Wilfred season 1 Blu-ray Review
FX’s ‘Wilfred’ is nothing if not original. Well, at least the original Australian version was original, but to American audiences, ‘Wilfred’ is different from anything we’ve seen. Elijah Wood plays Ryan, a depressed lawyer that tries to kill himself with sleeping pills. When his plan doesn’t turn out as he hoped, he discovers a new friend in Wilfred (Jason Gann). Unfortunately for him, where he sees a full grown man in a dog suit, others see a dog.
‘Wilfred’ will have you laughing out loud when it features a dog-human related gag. Wilfred talks and acts very human, but the creators throw in a lot of jokes where Wilfred resorts to his canine tendencies. This obviously creates plenty of opportunities for humor as watching Wilfred chase a laser pointer or get confused when the neighborhood boy pretends to throw a ball is absolutely hilarious. But ‘Wilfred’ is more than just a series of dog jokes and as it tries to be a deep, intellectual show, it sometimes loses itself.
The darkness of the show centers on Ryan, who is scared he’s going crazy like his mother, but is also at a crossroads in life. He’s running from his unethical, lawyer past but has no idea where he’s going. Wilfred is neither friend nor foe in Ryan’s journey and Ryan is constantly confused as to whether or not Wilfred is helping or hurting him. Likewise, the audience is also confused and just when we start to really like Wilfred, he turns and sabotages Ryan. That confusion regarding Wilfred makes it difficult to get too attached to him and I found the inconsistencies with Wilfred’s character frustrating at times. He would change his intentions mid-episode, which I felt damaged the character development they were trying to accomplish.
It’s the first season of the show and only 13 episodes long, so there’s a lot of setup in the show that never gets fully vetted. At one point, they introduce another human that sees Wilfred as a man in a dog suit and I thought they could have gone further with that storyline. But it was forgotten after one episode, leading me to believe they’ll address that in future seasons. The relationship between Ryan and his neighbor Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann) doesn’t work as well as it should, but again, the first season is the groundwork and I suspect it will be developed further later on.
Overall, ‘Wilfred’ is good for a few laughs and is definitely an enjoyable show. It explores some dark themes, which contrast greatly with the simple dog-human gags, but the characters are interesting and you become attached to them by the end. The humor isn’t for everyone and is crass and features a lot of drug use, but if you’re okay with that brand of humor, I think you’ll enjoy hanging out with ‘Wilfred’.
Video: Each episode looks wonderful on the Blu-ray
Audio: The audio is also fine.
Wilfred at Comic-Con 2011 (6:32): A short bit about the shows cast members on the panel at Comic-Con last year.
Deleted Scenes (15:38): Just like the show these are fun to watch, but weren’t necessarily needed in the shot.
Wilfred and Bear: A Love Affair (1:00): A short montage of Wilfred and Bear, cute but unnecessary.
Maryjane Mashup (1:00): Another short bit with all the weed smoking scenes.
Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School with Jason Gann (9:57): These are always fun, Gann who is the star of the show as well as the executive producer, answers some questions from film school students.