Stars: Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Dorian Brown, Jane Kaczmarek
Writer:
Jason Gann
Director:
Randall Einhorn
Network:
FX, Thursdays @ 10 PM
Airdate:
August 4, 2011

One measure of a television series’ originality is whether its episodes could conceivably be done (with slight variations) on other shows. WILFRED usually answers this with a resounding “No!” This is certainly the case with “Pride,” where Ryan’s (Elijah Wood) reluctance to ask his sister Kristen (Dorian Brown) for financial assistance leads him into a strange predicament, with the whims of Wilfred (Jason Gann), as usual, at the root of it all.

Ryan is hurting for cash even before Wilfred causes Ryan’s car to crash into the side of an upscale vehicle. This belongs to cranky businesswoman Beth (Jane Kaczmarek), who demands that Ryan show up in her office that evening to pay an enormous damage estimate. Meanwhile, Wilfred – who has regularly been having sex with a giant toy teddy bear in Ryan’s basement – is utterly smitten with a stuffed animal giraffe, “Raffi,” that he sees in Beth’s back seat, intended as a gift for her young son.

Desperate to have sex with the plaything, Wilfred insists that Ryan will be able to get out of paying for the car repairs if he cozies up to Beth. As it turns out, Beth doesn’t need much encouragement to take an interest in Ryan. Soon Wilfred is having wild sex with the toy giraffe, and Ryan is being flung about as though he is a toy by the lusty Beth. When Beth requests an oral sex act that Ryan would rather not perform, he thinks he’s caught a break when Beth falls asleep.

However, Wilfred sends Beth roses on Ryan’s behalf and Ryan discovers that Wilfred not only performed the sex act while Ryan was asleep (Beth assumes it was Ryan, of course), but did something Beth liked that Ryan finds even more objectionable. When Beth wants a repeat performance, Wilfred says he’ll help Ryan out and do it again – but Raffi is insisting that Ryan have sex with her. Feeling ridiculous, Ryan starts to comply, only to be caught at the beginning of the act by Beth’s little boy. Ryan quickly concludes that he’d be better off asking Kristen for money after all and he and Wilfred flee the premises.

There is a pretty clear through-line in the teleplay by series star/co-creator Gann, as Ryan’s efforts to avoid asking his sister for money result in him rapidly and repeatedly doing far more humiliating things. Wood is consistently very funny as we see the wordless tug of war between bad and worse options run across his expressive features. The sight gags with Wilfred and Bear, who he thinks of as his regular relationship, and Wilfred and Raffi, are reliably gross and amusing, but what really sells them is how absolutely loony Wilfred’s fantasy life is when it comes to his utterly inanimate sex partners, and how straight Gann plays it. We don’t question why Ryan doesn’t argue more with Wilfred here – if Ryan sees Wilfred as a man in a dog suit, why shouldn’t Wilfred see stuffed toys as opinionated, kinky lovers?

Kaczmarek is droll as Beth, a woman with many sides, all of them unnerving, and finds a way to cohesively connect her hard-as-hammers office manner with her baby-talking flirtatious side and a bit of disarming vulnerability.

Sometimes the messages in WILFRED are very mixed, but this one is clear. The theme may be timeless, but it’s safe to say that the notion of the importance of being true to one’s original convictions has never before been dramatized in this particular gonzo manner before.

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD – COMMENT BELO

Related Link: The Scoop on WILFRED Season 2

 

Related Link: Exclusive Interview with WILFRED co-creator and star Jason Gann

 

Related Link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 premiere – “Happiness”
Related Link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Trust”

Related Link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Fear”
Related Link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Respect”

Related Link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Acceptance”
Related Link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Conscience”

Related Link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Pride”
Related Link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Anger”
Related Link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Compassion”
Click on link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Isolation”
Click on link: AX’sreview of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Doubt”

Click on link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Sacrifice”

 


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  4. I agree – that’s all!

    tire reviews

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