By Mary Damiano
So, I was having lunch at New York Grilled Cheese in Wilton Manors two weeks ago with The
Fabulous Lela Elam—yes, that’s her official title, at least as far as I’m concerned—when she caught me up on her current project, the TBS TV series Wrecked. I had been seeing Lela’s Facebook posts about Wrecked for some time, but I thought it was a movie she’d done. Lela being in a series makes me happy at the opportunity to see her on a weekly basis, because she’s so talented—she could sit on a stage and read the phone book and it would be entertaining.
I found all the episodes available through TBS and Sling through my Roku box and embarked on a binge.
Wrecked is a sitcom send-up of Lost, one of my favorite TV shows of all time. In Wrecked, just like Lost, the plot centers on passengers who have survived a plane crash and must find a way to survive on a mysterious island. Some of the characters on Wrecked pay homage to characters on Lost, some are composites, some are original. The first shot of the show mimics the first shot of Lost, and the plots sometimes mirror Lost, and other times portray the what ifs that Lost fans probably asked while they watched the show. But you don’t need to have ever seen an episode of Lost to understand or be entertained by Wrecked. Lost may have been a jumping off point, but the show is forging its own identity.
Lela plays Diane from Toledo. Just the idea of getting stranded on a desert island with The Fabulous Lela Elam is appealing. She gets some good lines and scenes. So far Lela’s most pivotal scenes have been in the episode Always Meant to See That, which asks this question: If you had to choose what could possibly be the last movie you will ever see, would you choose something wacky or something big and important? Does it come down to entertainment or a moral imperative? Stupid fun or political correctness?
That’s the kind of stuff Wrecked explores. Other episodes have dealt with hoarding food, meting out justice and the question of attempting to escape or forming a society on the island.
Wrecked features other talented actors based in South Florida, including Mike Benitez and Todd Allen Durkin, who plays the unfortunately monikered Kurt Turdhole—pronounced, according to Kurt, Tur-doh-lay—who ends up as the constant butt of jokes, pun intended.
Wrecked is a fun show and definitely worth a look, especially if you’re a fan of Lost or a fan of The Fabulous Lela Elam.
New episodes of Wrecked air on Tuesday nights at 10:30 p.m. on TBS. Catch up on older episodes on On Demand.