Review: Wilfred Episode 2
This week we opened with the theme of loyalty, and it reared its head nicely when Ryan agreed to trick Wilfred into going to the vet.
Before this, we were treated to a charming montage of Wilfred bonding with Ryan set to Peggy Lee’s “It’s a Good Day”, which only built up the tension heading to the vet.
It was quite amusing to see Wilfred describe being micro-chipped as having a “tracking-device”, and pleading not to have the vet “take his balls”.
This is one of the many upsides of the show; seeing things from a dog’s point of view.
We also learnt this week that while Wilfred was not only an acerbic pun-slinger, he was also racist. When presented with an Indian vet, he said “I need a Doctor, not tech support”.
The side-story of Wilfred telling Ryan that Jenna “has a dick” was seemed fairly stupid at first, and seeing Ryan trying to look up her skirt while she chewed with her mouth open and watched the football and drink beer seemed like a bizzaro-world sitcom plot… which I guess is what the show is.
But, then again, it did open up the nefarious, manipulative side of Wilfred, especially when he accidentally called her “he”, only fuelling Ryan’s paranoia.
But then when Jenna opened the door to reveal a tall, muscular boyfriend, who of course, is played by Chris Klein (who has possibly given up snaring another network comedy leading role). It turns out that Wilfred meant that Jenna “has a dick for a boyfriend”, which was a nice little reveal, though it was not an entirely unexpected twist. It also simultaneously set up the tried and true trope; girl has idiot for a boyfriend, making us root for the protagonist.
On top of that, it sets up yet another hurdle for Ryan to overcome in his quest for Jenna; the first is Wilfred, the second is his paranoia and “awkwardness”, now the third is the chiseled Klein.
And now Wilfred and Ryan are “even”, after Ryan tricked Wilfred into going to the vet- and it will be interesting to see if the series continues with this dynamic of one-upmanship, or whether they begin to unite to fight against a common enemy in Jenna’s “dick” of a boyfriend.
The show even attempted to give Wilfred some semblance of a backstory- he was thrown into a river in a sack as a pup. Time will tell whether this is meant to lay any bearing on his ruthless actions, or was just a throwaway line.
So the show is clearly still laying the ground-work for the characters and plot-lines, which is to be expected, however, it will definitely provide for some interesting stories.
(And just on a side note: speaking of plot-lines and characters, the next-door neighbour played by Ethan Suplee was nowhere to be seen in this episode, which would normally be fine in only a second episode, but remember when Wilfred placed Ryan’s wallet near the scene of the crime last week? I know that the show will not forget about this crucial point, but to not have some sort of consequence in the next episode is puzzling- even if the neighbour doesn’t coming bursting through into his house, surely Ryan could at least pass comment about his wallet being missing?)
Whether the show will become really funny because of this is hard to tell, but it’s not all that funny at the moment, save for more than a few amusing moments.
For example, take this Wilfred quote; “Everything I need to know about someone, I can glean from their asshole.” Yes, it’s amusing for its shock value, but it just relies too much on the notion of Wilfred being a man in a dog’s body. There’s no subtext or subtlety; it just tells us, “He’s a dog, he sniffs assholes”- now laugh at the word “asshole”, and the fact that a dog said it, and the fact that he used the word “glean” to more eloquently express something, and you wouldn’t imagine a dog to be that eloquent if he could talk.
But anyway, I’m nit-picking here, and the show is still earning a lot of well-deserved buzz.