Wonderfalls Cancellation Outrage! — two years after the fact

Thanks to the miracle of Netflix, I’ve been discovering new TV shows on a monthly basis. And thanks to the cruelty of the short-sighted networks, which tend to cancel a new show after four episodes if it doesn’t get at least 10 million viewers, I’ve been thrown into a bitter funk when every new, promising series is cut short. Of course, most of these shows are a couple years old, so I’m a little late to the petulant party, but the loss of shows like “Freaks & Geeks” and “Arrested Development” pains me all the same.

The latest show that I’ve fallen in love with is “Wonderfalls,” which lasted all of four episodes on FOX back in 2004. The show is about slacker gift shop clerk at Niagra Falls — played by the charmingly sarcastic Caroline Dhavernas — who suddenly finds that animal figurines and stuffed animals are talking to her, offering cryptic, one-line instructions about what she should do.

Visually stunning, brilliantly acted, and extremely witty, “Wonderfalls” is on a par with “Weeds” and “Six Feet Under” as one of my favorite shows of the past couple years. It baffles me that some other network didn’t pick it up. Even if FOX and the other networks are ready to throw in the towel after week one (presumably eating all of the costs of producing the full order of 13-episodes), surely another network like F/X could still use it to fill their programming holes, right?

Anyway, be sure to rent the DVDs (it’s not on iTunes), or check out some of the short clips on YouTube. Here’s the unaired pilot (which doesn’t have the totally kick ass theme song, but you still get the idea):