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March 13 2004

Fox's 'Wonderfalls' not all that amazing. The series falls short of wondrous for one TV critic.

Does anyone have any idea if they plan to show an encore of the pilot anytime soon? I was so bored by the time the first commercial aired that I left for 20 minutes, came back and found myself loving it but somewhat confused.

For one thing, it's difficult to believe that someone as smart (she has a Ph.D. from Brown) and as attractive as Jaye would be mired in such a hopeless situation.

Clearly not a man with a keen grasp of today's socio-economic realities. But then, Contra Costa is a bastion of privilege. I do like how he blames Fox for delaying.
I don't think it was ever said that she has a Ph.D. Her exact words were, "Went to Brown, got a philosophy degree", which presumably means just an undergraduate education, not a doctorate. She also looks a little young for that.
I also get the feeling that he's judging it unfairly against JoA just because of their slight similarities.

in the meantime we've been able to witness the girl-hears-voices concept that somehow comes across as more engaging and makes more sense on the aforementioned "Joan of Arcadia.

Do I detect a hint of belief in the big guy in the sky here? I myself find it just as convincing, and compelling, that various inanimate objects might speak to someone rather than God itself. And the bonus is that it doesn't come off as such a heavy handed morality lesson when it's a brass monkey, and not God, telling you to get your life straight.

Ive seen a few episodes of JoA and no matter how well written, I just can't rid myself of the Highway to Heaven stigma. If I have my choice of quirky, girl on a mission to make a life better I'll choose destiny/fate every time over the modern day saint angle.
I politely asked yesterday that the posting of Wonderfalls newspaper reviews be stopped. We've has a lot of the last few days and I don't want Whedonesque getting swamped with them. Anymore posted from now and people may assume that they will get deleted. We will do what we do for Angel episodes. One review posted for a discussion thread and maybe one posted a couple of days later so people who didn't get a chance to see it can post their thoughts. Obviously there will be expceptions to this.
Well, you can't please everyone. I watch JoA and don't feel it is anything like Highway to Heaven or that other one with Roma Downey that I can't remember the show, neither of which I liked. JoA has a lot of humor and "God" is never telling her to "get her life straight". He gives her little assignments to do and she quite often is rebellous and "God" never forces her to do anything. I'm not a Christian. I'm a genuine Wiccan and for me to say it is not a Christian show should mean something. It's more of a show that lets you know that whatever you do leads to something else happening, that everything is connected. It's hard to explain if you've only watched an episode here or there.

Now, having seen Wonderfalls too, I honestly do not think they are alike at all. JoA is a dramedy with a family with real life issues that they are all coming to grips with as a family. Wonderfalls, to me, seemed like a quirky, yet fun, comedy, with a lot of humor and no drama. As it was only the first episode I really can't predict if it's going to be as successful as JoA has been so far, but it looks like it's got potential (especially if it was on any other network besides Fox). But they are definitely unique shows and shouldn't be so constantly compared. Maybe once Wonderfalls has been on for awhile people will get that.
Sorry about that, Simon, missed that request. Anyway, I looked around and didn't see the ratings mentioned anywhere, but Zap2it says it debuted to a 3.4/6. A little disappointing.

[ edited by +Faith+ on 2004-03-13 21:36 ]
That's ok :). 3.4/6? Seems low for Fox but I'm no expert. Anyone care to comment?
I believe that the premiere of Wonderfalls will re-air on Thursday following "Tru Calling" ala "The OC". Check your local listings though

Anywho, I've watched Joan of Arcadia and it gives off that afternoon special vibe which I despise. Don't tell me what is right and wrong, I'll make that decision on my own thank you very much, hence I stopped watching "JoA" And I can't at all relate to the lead character, hence it's not so much fun. Jaye on the other hand... she's simple me on TV. I am her in real life.
I don't think it was ever said that she has a Ph.D. Her exact words were, "Went to Brown, got a philosophy degree", which presumably means just an undergraduate education, not a doctorate. She also looks a little young for that

Yeah, she's only 24, no way do you have a PhD at 24 unless you're Doogie Howser.

I think it was ok. For some reason I didn't want to like this show. Not entirely sure why. Maybe because everyone was touting this as so great and might be the new 'Buffy' in a sense. And it certainly wasn't that, but then again, Buffy's first season wasn't the best season by far. But Wonderfalls wasn't as bad as I expected. I just don't feel I'll be that upset if I miss an episode here or there.
"Yeah, she's only 24, no way do you have a PhD at 24 unless you're Doogie Howser."

Uh, I only have a B.A., but my wife finished her Ph.D at 22...an anomaly, to be sure, but not impossible.

And a guy I used to work with (at, admittedly, a think tank) also had is doctorate before he was 23.
Simon: 3.4/6 is approx. 4.9 million viewers, if I remember correctly, which is, for example, one of the lowest ratings a rerun of The OC has received. I don't know exactly what that may mean as far as its possible survival goes, but it doesn't sound too good. The whole ratings system often confuses me, anyway. Maybe 2 billion people are in one house watching the series, how the hell do networks know? And, okay, exaggerate much, but it's frustrating, especially when you've had 8 cups of coffee today and the hyperness is clouding your thoughts.


On another note, I somewhat enjoy JoA, nychick. I'm not by any definition of the word religious and actually am often described as morally challenged, but all the characters besides Joan I find likeable. If it wasn't for Joe Mantegna I probably would have tuned out months ago. And thanks for the repeat info, I'll check that out.
"Firefly's" premiere got a 4.0/8. If "Wonderfalls" ratings, hold, I suppose it's a possibility it could stay on the air, but really it's too soon to guess.
While I wasn't blown away by the premiere, I hope it's given a chance to find its footing. With several of the networks shows doing poorly, it would be nice to see them keep the critically acclaimed ones around for a change, as well as the not so critically acclaimed Tru Calling, which I love.
To put simply - NO it's not good - unless they are shooting for a certain demo - ie Tru Calling going after a female demo. I fear Wonderfall will see the same fate as Firefly.

BTW - The pilot will re-air after Tru Calling next Thursday, let's hope the ratings pick up or at least has a good demo showing.

Compare - "Joan of Arcadia," 6.6/12, won the 8 p.m. hour for CBS to FOX's "Wonderfalls" debuted to a 3.4/6. in the 9 p.m. hour.

In the 9pm hour for the main 4 (this is sad)
CBS - "JAG" 7.1/12 (200th episode)
NBC - "Dateline," 6.9/12 (2nd hour)
ABC - "Hope & Faith" and "Life with Bonnie" (sitcom reruns.
FOX - "Wonderfalls" debuted to a 3.4/6.

One last thing to note FOX Friday was all new shows with a reality show at 8pm called "Playing It Straight" which averaged 3.7/6.

Then compared to Tim's last FOX project to premiere in the same timeslot - Firefly's September 20, 2002 The Train Job 4.0/8.

[ edited by RavenU on 2004-03-14 15:57 ]
I don't think "Joan of Arcadia" is preachy or overly moralistic. The family is anything BUT that. They are shown as flawed but basically good people who are just trying to do better. I personally really like that show. If you want to see an overly preachy show, watch "7th Heaven". (At least to me it has the tendency to be preachy.)
"Wonderfalls" is unique...I don't think it is too much like "Joan of Arcadia". I think it is a fresh program that I need to see more of before I am hooked, but I do like it so far.
I just think it is interesting to see all these new shows that are presenting a "what if" situation for life instead of all this reality tv crap...which really is NOT reality.

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