Everyone’s favorite man in a dog suit series is back, because you know…there are just so many to choose from in that genre. Wilfred premiered its second season last night, (but it wasn’t the actual first episode of the season, more on that below) and with it a welcome return of stoner philosophy, dog-as human as dog-related gags, and the triumphant return of Smallville’s Allison Mack to our screens. This is one of those shows that has such a simple premise but try to get most people to watch a show where one of the leads spends the entirety of his time in a full-length dog costume and see how that goes. Season one was hilarious and they had one of the best collection of excellent guest stars outside of The Good Wife that you could hope to find anywhere else on television (Ed Helms, Mary Steenburgen, and Robin Williams having been recent stand-outs). Let’s take a look at some of the changes that “Letting Go” brought to the show.
It’s been three months since the events of the season one finale and we open to find that Wilfred has been getting all bro-y with Jenna’s on-again off-again frat-tastic boyfriend Drew. Wilfred stayed with him during his recovery from the car accident that seemingly claimed Wilfred’s memory of Ryan, but now he remembers Ryan just fine although things are tense between them. Wow, Wilfred probably lied about something, who would have thought it possible? No more is Wilfred’s life about getting high, lazing around, and giving the business to Bear (where was Bear? I love Bear). Instead Wilfred’s all about being obnoxious about his new fitness schedule and coming up with as many annoying nicknames for Ryan that he can just like Drew does. But being bros with Drew has its disadvantages when Wilfred realizes he needs to do something to earn Drew’s respect. In his case this means entering a doggy fitness obstacle course. Ryan agrees to train him for the event, but he’s too busy making moony eyes at Jenna to really focus so they decide they’re going to take the easy way out: steroids.
One of the ways the show has grown this season is Ryan actually has a job again working as in-house counsel for what seems to be a pharmaceutical lab (there’s a hint to what the company does in 2.01 “Progress”). What that means for the show is a new location, new characters, and new chances for Wilfred to ruin Ryan’s life. The first new character is Amanda, pluckily played by the aforementioned Allison Mack as more than just the cute girl at the office. She’s funny, edgy, and her face is 98% symmetrical, you know ‘almost hot’. She and Ryan are set to go out on a date by the end of the episode and it’s going to be nice to see if Jenna gets a little jealous with the new girl around more keeping Ryan from spending his time pining over her.
Those of you who watched last season know that Wilfred and Ryan’s main hangout is Ryan’s basement. One of the big cliffhangers of the finale was the reveal that the basement was instead just a closet—further messing with Ryan’s grip on sanity that’s been loose through the season. I mean, other than the fact that he sees his neighbor’s dog as a lewd Australian in a dog costume. Suddenly, there they were hanging out downstairs like nothing at all had happened to suggest the basement wasn’t always there. There’s an explanation for that which this episode doesn’t touch, and it can be found in what I’m going to refer to as Wilfred’s lost episode (because it sounds cool). Actually, it’s just the ‘preview’ episode FX aired quietly last week outside of the official premiere, but it’s an essential episode to the series and I urge Wilfred fans to seek it out. It’s Wilfred gone completely bat-sh** as over the course of the half hour all of the questions the show posed in season one are twisted around in a surreal installment that featured the best Good Will Hunting homage ever. Remember, Wilfred and Ryan do love the film oeuvre of Matt Damon. So if you’re looking for a deeper analysis, or answers for the big cliffhangers from season one then I highly suggest you watch that ‘real’ first episode to find them. And then sit back as the creators smirk at you for thinking that on this show answers matter. It’s a great way to flip expectations as this show is firmly anti giving any concrete reason why Wilfred is seen by Ryan the way he is, but they do hope you keep asking so they can continue to mess with yours and Ryan’s minds.
Let it Go
Instead of letting himself get talked into one of Wilfred’s manipulative schemes Ryan actually stands up to him, and he decides instead of sabotaging Jenna and Drew that it’s best to just let her go. I don’t know how long it’ll last this time because Ryan does this a couple of times a season when the odds are stacked against him, but I do know I hope it’ll inspire some of the old antagonism between Ryan and Wilfred that made season one so entertaining. Jason Gann and Elijah Wood have great comic timing together, but when they’re pitted against one another the series benefits even more from it. Also, I loved seeing a shot of that gorgeous License To Ill mural in the background (RIP Adam Yauch) which was no real surprise as Elijah Wood appeared in one of the group’s final music videos as a trio.
- What did you think of last night’s episode?
- Do you hope that Wilfred and Ryan get back to clashing with one another?
- If you’ve seen the real first episode, share your thoughts about it. It was probably my favorite installment of the show yet.
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