Elijah Wood and Robin Williams in WILFRED - Season 2 - "Progress" | ©2012 FX/Ray Mickshaw

Elijah Wood and Robin Williams in WILFRED - Season 2 - "Progress" | ©2012 FX/Ray Mickshaw

Stars: Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Fiona Gubelmann, Robin Williams, Steven Weber, Chris Klein
Writer:
David Zuckerman, series created by Jason Gann & Adam Zwar, adapted for American television by David Zuckerman
Director:
Randall Einhorn
Network:
FX, Thursdays @ 10 PM
Airdate:
June 21, 2011

Expecting answers out of WILFRED is becoming like expecting Lucy to hold the football for Charlie Brown. By the end of “Progress,” which is billed not as the start of Season 2 but as a special episode, we are as or more bewildered than Ryan (Elijah Wood). This is saying something, considering that the poor guy is less sure of which reality he’s in than the hero of AWAKE.

Ryan may be stuck in writing an interminable contract for a demanding boss (Steven Weber) or he may be at a mental institution, recovering from the breakdown that occurred at the end of Season 1. When neighbor Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann) comes to visit for the first time in nearly four months, Ryan’s therapist (Robin Williams) is optimistic that Ryan will now see Jenna’s pet dog as just an ordinary canine. But no, when Jenna rounds the corner Wilfred (Jason Gann) is still an Australian guy in a dog suit – and now in a wheelchair, thanks to having been hit by a car at the end of last season.

Is Wilfred really injured or just faking it? Why is Ryan dreaming about work? Did Ryan ever really have a basement? Is Ryan actually in a mental institution at all?

There are some actually funny moments, including one where Ryan realizes his shrink is quoting from GOOD WILL HUNTING and recognizes him as Robin Williams. However, at this point, Wilfred’s exhortation (via his will in the basement) to Ryan to “keep digging” seems downright unfair, since the ground keeps shifting.

By the end of the episode, it seems that Ryan is back in his own home (if indeed he ever left), Jenna is moving back in next door with boyfriend Drew (Chris Klein), the basement is still there, complete with Bear and we don’t know if Ryan was ever in a mental hospital and, if so, whether he got out. Is he having a shock treatment-induced vision of being free when he’s still there? Did he escape? Was he discharged? Is he still having a nightmare?

The above questions wouldn’t matter so much if the episode were particularly funny, but there aren’t a lot of laughs in “Progress” – it isn’t that it’s un-funny, just that it is more peculiar than it is amusing.

Still, WILFRED does have the great advantage of being unlike anything else on TV. Uniqueness has its charms, and these are still on display here.

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Related: TV Review of WILFRED – Season 2 – “Letting Go” – Season Premiere

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”
Related Link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Isolation”
Related Link: AX’sreview of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Doubt”

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


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Article: TV Review of WILFRED – Season 2 – “Progress”

 

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