Best of the Small Screen, Limited Run Series No.5


Over the next 25 weeks I'll be taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

Today I begin my countdown of my five favorite Limited Run Series with a classic from the early 2000s.

Wonderfalls (2004)
Number of Seasons/Episodes: 1/13
Network: FOX
Starring: Caroline Dhavernas, Tracie Thoms, Katie Finneran, Tyron Leitso, Lee Pace, William Sadler, and Diana Scarwid
Creator: Bryan Fuller and Todd Holland
Favorite Season/Episode: 1.04, "Pink Flamingos"
About: Bryan Fuller's whole career could almost end up on this list for me. He's given us some delightful series that just haven't gotten great ratings. This was one of his first. After writing for "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Star Trek: Voyager," Fuller and Holland developed this delightful dramedy about a smart slacker named Jaye Tyler (Dhavernas) working as a clerk as a Niagra Falls gift shop who begins to hear inanimate objects speaking to her, urging her to be a better person. It had a great cast, great premise and, of course, great writing. Naturally, FOX didn't really know what to do with it. The 13-episode season was spread out over 10 months in small chunks, with the episodes occasionally aired out of order. The first four ran from March to the beginning of April, culminating with one of the most memorable episodes, "Pink Flamingos," which saw Jaye attend a high school reunion. It also featured one of the most memorable lines from a memorable guest star when Chelan Simmons as Gretchen Speck-Horowitz said, "We're Christmas and Easter Jews." I've used that a few times since, and it always cracks me up. Fuller loved this character so much that she actually appeared (actress and character) in an episode of Fuller's adaptation of "Hannibal." It was a big shout out to Fuller fans who found and fell in love with "Wonderfalls." Another four episodes aired over two nights in July and the rest aired in November-December 2004. And that was it. It's a weird series, but it's worth catching up on.

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