In the second episode of Wonderfalls, Jaye is told to help with an unprecedented school reunion organized by someone she and Mahandra hated. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Wonderfalls.
Okay, I absolutely loved that episode.
- This hits the mark so perfectly for me. It’s extremely funny, it’s genuine about human emotions, and FULL OF PLOT TWISTS.
- My god, the potential for this show is UNREAL. This is not going to unfold in any way that I thought it would, and the “messages” these inanimate animals send are not going to be easily deciphered, either.
- Seriously, think about how this episode plays with our expectations of nearly every character! We’re initially meant to find Gretchen annoying and unsympathetic, to think that Chuck and Gretchen will have some wonderful romance, to believe that the messages will give Jaye a clear sense of the good she can do in the world. And nothing ended like I thought it would!
- Initially, Gretchen is hilariously irritating. She goes out of her way to brag to others about her perfect life, she’s rude (and racist) to Mahandra, she refuses to see how her actions affect other people, and oh my god, she is intense to be around. Mahandra has an even more justifiable reason to hate her: Gretchen bullied Mahandra relentlessly.
- So when that bass in The Barrel tells Jaye to go help Gretchen, I was already confused. Things got even worse as it seemed painfully obvious that absolutely nothing Jaye did for Gretchen appeared to be worth it. How could it be? Gretchen takes advantage of her repeatedly, is really gross about her husband’s Judaism, and is quite difficult to be around. So what good is there to do here?
- I mean, WHO THROWS A 6.5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY? WHO DOES THAT?
- The first sign that something was wrong was when Mahandra and Jaye showed up to Gretchen’s A-List Pre-Party and only discovered Jaye’s mother there. Can I just say that Karen Tyler is incredible? She’s like a cross between Lucille Bluth and Mrs. George, and she’s hilarious.
- Anyway, once I learned that no one else showed up, that seemed strange to me. I figured that a person like Gretchen would have a much larger group of A-List friends, but this wasn’t the case. Why? Why had I considered this to be the case? It’s intentional on the writers’ part because it’s a hint towards her eventual state. After we find out that her husband can’t make it, Gretchen finally lets down her guard, admitting that things aren’t as perfect as she let on. It’s through this that the show humanizes and sympathizes her, and Jaye’s purpose becomes a lot more clear. Initially, that is. Jaye begrudgingly gives Gretchen the advice she needs to make her feel like she can enjoy herself at the reunion she organized.
- At least, that’s what I thought this was supposed to be about. And then Gretchen’s hair clip tells Jaye to DESTROY HER.
- BUT WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN?
- WHY WOULD YOU MAKE HER HELP GRETCHEN ONLY TO DESTROY HER AT THE END OF THE NIGHT?
- This serves two purposes, one which is apparent in the very next scene: to show Mahandra that getting revenge might not actually suit her. Mahandra had to hear what she sounded like through Jaye in order to realize that this isn’t like her to be so vengeful. Though I ultimately wouldn’t have had a problem with someone getting revenge against their bully, I did like how this turned out.
- SO WHAT THE HELL WAS THIS SUPPOSED TO MEAN? How would she “destroy” Gretchen???
- PS: Do y’all realize how hard it is not to type Gretchen Wieners??? That last name always follows Gretchen in my mind. HELP.
- All right, ON POINT. I was thoroughly and utterly confused by what Jaye was supposed to do, so when she may have accidentally KILLED Robert, followed by dousing Gretchen in a mai tai, I’d just about given up. How could that possibly help her? WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT THIS?
- What’s fascinating is how many subtle twists of “fate” result from a single action. Jaye gets closer to Eric, Eric realizes he likes her a lot, Karen opens up to her daughter about how proud she is of her, and Gretchen has the epiphany of a lifetime: SHE DOESN’T ACTUALLY LOVE HER HUSBAND. Even better than this, the writers are not foolish enough to claim that just because Chuck helped her realize this, that doesn’t mean she loves him or that he’s not a giant, obsessive creep. Because he totally is. BLESS. THIS. SO. MUCH.
- It’s so interesting to me that this is such a complicated web of mushy feelings and do-goodery, and it’s 100% genuine. This show is not making fun of people finding happiness in their life, and that’s rad as hell, y’all!
- I wonder, then, if this is eventually going to apply to Jaye herself. Will she find happiness by the end of this show, or is her role just to make others happy?
- I am, largely speaking, very pleased that this show has canon queer women being affectionate and sexual with one another, and that there was an incredible representation of a bisexual woman that did not shame her for being bisexual. Hell, I could not believe that they actually had a conversation about how people unfairly judge bisexual folk for being interested in another gender. Plus, there’s such a good portrayal of the fear and anxiety caused by being in the closet. HELLO, WELCOME TO A GOOD PORTION OF MY LIFE.
- That being said, I have personal reasons for not liking any plots involving nonconsensual drugging. It’s just not my thing when it’s presented as humorous, though I admit to laughing really hard when Darrin sleepwalks in on his daughter making out with a woman.
- Otherwise, I adored “Pink Flamingos.” This was an entertaining and revealing episode of television, and if it’s any indication of what’s to come, I’m really going to love this show.
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So before the 2003 season there was an article somewhere that talked about three new shows, all centered around a young woman and something supernatural. Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls (this is one of my favorite shows of all time), and Joan of Arcadia. 🙂 I liked all of them but Wonderfalls is amazing.