is a live-action comedy about Ryan, a young man struggling unsuccessfully to make his way in the world until he forms a unique friendship with Wilfred, his neighbour’s canine pet. Everyone else sees Wilfred as just a dog, but Ryan sees a crude and somewhat surly, yet irrepressibly brave and honest, Australian bloke in a cheap dog suit. While leading him through a series of comedic and existential adventures, Wilfred the dog shows Ryan the man how to overcome his fears and joyfully embrace the unpredictability and insanity of the world around him.
On the surface, Wilfred
treads ground that we've seen covered before. A young man befriending a pet animal? That's pretty conventional, you'd have to say.
But look a bit closer. Here, there's a struggling young man, played in this case by Elijah Wood, who is at a particularly low ebb. Salvation arrives in an unlikely form. In canine form, in fact, in the shape of Wilfred, played by Jason Gann. Wilfred is the neighbour's dog, although Wood's character sees him as a man in a suit. That's, then, the foundation for what turns out to be a very funny comedy series.
Based on an original Australian show, this take on Wilfred maintains the wonderful mix of bad taste, funny humour and surreal situations. It's very nicely played by the leads, and not short of some familiar faces in guest starring roles, either. Ed Helms, Robin Williams and Rashida Jones are amongst the faces who turn up. It also develops nicely as the series progresses, ending with a cracker of an episode that we won't spoil here.
It's good to see, too, that some effort has been put into adding some good extra features. Highlights of the disc include a look at the two central characters and the relationship between them, some good deleted scenes, and a look at Wilfred taking the Comic-Con expo by storm in 2011.
The episodes themselves, though, lend themselves to being rewatched time and time again. For Wilfred is a wonderfully bizarre, hugely enjoyable series, and while not for the easily offended, it's strongly recommended. --Jon Foster