Stars: Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Fiona Gubelmann, Chris Klein, Allison Mack
Writer:
David Baldy, series created by Jason Gann & Adam Zwar, adapted for American television by David Zuckerman
Director:
Randall Einhorn
Network:
FX, Thursdays at 10 PM
Original Airdate:
September 13, 2012

There are so many ways it could have happened that one hesitates to speculate, but somehow, the writers at WILFRED realized that, with characters Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann) and Drew (Chris Klein) planning their wedding, they would need a … ring-bearer. If you can’t figure out the in-joke here as it relates to Elijah Wood, who plays Ryan, you may need a course in remedial pop culture.

Actually, Jenna has hit upon the idea of having her dog Wilfred (Jason Gann) be the ring-bearer, but wants Ryan in her wedding party, so she designates Ryan and Wilfred’s co-ring-bearer. Ryan’s reaction to this makes Frodo Baggins seem absolutely delighted by comparison. As Ryan still has something of an unresolved crush on Jenna, and is still miserable about his breakup with girlfriend Amanda (Allison Mack), he doesn’t really want to be a part of any wedding.

Wilfred is unsympathetic to Ryan, and both disbelieving and offended when Ryan tells Wilfred what Drew has confided, namely that Jenna was unfaithful during a time when Jenna and Drew were broken up. Wilfred doesn’t believe Jenna would be unfaithful to Drew any more than she’d be unfaithful to Wilfred – in this case, fidelity means not petting any other dogs. Jenna, oblivious to Wilfred’s jealousies, pets a number of dogs. Ryan and Wilfred are both miserable. Ryan tosses the wedding ring at Wilfred, who reflexively swallows it, then doesn’t want to defecate it because he’s too upset at Jenna.

Wilfred runs away, Ryan goes after him, they both have an epiphany at the same time about what they need and Wilfred finally brings forth the ring. Ryan cleans the ring … and then goes to see Amanda, which may mean that he’ll finally have to explain his mental health issues to her, as these caused the breakup.

Clearly, Wood is going to be followed by LORD OF THE RINGS for the rest of his life, but he’s certainly a good sport about it here, as Ryan goes on and on with a perfectly straight face about how he doesn’t want to be the ring-bearer. There’s also a good degree of inventiveness in figuring out how a dog, or at least Wilfred, would interpret infidelity in a human.

The scatological joke doesn’t seem entirely original (at least, something very similar was done in AMERICAN REUNION), but it works well enough, and Mack is so good that her return is very welcome. It will be interesting to see how – and if – Ryan attempts to explain his idiosyncratic problems to her.

Klein is a lot of fun as the slightly dim but reasonably good-hearted Drew and Gubelmann has a sincerity in Jenna’s sweetness that takes the edge off of what can sometimes be a blithely unthinking character.

The biggest thing that happens in “Resentment” is that for once, Wilfred realizes his strange trip is a strange trip – he doesn’t snap out of it because he’s distracted or gone on to something new, but rather because he sees parallels between himself and Ryan. Ryan sees this as well, of course, but for him, it’s the norm. For Wilfred, it’s something relatively new, and it turns out to fit in fine with the overall dynamic.

Finally, once more, LORD OF THE RINGS fans may get a few laughs out of hearing Wood griping about not wanting to be a ring-bearer. “Resentment” gives us nothing to resent and some things to appreciate.

Related: TV Review of WILFRED – Season 2 – “Secrets” – Season Finale

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

Related: Exclusive Interview with WILFRED star Jason Gann

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

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