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Wilfred - Season 1 [DVD] [NTSC]
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Wilfred 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
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Top Customer Reviews
Wilfred started life as an Australian TV show before being transplanted to the USA, with co-creator/actor Jason Gann reprising his role as the eponymous man/dog/hallucination/whatever. It is a surreal show mixing elements of relationship dramas with comedy, geek-friendly references and even hints of tragedy. The show's central 'mystery' - who or what is Wilfred? - is kept at a fairly low ebb through most of the first season, only really emerging to the fore in the last episode. The creators gleefully play on the audience's past experiences with such mystery-based shows, with Wilfred eventually revealing to Ryan (Elijah 'Frodo Baggins' Wood) his secret is that he needs to get off the Island and evade the smoke monster ("I've seen Lost!" "What did you think of the ending?"), to Ryan's frustration.
The show's comedy is based around the bizarre relationship between Wilfred and Ryan, with Wilfred expressing canine-like behaviour in human terms but still being susceptible to dog foibles (being distracted by a bubble machine, mesmerised by a laser pointer on a wall or forming a lasting sexual relationship with a stuffed toy).Read more ›
Wilfred embodies everything you might expect a dog to be if it were human - he is crude, selfish, attention seeking, interested mostly in getting laid and fed. He enjoys sharing a joint with Ryan, and encourages him to get in to a range of subservisive activities. Ryan is the only one who can hear Wilfred, and the only one who perceives him as a man in a dog suit - everyone else just sees a dog, and treats him as such. Wilfred engages in dog like behaviour like humping legs, chasing cars etc - much like Brian in Family Guy never quite loses his doggy nature.
Wilfred acts as mentor of sorts to Ryan, giving him advice on his love life, career and family life - most of it bad. It leads to some very funny situations which I Won't spoil for you here.
I loved this show when it first showed up on BBC3, it is very funny. I like the juxtaposition of the usual American sitcom setup with the crude, sweary Aussie mentality of Wilfred. There is no laughter track, which I prefer, and the whole show has a slightly indie, surreal edge which feels so fresh compared to the usual dross coming out of the States like Two and a half Men, Rules of Engagement etc etc. It has tempted me to track down the original Australia series.
Depressed by his joyless life, ex-lawyer Ryan Newman (Wood) tries to commit suicide... and fails miserably, leaving him with no job, a nasty neighbor and an angry pushy sister. Then his beautiful neighbor Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann) asks him to look after her dog Wilfred during the day. Everyone else sees Wilfred as a dog, but Ryan sees him as... well, a pot-smoking Australian man in a dog suit.
Ryan soon finds that Wilfred is everything he's not, and ends up being dragged into a celebration of joie de vivre by the devious canine. What comes next is vet trips, angry neighbors, a horrifying doggy daycare, insane single moms, Jenna's jerk boyfriend, Wilfred's "gift" for detecting imminent death, a ghostly dog collar, Ryan's similarly loopy mom, and Ryan wondering if he should continue his friendship with the dog.
It's never made entirely clear if Wilfred (as Ryan sees him) is real, or if Ryan's unbalanced mind is just making him up to cope with reality. And honestly, "Wilfred" is as enjoyable as it is because it leaves you wondering --
it's dark, twisted, weird, and gets pretty warped at times (the stories include suicide, drugs, assault, peanut butter, and the molestation of stuffed animals!).
And it's HILARIOUS.
Well, not all of the humor is twisted -- we have fun scenes like Ryan racing through the streets in a cape, or falling into a giant hole Wilfred dug.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hilarious program would highly recommend this seller as wellPublished 1 month ago by Samantha Messingham
Excellent comedy series. we can't wait to see series 4 when it's available in the UK.Published 20 months ago by Mr Stephen Webb
What is happening to reclusive, suicidal former lawyer Ryan? Suddenly his neighbour Jenna's dog Wilfred is appearing to him looking like a man dressed in a hairy costume. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Mr. D. L. Rees
Hahahaha...Wilfred absolutely rocks! A real hidden gem of a series! :)Published 22 months ago by Mailman