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"Wilfred" On FX: Nothing Outrageous, But Still Insanely Funny

Christine Weitbrecht |
June 23, 2011 | 11:46 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

"Wilfred" on FX
"Wilfred" on FX
Last night saw the premiere of FX’s most recent production: "Wilfred." A 30-minute comedy show, it centers on Ryan (Elijah Wood), a suicidal ex-lawyer feeling pressured by his family to pursue careers that “don’t make him happy,” and on Wilfred (Jason Gann), the dog Ryan’s neighbor Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann) owns. And while Jenna and the rest of the world see Wilfred merely as a normal dog, Ryan (and the viewer) sees him as an actual man in a dog-costume and with his nose painted black. The Wilfred Ryan sees talks to him, too, and understands what Ryan tells him. Wilfred soon offers Ryan advice on what to do with his life, and Ryan, as well as the viewers, are never too sure that what he sees is real. On the one hand, Wilfred IS your typical dog – barking, sniffing, digging holes in the garden, and wanting to play ball. But on the other hand, he is very much human-like, too; Wilfred smokes (cigarettes and marijuana), drinks, and likes to watch DVDs (preferably movies with Matt Damon). 

As a copy of the original Australian series of the same name, FX’s "Wilfred" isn’t breaking any new ground. While some dialogues have been taken one-to-one from the original, the American version of the series can definitely be seen trying to adapt to US audiences; the jokes aren’t as offensive, and neither is the plot (of this pilot at least). And while the overall tone may be different, the insanity and resulting comedy of the situation remain. Both Elijah Wood and Jason Gann - who also played Wilfred in the Australian original - are very convincing, and there is definitely a general potential for success.  

Summing up: An entertaining series that is definitely different from your usual outrageous comedies. While it is too early to gauge its potential for definite success, it is definitely worth a watch. 

"Wilfred" airs Thursdays at 10pm on FX. 

Starring: Jason Gann, Elijah Wood, Fiona Gubelmann

Directed by Randall Einhorn and Victor Nelli Jr. 

Rated MA/LS – Strong language and sexual situations. 


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