Stars: Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Dorian Brown, Dwight Yoakam
Writer: Jacob Young, series created by Jason Gann & Adam Zwar, adapted for American television by David Zuckerman
Director: Randall Einhorn
Network: FX, Thursdays @ 10 PM
Airdate: August 15, 2013
There aren’t too many shows that can get away with jokes about castration. GAME OF THRONES and TRUE BLOOD show the act, but it’s not meant to be funny. To be fair, the WILFRED episode “Distance” doesn’t actually have emasculation, so levity is a little more possible here.
How exactly does Ryan (Elijah Wood) get from obsessing over a crayon drawing to getting mixed up in mind games galore? Well, for one thing, Wilfred (Jason Gann) is involved. For another thing, his odd human associate Bruce (Dwight Yoakam) is also in on the action.
Ryan has been fixated on a drawing from childhood that contains Wilfred, but was apparently drawn not by Ryan, but by his sister Kristen (Dorian Brown). Kristen claims it’s a depiction of her imaginary pal Mr. Floppy Ears and doesn’t think it looks like him. Wilfred thinks playing a game will get Ryan’s mind off the drawing, and then Ryan decides to make Wilfred think he’s been “fixed” at the vet’s, which prompts Wilfred to threaten to castrate Ryan, which leads to Bruce faking his suicide, all so that Wilfred and Bruce can get some deli meatballs, which Ryan replaces with canine testicles stolen from the veterinary hospital garbage.
Even for WILFRED, this is a lot of gross-out humor, though Ryan’s discovery of a hidden symbol on the drawing … is probably one more thing we’ll never find out about.
The script, or at least Wilfred as a character, correlates being emasculated with acting like a stereotype, which isn’t funny in either concept or execution. Yoakam, on the other hand, is reliably humorous as the thoroughly gonzo Bruce, completely throwing himself into whatever emotional guise the character is exhibiting at the moment.
WILFRED is playing something of a mind game on us, holding up a map that we and Ryan think may lead to Wilfred’s origins, but more likely just goes in circles. However, WILFRED’s circles are still astonishingly original, even when we feel like we’ve wound up far from the presumed destination.
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Article: TV Review of WILFRED – Season 3 – “Distance”