Wonderfalls: Barrel Bear
August 25, 2015 11:25 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Jaye and Mahandra end up on opposite sides of a battle between two older women both claiming to be the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

A.V Club Review! I disagree with the fan consensus here that this is a lesser episode. Yes, it's not as emotionally meaty or rewarding as the show can get, but it has RUE MCCLANAHAN and LOUISE FLETCHER dueling out Flannel Granny Justice. The campy goofy fun, visual inventiveness, and dark humor really pin it as a Fuller/Minear episode and does give every indication of having been shot and written earlier.

A list of people who have gone over Niagara Falls
The episode is most likely inspired by Annie Edison Taylor -- circuses and side shows at the time were not above billing a random pretty girl as "Annie Edison Taylor" or the "First girl over the falls!" as an excuse to trot out a lady in a bathing suit.

"How long have you been using the Republican party as a lesbian dating service?"
posted by The Whelk (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
video oh maybe here
posted by The Whelk at 11:25 AM on August 25, 2015

I think I'd like this episode better (not that I hate it) if I could empathize with Mahandra's side at all. But I totally can't! Her position is ridiculous!
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:00 PM on August 25, 2015

Finally, an episode I actually remember seeing before! I knew I had watched at least parts of Wonderfalls before but episodes 1-6 were new to me (at least as far as I can remember). I really liked the plot line here though I'm with showbiz_liz that Mahandra's position is totally untenable.

"Things would be a lot easier if you were clearer with your pronouns!"
posted by jessypie at 7:41 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

This one was fun, but I also felt like I had no idea what was driving Mahandra. It felt as if I had missed a scene somewhere while trying to get my cats out of my knitting, but maybe it really was just not explained well.
posted by Stacey at 11:05 AM on August 27, 2015

They were trying to position Mahandra as someone who prefers the legend of something to the reality, but it didn't really work because the reality was just as exciting as the legend. It can work in situations like when Lisa Simpson doesn't reveal the truth about Jebediah Springfield because there's such a disparity there between the story and what actually happened. But the two stories Mahandra is fighting between are "woman goes over the falls" and "woman goes over the falls, but doesn't get credit for it," and it's pretty illogical to prefer the former.

Also, me and my brother always used the "truth-covered lies" line from this episode whenever we don't want to accept something as true.
posted by john-a-dreams at 1:48 PM on August 27, 2015

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