Dec 27, 2012

[TV] Wilfred (US): Season 2

I love dogs. But that isn't exactly the reason why I continue to watch this show. I watch it because it's pretty darn funny.

And it has a guy in a dog suit.

I will never understand how a guy like Elijah Wood got involved in this crazy adaptation of an Australian TV series. Then again, after something as epic as Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings books, what else can you get yourself involved in? So on that note, I suppose it makes sense to sort of distance yourself from the epic fantasy genre and end up in a quirky comedy series.

But I have to admit, the show really works. And it's a lot smarter than people assume it to be, man in a dog suit notwithstanding. And this is not your typical comedy either (although there's a lot to laugh at or about). But beyond that, we really do have a man dealing with some potentially serious mental issues.

But more on that later.

Synopsis: Wilfred was originally an Australian TV series created by Jason Gann, Adam Zwar and Tony Rogers. It was later adapted for US television by David Zuckerman  with the continued involvement of Jason Gann as the titular character.

In the four months since the end of the first season, Ryan (Elijah Wood) has since checked into a mental institution. He has not seen his friend Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann) nor her dog Wilfred (Jason Gann). But when he does see Wilfred again, he still appears to him as a man instead of a dog and together with a giant stuffed Teddy Bear, Wilfred tries to break Ryan out of the hospital.

Of course in truth it turns out that Ryan was never in a mental institution. Instead he's just bored out of his mind at his new job. Jenna appears to be dating Drew (Chris Klein) again and Wilfred is still recovering from his accident. And now Ryan has to figure out how he wants to move forward in his life. And the big question really is whether or not he wants to continue to hang out with Wilfred despite the potential implications this has with regard to his overall mental state.

At first this season sort of meandered around as we had to deal with Wilfred and Ryan trying to get back together while not appearing to do precisely that. We all know the show pretty much hinges on these two hanging out together as best buddies and thus it can't really survive until the two reunite. And so those episodes where they're still somewhat opposed to one another are the sorts that you know you just have to get through even through they don't exactly cover what you want.

But once we sort of restore things to status quo, then  the show starts to get a lot more interesting. What was most intriguing for me is how this season did a lot more to raise certain questions with regard to who Wilfred really is. At the end of the first season we were left with the question of whether or not all the basement encounters were real and just how bad Ryan's psychotic break was that triggered this whole show. Now we further explore whether or not Wilfred is "real" in that sense and why Ryan is one of the very, very few people who can see him.

The show continues to name its episodes after the usual kind of therapy phrases that we hear over and over again. And this only further stresses how the show does feel like the gradual journey of recovery that Ryan is going through ever since his attempted suicide. And while the notion of seeing a talking dog where none should be would be considered to be a very good sign of the crazies, there's a lot more to things that what is apparent on the surface.

And I really, really like how things wrapped up at the end. And the fact that we're left with even more questions than we began with, it's still a pretty fun ride indeed.

Wilfred continues to be a nice source of entertainment for me, although this second seasond did feel a tad weaker than the first one. So I can only give this season 3.5 moments when you wonder how Wilfred accomplishes very human actions while still being a dog out of a possible 5.

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