Wilfred (US)

I’d been eagerly awaiting the conclusion of season 2 before writing an article on this most superb of television series. Wilfred is one of the most interesting and well-done series I’ve seen in a long time and I’ve not been gripped like this since I first stumbled upon Being Human. Starring Elijah Wood as Ryan, it’s the story of a lawyer who quits everything because he’s tired of living his life the way he’s been told to. After retreating to his home and vowing never to leave his basement dwelling existence, he’s greeted by his neighbor Jenna and her pet dog Wilfred. Now whereas everyone else sees a grey mutt, he says a man in a dog suit. He talks, smokes, drinks and does everything else a dog would do if they had thumbs.

The series opens up with the most delightful ditty and a quote pertaining to the theme of each episode which is centered around an event in Ryan’s life and how he learns to grow as a person while coping and dealing with everything. Episodes range from Ryan’s overbearing sister to his affections for his neighbor Jenna and his envy of her boyfriend. Wilfred acts as the best friend and confident (as every good dog does) by offering seemingly terrible advice which can turn out to be genuinely terrible or surprisingly wise. Regardless of his role in the episode, Ryan grows as a person as he learns to cope and handle the various strenuous situations that rise and occur in our lives.

The camera work is spot-on, and the sound effects and music are succinct, just enough to add flavor to everything without drowning out the rest of the elements in the scene. But the humour is what really does it for me. It’s occasionally cheesy and they love to slip in quotes and references here and there. It’s sparsely utilized but to great effect. The acting is just the right amount of dramatic without being overbearing. It’s a perfect balance of all the elements and never ceases to entertain. When I first began watching this one Saturday with my beau we quickly became entranced and didn’t stop watching it until we realized we had just seen the first season in its entirety. The smoke-out sessions at the end of each episode during the credits is like that little bit of dessert at the end with Ryan and Wilfred just hanging out in the basement smoking pot from a homemade piece whose water is never changed and gradually turns into brown sludge by the end of season 2. Speaking of the ending to Season 2, the brain-shocking multiple twists surprised even me and the cliff-hanger final minutes only serve to mock the viewer further as to Wilfred’s true identity. While there are only two seasons and a third hasn’t been confirmed yet, rest assured they’d be fools to not renew this bit of televised fried gold.



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