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29 August 2012 @ 01:42 pm
~i wonder why the wonder falls on me~  

I. SO over the last few days I watched Wonderfalls with rose_dawson! I do not remember this show ever existing, presumably because I wasn't paying much attention to TV fandom at the time and also because it aired like 3 episodes. Anyway, it is Bryan Fuller, and I've only seen Pushing Daisies but I can see the similarity in style (and also Lee Pace). If you are reading this and have never heard of it and want to know the premise, I will say that it's the kind of show where a summary makes it sound awful. But basically it is about overeducated and underemployed Jaye suddenly having inanimate objects with animal faces talk to her. TOLD YOU THE SUMMARY SOUNDED WEIRD.

Overall, I really liked it. It's one of those shows where I think I didn't realize quite how much I was enjoying it until the last episode was ending and I was thinking "oh, that's too bad". The best part of it for me I think was Jaye, which is good considering she's the main character. I'm sure part of it is that the whole "I have a useless Bachelor's degree and don't know what I'm doing with my life" bit ~spoke to me~, but I think she was also quite well characterized. I was worried her misanthropic ways would grate on me as time went on, but I think in their 13-episode run they managed to develop Jaye quite nicely and sort of dig out the person underneath all that. Which I guess is the point. I was suprirsed how much it upset me in later episode when Jaye was upset. Kudos to Catherine Dhavernas for making Jaye quite vulnerable under all that snark. Also, it was just nice to have a female-lead show, I guess. I like when women get to be ~*the chosen one*~ in one way or another.

The rest of the cast varies, I guess. Initially I quite liked Mahandra, Jaye's BFF, but as the show went on I found Mahandra to be sort of questionable as a friend, and sometimes I think Mahandra was motivated by the plot more than was really necessary. (Also I suspect she falls into the Sassy Black Friend stereotype.) Jaye's sister Sharon grew on me over time and I ended up finding her pretty funny, if frustrating. I guess basically at some point in the show, every character was frustrating. Which is fair enough, I guess. Eric was an adorable innocent bunny. Aaron was Lee Pace. I found Jaye's parents annoying.

While I'm going through the cast I will also mention HEIDI IS THE FUCKING WORSTTTTT. She was played by Jewel Staite which means I see her in icons all the time from whatever Whedon show she was in and now they'll just fill me with impotent Heidi rage. I think there's probably some criticism to be made of the fact that the show made the main "villain" the ~other woman~. I don't know if it's better or worse that they gave us a reason to root against her besides just being the other woman -- she's also just flat-out a terrible, selfish person. According to rose_dawson in the commentaries the cast talks about how great they are for humanizing Heidi and showing she's a real person!! but I don't know what tehy're talking about because they didn't do that at all, all the motivations they gave her just made her more of an awful person. (IT'S NOT MY FAULT I BLEW THE BELLHOP IN OUR HONEYMOON SUITE ON OUR HONEYMOON, YOUR EYES MADE ME FEEL PRESSURED TO BE A GOOD PERSON shut up Heidi shut up).

Also there's an episode that I'm pretty sure was racist as all fuck but I am not enough of an expert to articulate why. But the whole episode I was kind of like 'lol yikes'. In general I would never pretend this show was particularly progressive in any way -- a main cast member is gay and that's probably the extent of it. But most TV isn't and this wasn't egregiously offensive so w/e.

The other main criticism I have is that sometimes the format of every episode became a bit much. It's not really a procedural, but it's definitely a... monster-of-the-week type show except where the monster is a talking toy animal, lol. You can predict how every episode is going to more or less play out. Animal tells Jaye to do something Jaye doesn't want to do; grudgingly Jaye tries to do it; things go wrong; Jaye realizes she was misinterpreting what she was meant to do. It required a bit of plot stupidity from the characters at times -- namely Jaye, who didn't seem to clue in that the animals' vague advice might have more than one meaning. And while I think it's a shame the show got cancelled and only ever had 13 episodes, I think the resolution in the last episode is pretty decent and I think some of the plans they had for the future seasons sound pretty dubious, so maybe it's for the best.

Ultimately I would say Wonderfalls was pretty good, a lot of fun, and probably if you liked Pushing Daisies you'd like Wonderfalls. It's definitely worth watching if you're looking for something different and sort of quirky. And you can snicker at 2004 fashion.

II. I've also been playing Portal 2 because I got it for $5 and I have been having a lot of fun. I'm on like puzzle 17/22 or something which I assume means I'm almost done and that makes me kind of sad. It's been a really long time since I played any video games but the whole thing is definitely reminding me that I do actually enjoy them. It reminds me of days spent playing Spyro at friends' houses, lol.

III. Uhhh I guess that's it. "Pond Life" is on episode 3 and it's predictably dull and/or irritating. I just can't stand Eleven anymore o m g. The whole "ha ha I'm so childish isn't it cute don't you just love the idea of being friends with someone who is 1000+ years old but behaves like they're eight ha ha ha ha hahaha!!! CUTE AND QUIRKY LOL!!!!!!!" ugh I want to shoot him into the sun. I have a rant in me about how I think what the Doctor has done to the Ponds is just terrible and selfish and terrible but I guess I'll wait for 7x01 to air on the off-chance it changes my mind. (It won't.)
Jeanne "dancing in the" d'Arc: get a fucking job Makorose_dawson on August 29th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
Kali_thirty2flavors on August 29th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
why did you go back to heidi eric

Jeanne "dancing in the" d'Arc: get a fucking job Makorose_dawson on August 29th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
Kali_thirty2flavors on August 29th, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)
the eyes of this bunny expect so much of me

brb blowing a bellhop for "practice"
Jeanne "dancing in the" d'Arc: get a fucking job Makorose_dawson on August 29th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC)
Jeanne "dancing in the" d'Arc: get a fucking job Makorose_dawson on August 29th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
Jeanne "dancing in the" d'Arc: get a fucking job Makorose_dawson on August 29th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Kali: lok :: avatar korra_thirty2flavors on August 29th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
I've been meaning to check out Dead Like Me, and I'm more inclined now having seen Wonderfalls and feeling fonder of Bryan Fuller all around, lol. (Also, I never bothered with s2 of Pushing Daisies. Was it worth it? or will it just dig up questions that will never be resolved?)

And lol yeah that episode. YEESH. There were so many layers to it! Mystical Native Americans! Legitimate causes and concerns used for comedy! IDEK. What happened, guys.

III. Oh my god I know. I feel so cheated, lol. And the thing is if they hadn't marketed this as "Pond Life!!! Get a glimpse of the Ponds outside of the Doctor and what it's like to be a companion!!!" and had just marketed it as what it is -- a pointless prequel -- I would still be bored, but I wouldn't feel disappointed or cheated. But instead it's like... I don't know what I'm watching but it's certainly not anything shedding light on what Amy and Rory do outside of wait around all their lives for the Doctor to show up.

I think more than any modern companion (possibly any companion but I never know Classic Who well enough to make that statement lol) Amy's life has been totally destroyed by her association with the Doctor. And that is pretty sad to me. What's sadder is that I don't think the show realizes this.

(Deleted comment)
Kali: dw :: new kids :: a god complex_thirty2flavors on August 30th, 2012 06:15 am (UTC)
Don't watch the movie, got it! lol I didn't even know there was a movie. As for PD, I mostly stopped watching in s2 because it conflicted with my work schedule and I couldn't be bothered to download it.

Yes yes yes. Amy's family plotline is the stupidest thing ugh it makes me so mad. Little Orphan Amelia ~learns to love despite her abandonment issues and begins to trust that not everyone will leave her~ is a lot more poignant and powerful than "Amy gets back the parents she never remembered and therefore never missed and she is exactly the same person despite all this and she will never mention them ever again, ISN'T THAT SWEET AND AWESOME???" I don't care that she got her parents back! She never missed them! AMY HERSELF doesn't care that her parents are back, why should I?

I really wish Amy and Rory would leave the way Martha did. I WISH IT SO BADLY. But I doubt it will happen. I think they'll have their hand forced, like Donna and Rose. Which is so dumb. It's so selfish to me, so... just... selfish and terrible that the Doctor kicked them out of the TARDIS without their consent/against their will in TGC for "their own safety", but he still drops in on them whenever he feels like it to drag them into adventures. Like, what? "You can't stay with me because it's DAAAAAANGEROUS and I have a lot of man pain, but whenever I'm bored I'll come and uproot your life so don't get too cozy or make any long-term plans"?!?!?! He wants them to move on, but he isn't letting them. How can they conceivably "move on" if at any moment he might burst into their bedroom? It'd be different if we'd had a scene of Amy and Rory saying to him, "look, we know you were worried about our safety, but we aren't done travelling yet", or if it was them calling him up and saying "hey, we're bored and could go for a holiday, fancy some company?" But no, as always, the Doctor's relationship with the Ponds is 100% on his terms.

Amelia Pond, I am so sorry your imaginary friend turned out to be such a jackass.

Austinjohnmayergirl23 on August 29th, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
I watched Wonderfalls two summers ago and really enjoyed it. Cute, quirky, not too much to think about, adorable male love interest. It did what it was supposed to do.

But I have to second the vote for Dead Like Me; that shit is wonderful
Kali: dw :: doctors :: someone for everybody_thirty2flavors on August 30th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
Yeah I liked it. A few of the episodes didn't really do it for me and it took me a while to warm up to some of the characters but I was surprised in the end how much I'd grown to enjoy it.
Aliaanonymouscatt on August 29th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, gosh, I love Portal 2! One of my favorite video games. And there are like three different testing tracks throughout the game, so if you're still on the first one you've got a ways to go. Plus there's a two-player storyline as well... If you're playing the game through Steam and ever want a co-op partner, let me know.

I feel you on Pond Life. It's all been childish gags instead of Amy and Rory character development, which is what I was really hoping for. Sadly I am getting used to disappointment.
Kali: dw :: jenny :: awful lot of running_thirty2flavors on August 30th, 2012 03:41 am (UTC)
Oooo! If I am not even through the first third then there is plenty more for me to deal with later lololol. And neat! I know Opal mentioned something about 2-player, since she is the one who gave me the 75% off coupon lololol.

Yeah. I mean I should've known better than to think the Ponds would get any attention, but still.
doctahrdoctahr on August 29th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
My least favorite part of the Pond Life promo is where he says, "met [that woman who's name starts with M]" and she's naked or something?
PUT MORE WOMEN LIKE THAT IN YOUR SEASONS WHY DON'T YOU MOFFAT. If there were one it would be okay, but Reniette was all flirty and snoggy, Amy is a kissogram and kissed the Doctor, River constantly flirts with him and they cut some scene last season where she had no top on, Marylin Monroe was going to marry him for some reason and he had kisses all over his face, there was that woman where he hid under her painting last season but I don't really remember much so maybe not that example, and now this M woman! Did I forget any? It would be okay once or twice, but really? And it would be more okay if any of the men were like this, but they really aren't.
Kali: dw :: donna :: citizen of the earth_thirty2flavors on August 30th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
That's Mata Hari. I wasn't familiar with her either, before. But if you guessed "historical figure who is sexualized in DW despite whatever else she may have ever done", you'd be correct! Mata Hari was indeed a courtesan/exotic dancer, but she was also a motherfuckin' spy. Anyway, she was clearly chosen as an easy route to get naked for the Doctor without any rhyme/reason, because apparently historical women just throw themselves at him, always.
Jeanne "dancing in the" d'Arc: get a fucking job Makorose_dawson on August 30th, 2012 12:24 am (UTC)
ni l'un ni l'autre: TV - Pushing Daisies - Ned/Chuckla_petite_singe on August 30th, 2012 02:32 am (UTC)
Aaron was Lee Pace.

Bahahaha, basically. And I am okay with that because I ADORE him. I'd say Pushing Daisies was generally better, but I did love how utterly weird & original Wonderfalls was. I loved the surprisingly dark and snarky tone--like, how many ways did they manage to imply without directly saying exactly what Heidi was doing with the bellhop? Getting Crap Past the Radar, yo! (And which, the Native American-related ep? I can't remember precisely what happens, but I do recall that it was very weird. :P) I'm glad it at least got a chance to wrap up before being axed, though.
Kali: dw :: rose :: bored now_thirty2flavors on August 30th, 2012 04:38 am (UTC)
Yeah it's the second last ep where they go to the res and ...like... idk it's just a long convoluted series of stereotypes basically. Pretty cringeworthy.

But yeah! I thought there was pretty good resolution considering eveything.
Nichothodes Koryfoides: karen gillan | hair envyplacebetween on August 30th, 2012 03:42 pm (UTC)
all I have for you right now is Karen Gillan's hair

I hope she gets a new career!
Kali: act :: kgill :: it's me!_thirty2flavors on August 30th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
She's in some romcom where she dresses like a hipster and then going to be in a horror movie set in ~*AMERICA*~ though I am unsure if she is playing an American in that or not.

I am excited for the horror movie though I love shitty horror movies and Karen Gillan.
Nichothodes Koryfoides: karen gillan | hair envyplacebetween on August 30th, 2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
Ugh I can't even watch horror movies for Tom Felton. He's in The Apparition. Coincidentally the director/writer of the movie just favorited one of my tweets so I'm loling over that.
Kali: dw :: ten :: all by myself_thirty2flavors on August 30th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
Do you dislike them because you're easily scared or because 99% of them are terrible?

I fucking love horror movies so it is a weird world to me.
Nichothodes Koryfoides: karen gillan | hair envyplacebetween on August 30th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
Horror movies legit scare me. I am easily startled. I just saw this episode of the Inbetweeners last night where Simon makes Will go to a scary movie, and they keep reassuring him about how the blood is fake. Will's all, "I KNOW THE BLOOD IS FAKE! I JUST DON'T LIKE THE MOVIE!"
Pied: the doctor is sonicwheatear on August 31st, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
All the comments here about Pond Life are so painfully accurate. :( Why can't we have a Doctor Who that cares about its characters again?
Jeanne "dancing in the" d'Arc: get a fucking job Makorose_dawson on September 3rd, 2012 06:57 am (UTC)
obstinate, headstrong girl!: wonderfalls | jaye tylerzombie_boogie on September 13th, 2012 01:09 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed Wonderfalls - I don't think it's Bryan Fuller's best work (I think Dead Like Me is probably his overall best show), but it balanced its quirk well. I think it probably has the weakest overall cast of characters of his shows, but Jaye is a great, great character. I too really related to her personality and her lot in life, but the show did allow her to grow over its short run. I don't mind that it was a short run because it felt like a satisfying rom com slash fantasy mini-series with a nice resolution.