptic messages tell Jaye to do what she likes least: interact with others, beginning with an unpleasant customer (Kathryn Greenwood) and a delivery man (Gabriel Hogan) attracted to Jaye’s sister Sharon (Katie Finneran).

Herc, you’re an idiot. You think “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is the greatest TV show ever crafted. You believe “Twin Peaks,” “The Prisoner” and “Kung Fu” are not far behind. Why should we believe you when you tell us “Wonderfalls” is the best new show of the season? My mind is a blank. Wait. You all said “Firefly,” which also aired Fridays on Fox, and which was also written/produced by Tim Minear, sucked. And I disagreed. And now that you’ve seen all the episodes on DVD you worship “Firefly” like the second coming. Vindicating me forever and forcing you to elect me your TV king in perpetuity.

Herc, you’ve been reviewing the television shows for Harry Knowles since the Clinton administration. In the previous three seasons, what did you cite as the best new shows?

2000-2001: “Gilmore Girls.” 2001-2002: “24.” 2002-2003: “Firefly.”

What’s it about? Souvenirs begin telling a pouty, Ivy League-educated slacker retail clerk named Jaye Tyler to do odd things to further mysterious agendas. She reasonably suspects she’s gone insane. But it seems she might be an unwilling tool of higher powers. Jaye is likeably misanthropic, has cynically likeable friends and hails from a family that has produced far more successful individuals than she: dad, we’ll learn, is a doctor, mom is a famous author, sis is a closeted lesbianic lawyer, bro is an atheist pursuing postgrad studies in theology. (It’s better than it sounds.)

When do the souvenirs begin speaking to her? If one disregards the commercials? Precisely seven minutes in.

So it’s like “Joan of Arcadia.” No. It’s a comedy. A funny one. “Joan of Arcadia” is watchable, but (let’s face it) bland as Wonder Bread. “Wonderfalls” is a thing of wonder.

Should I watch “Wonderfalls”? Because I’m not sure I enjoy the dramedy genre! Okay, first off? It’s not a dramedy. It’s a comedy, one funnier, perhaps, than any other comedy on the air at the moment. There are more million-dollar jokes in the first five minutes of the pilot than most comedies get in a season. Minear’s partner, “Deep Space Nine” vet Bryan Fuller, created Showtime’s “Dead Like Me,” which was hilarious at least until Fuller left to create “Wonderfalls.”

Alright already! What’s great? You name it. The lead’s ability to repeatedly and convincingly convey comic horror. The “Raising Arizona”-esque opening. “Surrender to Destiny” in general and the Maid of the Mist in particular. “Don’t interrupt me again!” “Then get out! No loitering!” “So you don’t really believe in it.” “Did you just say, ‘My ass’?” Jaye’s hesitance as she first disregards the souvenirs’ advice. “Not ashamed! Mortified!” Inspired, repeated homages to Michigan J. Frog (the symbol of another, younger network) and the HAL 9000. “My God, what am I doing?” “If you don’t say anything in the next five seconds, I’m going to assume you’re Satan.” “Your voice just got loud.” “It comes back, all crazy and pissed off!” “Don’t get in the boat. Dumbass.” “You don’t have a larynx!” “Why didn’t you think he was cute?” “No I didn’t.” “She lied. I don’t. I’m really very sorry.” “It isn’t a big plus, but it’s not the deal-breaker.” “You’re just trying them all on for size, aren’t ya?” “You need to stop kissing the mirror, buddy! Just ‘cause a girl’s not eating your chili ... Did you have that goiter before?” “She would unspool!” “You’re being sneaky about something!” “You don’t even know where she’s going!” “You are not the same girl who made all my clothes smell like cat pee.” “They were pulling bodies out of the river for weeks.” “Stop trying to talk; it’s freaking me out.” “You’re paying for that.” “No! No! No, we’re done!” All the fabulous lesbianism. Much, much more.

What else is TV Guide not telling us? Episode two? Even better!

Okay, this is the premiere. I’ve never seen the show. I’m not invested. How can you possibly have any spoilers for me, spoiler boy? Keep an eye on the bartender’s bride. She’ll be replaced in episode seven by a former “Firefly” regular.

Herc’s rating for “Wonderfalls” 1.1? ****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.

UPDATE!! USA Today gives "Wonderfalls" 3.5 out of four stars!! Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-!! The Los Angeles Times says of "Wonderfalls": " ... the writing is smart, not merely clever ... TV is, almost by nature, a medium of constant disappointment: of good performance flattened by bad lighting, decent scripts killed by bad acting, high production values made to look shallow by ridiculous scripts. We are accustomed to these things from television, which because of its short production schedules and budgetary constraints and the need to sell soap is defined by compromise. But everything clicks here. ... Dhavernas makes the show work so well, you can’t imagine it working without her; she can throw a little boy up against a wall in rage and not lose your affection. " I am - Hercules!!