Stars: Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Ethan Suplee
Writer: Eric Weinberg
Director: Randall Einhorn
Network: FX, Thursdays @ 10 PM
Airdate: July 7, 2011
In WILFRED’s third episode “Fear,” Elijah Wood remains reliably engaging as protagonist Ryan but, strangely, his relationship with Wilfred (Jason Gann) – a dog that Ryan and only Ryan sees as a man in a dog suit – is beginning to wear out its welcome. This isn’t because Gann is any less committed in his weirdly immersive performance as the anthropomorphic canine, but rather because Wilfred is objectionable. If Wilfred is just a projection of Ryan’s subconscious, that makes it worse – the dude needs help. If not, Wilfred is starting to seem less like a free spirit and more like a malicious demon, even when his actions wind up eventually feeding Ryan’s self-esteem.
In “Fear,” we learn why Wilfred planted Ryan’s wallet at the scene of the crime after Wilfred had convinced Ryan to join him in pillaging the home of obnoxious, racist neighbor Spencer (Ethan Suplee) and stealing the man’s marijuana. When Spencer inevitably finds the wallet, Wilfred urges Ryan to confront the much larger Spencer. Ryan instead spins a tale and finds himself unexpectedly elected to best bud status by Spencer. Ryan does not enjoy hanging out with a lout. Several weird predicaments later, Ryan finally fesses up to Spencer, explaining that the vandalism was because Spencer is a pretty horrendous person. Spencer punches Ryan out, and then Wilfred comes to the rescue by knocking Spencer out cold. Ryan has learned the valuable lesson that he can stand up to a big menacing guy and survive.
However, what Ryan doesn’t seem to learn is how to effectively stand up to Wilfred. The dog’s manipulation and dishonesty are so chronic that we start to wonder why Ryan is so persistently gullible. Yes, this is a surreal universe, but if it’s important that Ryan learn to loosen up a little more by the end of each episode, there has to be some level of reality to the events, or else Wilfred’s schemes and Ryan’s changes are happening in an absolute vacuum. The dynamic of having Wilfred propose a plan of action, Ryan agreeing, then finding out he’s in deep trouble because Wilfred had ulterior motives has now become a pattern. It seems incredible that, while Ryan is learning lessons, he never picks up on this. Yes, there are some great gags and Wood and Gann are perfect in their roles. Suplee delivers an expert guest turn as the earnest, violent Spencer. Still, Wilfred’s habit of lying to Ryan in order to “help” him has gotten old – the meanness doesn’t justify the ends.
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Click on link: AX’s review of WILFRED – Season 1 – “Isolation”
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Article Source:Assignment X
Article: Review -WILFRED – Season 1 – “Fear”