Wilfred: The Complete Season 2 Blu-ray Review: Disgustingly Funny

Based upon an Australian show of the same name (which itself was based on an award-winning short film) Wilfred is a comedy about a man named Ryan (Elijah Wood) and his dog Wilfred, (Jason Gann) who happens to talk (and curse, and drink, and smoke pot, and hump everything in sight.) Or at least he appears to do those things in Ryan’s eyes, but appears as a normal dog to everyone else.

The reasons for this duplexity are as yet unexplained and the mystery is one of the central points to many plot points. At the end of Season 1, Wilfred was in a car accident and when Ryan runs to his basement where Wilfred’s will is kept (and where he and Wilfred spend most of their time) he finds that his basement is non-existent and in its place is a closet containing some of the things he and Wilfred dealt with from earlier episodes leaving Ryan (and the audience) pondering whether or not Wilfred is in fact real.

Season 2 opens with Ryan in a mental institution believing himself to be unstable and Wilfred to be a hallucination. The episode pretty quickly (and unsatisfyingly) wraps up the conundrum (I won’t spoil it for you, but considering the show just entered its third season and Wilfred is still appearing as a guy in a dog suit its pretty easy to figure out which way the ball bounced.) From there Season 2 sticks pretty closely to the Season 1 outline: Ryan finds himself in various crisis situations, Wilfred finds a way to get him through it, but does so in an outrageous manner.

The show is crass, rude, disgusting, and very, very funny. There is enough potty humor per episode to keep your mental janitor extremely busy. There are jokes about incest, necrophilia, cannibalism, autofellatio, and other assorted sex acts. Mostly, they both make one gasp from shock and burst into fits of laughter.

One of my favorite bits finds Wilfred using a voodoo doll against someone and when Ryan insists that it won’t work, Wilfred pulls out a doll of himself and performs oral sex with it, moaning with pleasure after each suck. At his climax, he reels back in disgust, spits, then punches the doll only to feel the hit in his own face. That probably doesn’t work on the page right here, but the scene was as horrid as it was hilarious.

That’s Wilfred to a tee. It isn’t for everyone (as my wife can attest) and certainly not family friendly, but if you can withstand its onslaught of vulgarity, you’ll find yourself amongst one of the funniest shows on television.

But that is just about all it is. There is a deep darkness to the show (the very first episode found Ryan attempting suicide and many other episodes deal with very dark themes) but the writers seem to feel that writing about the uglier side of life somehow makes the show mature or deep. Yet upon examination, it doesn’t really do any of those themes real justice nor does it have anything but the shallowest of things to say about life. Each episode begins with a quote with one word getting highlighted which becomes the episode’s title and general theme. Wilfred is constantly trying to teach Ryan larger moral lessons, but the lessons are never deeper than those special moments episodes from ’80s sitcoms.

The humor too, sometimes falls flat. They throw a lot of jokes around and while most of them hit more than once do they feel like shock for shocks sake without any real sharpness to them. This is especially true as I ran through the season marathon-style. I laughed a lot – big hearty, full-body laughs, but after awhile, seeing Wilfred hump an inanimate object or eat something disgusting grew stale. The sameness of each episode grew really apparent as well with the themes becoming increasingly similar.

The show works best when Wilfred behaves like a dog would, only of course we are seeing a grown man in a dog suit perform them. When he’s licking his owner in the face or is easily distracted and chases another animal, the absurdity of the show,s main idea is readily apparent and yet wonderfully humorous. The sex jokes do grow tiresome after awhile, but when they hit, they hit hard, and more than once I found myself waking up my napping child due to my uncontrolled bits of levity.

If you liked the first season of Wilfred you’ll find more of the same in Season 2. There’s lots of love and plenty to laugh at, though if you watch it back to back to back, I suspect you’ll grow weary of it as I did. If you haven’t seen the show, but like this type raunchy humor, Wilfred provides plenty of it and with quite a bit of style.

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Mat Brewster

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