Wonderfalls: Pink Flamingos

Objects: Pink Flamingos, Mounted Fish, Booster Rooster
Mission: “Get off your ass” and “Destroy Gretchen”

This episode’s misadventures start with Jaye attempting to ignore her mission imperative and accidentally backing over her dad with the car as a result. She’s soon forced to help a detested former classmate with their 6½ year high school reunion, then to “destroy” said classmate at the reunion. Plus, she causes a second car accident, when she again ignores her instructions. (“Screw the chicken! I’m gonna save that bitch’s marriage.”) As per usual, even though it causes Jaye nothing but grief along the way, all’s well that ends well. Her efforts ultimately result in her classmate freeing herself from a loveless marriage, the soon-to-be ex-husband finding his true love, and Jaye’s dad discovering a potentially fatal blood clot before it's too late.

My favorite aspects of ‘Pink Flamingos’ were the Jaye and Mahandra arguments about helping/ destroying Gretchen, and Jaye’s struggles with her role as “fate’s bitch.” Mahandra’s disdain for all things Gretchen and reunion was hilarious (“You’re throwing a reunion with the Anti-Christ”), and her declaration about being the Universe’s “right-hand fist of fate” had me rolling. “And tonight, accounts are coming due.” Equally funny were her complete change of heart when Jaye was finally ready to destroy Gretchen and her anger at Jaye for making her feel sorry for Gretchen. Poor Jaye. Even her best friend can’t understand what it’s like to be the Universe’s butt puppet.

There were also several nice moments between Jaye and Eric in this episode. I loved his reaction to Jaye telling his wife that he couldn’t talk to her because he was too busy servicing Jaye sexually. His little “uh-uh” to her “was that inappropriate?” was too cute. I also liked him trying to help her with her Destroy Gretchen dilemma. His deadpan responses to her various crazy statements crack me up.

Eric: “So, did you defy the chicken?”
Jaye: “Uh-huh.”
Eric: “How’d that work out for you?”
Jaye: “I think I may have killed a man.”
Eric: “Oh. So not as well as we’d hoped then.”

I also enjoyed the subplot with Jaye’s dad and sister. It was nice to see Sharon trying to pursue a relationship, even though her family would totally disapprove. The cookie and milk preparation and delivery scene was a riot. So sinister and ominous, with the music and the camera angles. I especially loved the long overhead shot of Sharon walking down the hall carrying the plate. And, of course, the scene of her dad just standing in the living room completely stoned, in nothing but his undies and his cast, was fall down funny. (Later made all the more hilarious by the closing line of the episode, “Say, did you know our basic cable carries lesbian porn?”)

Jaye’s mom, Karen, got some fun scenes this week, too. I love Karen. Perfectly poised and soft spoken, yet bitingly critical. So “supportive” in her disapproving way. “Your sister’s not a cold-blooded murderer. She’s never been a planner.” I’m endlessly entertained by her tone and her not-so-subtle efforts to control her daughters’ lives. “Sharon, I’m so glad I caught you. I saw this on my way out. It’s an in-patient smoking cessation clinic. I thought it could be fun!” But you know, as catty and pushy as she can be, it seems pretty clear to me that she does love her children and wants them to be happy. She just has her own ideas about what they need to make them happy.

Other Thoughts

I dig the opening credits and the catchy theme song. “I wonder, wonder why the wonder fa-a-alls. I wonder why the wonder falls on me ...”

They played the Veronica Mars theme song! Twice! “We used to be friends, a long time ago, but I haven’t thought of you lately at all ...” Nice to see the song got some airplay in the pre-Veronica days.

I was amused by how self-aware Gretchen actually was about her motives for throwing the reunion. “People don’t see me as a pathetic blond who peaked in high school and is so desperate to recapture her past glory that she moved the 10-year reunion up by 3½ years?”

I really liked the Asian-style dress that Jaye wore to the reunion. Karen looked really snazzy, too.

Quotes

Jaye’s Dad: “Don’t denigrate what you do.”
Jaye: “I sell plastic canoes and refrigerator magnets.”

Gretchen: “I’m sort of a Christmas and Easter Jew.”

Mahandra: “Your father’s in the hospital?”
Jaye: “He got run over.”
Mahandra: “I’m sure you didn’t mean it.”

Jaye: “I don’t have a choice. I’m a puppet. The universe just sticks its hand up my butt and if I don’t dance, people get hurt.”

Jaye (about Gretchen): “I actually want to help her. It’s making me sick.”

Final Analysis: A fun outing, with some more good stuff from Jaye’s family and friends. I wish they’d spent a little less time on Gretchen and more time on the core cast, but overall a good episode.

Jess Lynde is a highly engaged television viewer. Probably a bit too engaged.

4 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I'm so glad you're reviewing this series, Jess. I've never seen all of the episodes and now you've got me watching them. This show is so rich with the details and every line of dialogue just sparkles.

As much as I loved the reunion stuff, my favorite scenes were Sharon carrying the milk and cookies up the stairs, and Jaye's father in his undies and cast, stoned out of his mind. Too funny.

ChrisB said...

This has to be on the most feel-good shows I have come across in a long time. I just love the characters that inhabit this world and they make me laugh out loud -- a lot.

The stoned father was hilarious, but the final line of the episode had me in hysterics. The delivery was perfect, followed closely by the crash. It doesn't get much better than that.

Jess Lynde said...

I'm so delighted you are watching and enjoying Wonderfalls, Chris! I love this series to pieces, and adore the characters and their journeys. It's a far more emotional experience than you may expect based on the first few eps. A perfect blend of zany hijinks, snark, and true heart.

Anonymous said...

The bit with Sharon carrying the milk and cookies upstairs is a homage to a key scene in Hitchcock's Suspicion, starring Cary Grant & Joan Fontaine, in which it looks like Grant's character may be trying to kill his wife.
Bryan Fuller is a big Hitchcock fan, and includes at least 3 Hitchcock homages in Pushing Daisies. To hilarious effect.

-d