Monday, September 5, 2011

Catching Up on "Wilfred "

This Labor Day holiday weekend, I was able to catch up on Wilfred, a show I had been meaning to watch a bit more regularly this summer. Its season finale airs next week.

Wilfred centers on the very surreal relationship between Ryan Newman (Elijah Wood), an out-of-work lawyer looking for some direction in life, and his neighbor's dog Wilfred who is only seen by Ryan as an Australian man (Jason Gann) dressed up in a dog costume. The chemistry between Wood and Gann is what makes the show work especially since the concept of a man in a dog costume ceases to become novel after the second or third episode. With that said, there is still something to the fact that we still have no idea why Ryan can see and converse with Wilfred in this way. Throughout the series we get possible explanations such as Ryan's propensity to get high or possibly something hereditary from his mom, but I'm okay with not knowing.

My one minor complaint, which might grow into a bigger one as the show progresses or if this is not addressed in a meaningful way, is the destructiveness of Wilfred on Ryan's life*. Granted, I know it's supposed to be a dark comedy so maybe it's just a case of me not being able to take the dark with the comedy. But when one of the main characters, who we're supposed to root for, is portrayed as an antisocial psychopath, it gets a bit uncomfortable. They've already explored the idea of Ryan wanting to move on without Wilfred in the last two episodes I saw only for Ryan to revert to status quo. Looking to see if they try to do this again in the finale.

Overall, it's definitely a fine, albeit strange, show with good performances from its two leads, but it's not a total must-see.

*Granted one could say that Wilfred essentially saved Ryan's life by giving him a tenuous link to the world after his botched suicide attempt in the pilot.


  1. Well, as far as MUST-SEE TV goes, only Glenn Close would make that cut right now. Wilfred is going solidly for me, and Elijah Wood is just outstanding. Of the recently started season, he's easily the best male comedic actor (oddly, I don't care that much for Gann or Wilfred). I hear you on the destruction wrought by Wilfred. I'm curious to see where it leads.

  2. Oh, Damages. I *will* watch that show one of these days. It's just in my way-too-long list of shows to start watching.

    I am largely impressed by Elijah. I wonder if he (and Gann) could breakthrough with awards at GG or Emmys next year.


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