Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Wonder of It All: Two Gay Creators and a Bitterly Funny Lesbian Character Make Wonderfalls Queer Must-See TV

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Wonder of It All: Two Gay Creators and a Bitterly Funny Lesbian Character Make Wonderfalls Queer Must-See TV

Article excerpt

TV writer Bryan Fuller still remembers the moment 2 1/2 years ago when his agent called to tell him that award-winning director Todd Holland (Twin, Peaks, The Larry Sanders Show, Malcolm in the Middle) had read his work and wanted to meet him. "I was like, 'I get to meet the guy who kisses his boyfriend at the Emmys?'" recalls Fuller, who at that time had worked primarily on the Star Trek series Deep ,Space Nine and Voyager. "I was so excited, because Todd's one of the best directors in television."

The pair became fast friends, bonding over their similar small-town movie-geek upbringings (Fuller hails from Clarkton, Wash.; Holland from Meadville, Pa.), and vowed to create a show together. So was born Wonderfalls, Fox's new Friday night dramedy about a disillusioned 20-something souvenirshop worker named Jaye Tyler (Canadian newcomer Caroline Dhavernas) whose life changes forever when inanimate animal figurines start telling her to meddle in the affairs of the people around her.

"It's the love child of Donnie Darko and Amelie, and Niagara Falls is our Paris," explains Holland, who directed the pilot and four subsequent episodes. "It's about somebody who is avoiding interacting with the world, who's grabbed by the universe mad told that she's now going to become fate's bitch," adds Fuller. "Events that wouldn't necessarily happen without her intervention are now going to rake place."

One of those events will be the gradual coming-out of Jaye's uptight lesbian immigration lawyer sister Sharon, played with scene-stealing brio by Katie Finneran, who is best known for her Tony-winning turn in the 2002 Broadway revival of Noises Off "What cemented Katie in my heart forever was the fact that she was in the remake of Night of the Living Dead," gushes Fuller, a lifelong horror buff who penned the recent TV adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie. "Katie's character makes a mad dash from the farmhouse to a gas station, but it blows up and then the zombies eat her barbecued corpse. Anybody that's been zombie barbecue is A-OK in my book."

Finneran doesn't get eaten in Wonderfalls. Not literally, anyway. "There's a little romance in there," promises the actress, whose previous experience playing gay was a tiny turn as a lesbian nanny in the film You've Got Mail. "We shot this big ol' naked sex scene that was fantastic--peanut butter was involved--but I think Fox kind of freaked out about it, so they cut it."

Wonderfalls marks Fuller's second crack at executive-producing a series, after Showtime's Dead Like Me, which he opted to leave midway through its first season. …

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