Splitsider

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Wilfred Recap: "Trust"

I know we're only two weeks in to the show Wilfred, which is perhaps too early to expect a show to settle into its groove just yet. That being said, most shows don't have a talking man-beast that only one character can hear, so it makes sense that Wilfred would be run into some particular problems earlier than others.

The second episode, "Trust," make its pretty clear that we can't trust Wilfred. Having been tricked by Ryan into a visit to the vet, the pooch sets out to ruin Ryan's potential relationship with Jenna…by convincing him Jenna has a dick. One idea that bares addressing soon is why exactly Wilfred is so conniving, vindictive and snarky, i.e. the exact opposite of the characteristics we associate with dogs. He is unfailingly loyal to his own Jenna, though it's also implied he would slip her the pink lipstick if there weren't societal taboos working against him. Wilfred is embarrassed by his naivety, and retreat only to lash out later. Clearly Wilfred is intended to be a manifestation of Ryan's inner turmoil, but, seriously, why he so crazy?

Overall, Ryan and Wilfred have an antagonistic, emotionally fraught relationship; they claim to be friends, but there is a weird river of hostility running underneath all of their interactions. Thankfully every time a third person joins their merry twosome, in this case Jenna, we get to find out more about Ryan's neurotic tendencies, as well as Wilfred's true nature. Once the show start fleshing out the world in which the characters live, as well as Ryan's background, we can start to get a feel for what Wilfred is and what he wants. I guess what I'm saying is, we need a therapist character in here real quick.

That being said, the best parts about both the show and the character are when Wilfred's doggie mannerisms take over his human traits. One particularly great scene has Wilfred shouting conspiracy theories to his fellow pets in the vet's waiting room, trying to warn them of their dire fate, in a desperate effort to escape…getting his teeth cleaned.

On a side note, I am really, truly hoping they don't turn Jenna into the one-note hot girl she is starting to become. What would you do if you caught your neighbor watching you pee through a crack in the bathroom door? Oh right, you'd buy a deadbolt and never talk to him again, not reluctantly smile when he brings you an apology bouquet. "I'm awkward," Ryan reveals to her after his dick-seeking mission backfires. The fact that Jenna did not have a phone in her hand with 9 and 1 already dialed in that final scene suggests to me that this show is already hedging on how dark it really wants to go. The man sees a talking dog that gets high all the time and talks about getting a finger in the ass. As far as I'm concerned, let's just do the damn thing.

  • caitiekl

    Please! All of these insecurites don't exist if you've seen the Australian verion! So please make a point to watch the Australian version of Wilfred. As for the American version, it's fantastic that Ryan Gann is finally getting international kudos for his talent. And it's early weeks, but in the Australian series Adam (Ryan) is infact Sarah's (Jenna's) boyfriend, and meets Wilfred after drunkenly going back to her house to have sex. So Wilfred's owner never really falls into that stereotype of the hot girl, because they're already together, instead she has a much better 'Why the fuck are you talking to my dog like that?!' character. They make it obvious from the first episode (really the short film they made) that Wilfred is not on Adam(Ryan)'s side, and actively pretends to care about Adam/Ryan to his face, while fucking with his psyche. Which makes the show great! I'm afraid that the American version won't achieve that, because Wilfred's motives aren't clear yet. Which sucks! Please, if you haven't already, and you like the premise of Wilfred, watch the Australian version because it's excellent TV, Elijah Wood or no.