Stars: Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Dorian Brown, Nestor Carbonell
Sivert Glarum & Michael Jamin, series created by Jason Gann & Adam Zwar, adapted for American television by David Zuckerman
Victor Nelli, Jr.
FX, Thursdays @ 10 PM
August 11, 2011

Given how WILFRED as a series sends up everything, almost the last thing one would expect in an episode is a note of sincere emotion, but that’s just how “Anger” ends. On its way, it deals once more with Ryan’s (Elijah Wood) awesome passivity in the face of verbal/emotional abuse, Wilfred’s (Jason Gann) diabolical behavior, some screwy family dynamics and a mash-up parody of both ghostly possession and scary ventriloquist dummy stories.

Wilfred refuses to believe that Ryan’s sister Kristen (Dorian Brown) hates him. The dog also urges Ryan to be far more aggressive with Dorian as she presses him into service as a caterer at a party she’s throwing in the hopes of getting ahead at the office. While excavating the basement, Ryan and Wilfred come across the collar that belonged to Sneakers, the dog Ryan had as a child. Sneakers drowned in the family pool, and Ryan has lived with the guilt of not closing the pool gate for the rest of his life. Wilfred is jealous of Sneakers, puts on the collar and then begins speaking in a high squeaky voice, not unlike an evil dummy on THE TWILIGHT ZONE, as he is apparently possessed by the smaller animal.

Ryan thinks Wilfred is just putting on an act, but Sneakers insists it’s really him – and that Kristen is really the culprit who left the gate open. After Wilfred/Sneakers succeeds in trashing Kristen’s party, Kristen confronts Ryan, Ryan finds the wherewithal to speak up and Kristen confesses to having left the gate open. Wilfred/Sneakers says he wants to say goodbye and Ryan finds himself holding, and hugging, an actual terrier. And then we see Ryan asleep in bed, so perhaps he’s dreaming everything …

This very last bit isn’t a good idea for a lot of reasons. If Ryan is only dreaming that Wilfred is a man in a dog suit, why are we bothering, and if Ryan is only dreaming this particular episode, well, why? It leads to a line of questioning that WILFRED has so far avoided and that does the show no favors to introduce.

Wilfred the character is also surprisingly homophobic, not to mention oddly uncanine, in his horror at hearing that Ryan and Sneakers used to snuggle. Okay, Ryan sees Wilfred as a guy in a dog suit, but doesn’t Wilfred have any doglike characteristics? It is, however, fun to see Gann as Wilfred flipping through personalities as the character gets sequentially possessed by all sorts of spirits. Wood has a lot of integrity in how he plays Ryan, whether he’s deflecting a situation or confronting it, and Nestor Carbonell is amusing as a pompous obstetrician, who prompts one of the funniest lines of the episode from Kristen’s exasperated co-worker.

What’s startling about “Anger,” though, is that after all of its jokes and in the midst of its premise, it does give us that boy-and-his-dog moment. Whether or not this quality resurfaces, for the span of the shot of Wood holding the happy terrier to his face, WILFRED shows real heart.


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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: Review -WILDRED – Season 1 – “Anger”



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  1. One of the best episodes. Nice ending.

  2. I love this show (much better than the crappy Aussie version), and watch it every week. The thing that irritated me about the Anger ep was that FX stated before the episode started that it would contain nudity. But then all they showed was some fat ugly chick’s wrinkled panty-covered a$$? So that’s now considered nudity on TV?? Pathetic! Not just that there was no real nudity, but also that it was a fat chick.

    Jack King
  3. Rachel…I really feel sorry for you. Someone is obviously holding a gun to your head and making you watch and review a show you loathe. Your reviews are a real buzzkill. You are taking this show way too seriously with your over-analysis of every single plot point. Why don’t you lighten up and just enjoy the ride? A few hits from a Gatorade bong might help too.


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