That Year’s Girl: Wonderfalls

by Sara Ghaleb

We don’t all have time to re-watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the good seasons of Fringe and Veronica Mars (although the new movie‘s a hell of a reason to make some), so if you’re looking for a single-season show with a kick-ass female lead, Sara‘s got you covered with another installment of “That Year’s Girl.” Consider it your weekend assignment.

WONDERFALLS (13 episodes, on DVD)

Our hero: Jaye Tyler, played by Caroline Dhavernas, an overeducated and underemployed slacker who starts getting instructions from the universe via inanimate objects with faces.

Her story: Jaye’s adjustment to being “fate’s bitch” and how it affects her relationships with her family, her best friend Mahandra McGinty, and the new cute bartender Eric.

Is a guy I have a crush on in this? Lee Pace, and if you don’t have a crush on him, I don’t know how to help you.

Is a gal I have a crush on in this? If you’re a RENT fan, Tracie Tohms; if you’re a Hannibal fan, Caroline Dhavernas; and if you’re a Firefly fan, Jewel Staite (last and only mention of Firefly in this series, promise).

Your surprise fave: Aaron Tyler’s charm will sneak up on you.

The OTP: The show’s main ship, Jaye/Eri,c is great and adorable, but keep an eye on Mahandra/Aaron.

Best female friendship: Jaye and Mahandra play off each other with the perfect mix of snark and actual caring, but I’ve got an even bigger soft spot for Jaye and Sharon’s grudging sisterly love

Why should I watch? I started it because I was a bit of a Tim Minear fangirl from watching Angel the Series (he wrote a lot of the Darla stuff, swoon), but in this post-Pushing Daisies world, I now know a lot of the bittersweet wonder of the show is credited to Bryan Fuller. Wonderfalls is the perfect mix of Dead Like Me‘s cynicism and Pushing Daisies’ saccharin optimism (though I love both shows), and Jaye Tyler is the perfect role model for anyone a few years out of college just realizing they can’t stay in that zero-responsibility sweet spot forever. This jaded slacker’s a force of nature able to move mountains, so it makes you wonder just what you yourself are capable of. Plus she gets to be the hand of the universe and a mouthy, stubborn asshole, which I appreciate in my heroes. Goodness is not niceness, after all.

And there wasn’t room to mention this earlier, but her sister, Sharon Tyler, is a lesbian and Fuller thinks that’s why FOX soured on the show so quickly. So definitely spite watch it, if nothing else.

Sara has a degree in television and a fear of squirrels (unrelated). Follow her thrilling saga on Twitter @binaryfission.

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