Third-episode verdict: Wilfred

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 2

In the US: Thursdays, 10pm, FX
In the UK: Acquired by BBC3 for Autumn broadcast

Wilfred is surreal. Obviously, you gathered that from the fact it’s about a regular guy (Elijah Wood) who perceives his next-door neighbour’s dog to be an Australian guy in an unconvincing dog suit. But Wilfred is actively surreal, surreal in the old-style sense of unsettling one’s perspective on reality. As well as the fact no one ever acknowledges the fact Wilfred is really a swearing bong-smoker with opposable thumbs, this is a show in which Dune is quoted and Wood has prophetic dreams. It’s strange.

So after the funny first episode in which the show is set up, things dip slightly with the second episode, in which Wilfred’s doggie personality is explored more over the issue of trust. This lacked the subtlety of the first episode but was still entertaining. But with our third episode, things took off once again, into the dark, with Wilfred’s attempts to turn Wood is a stronger, less fearful individual resulting in a bizarre confrontation with his other next door neighbour (My Name Is Earl‘s Ethan Suplee) that leads to Wilfred poledancing in a strip club, amongst other things.

Again, the show’s creators do a good job of blending WIlfred’s human and doggy characteristics, with Wilfred mesmerised by a laser pointer at one point, and believing the story given to him by animal control that’s he going off to live on a beautiful farm.

While it’s not side-splitting, Wilfred is just so mesmerisingly odd and original, it’s entirely worth watching the show just to see Wood go through Wilfred’s Tyler Durden-style mentoring in all its surreal splendour. Tune it, enjoy but prepare to be slightly frightened by the whole experience.

Carusometer rating: 2
Rob’s prediction: As dark as FX’s normal output but significantly more interesting and more entertaining, this should run and run.




  • benjitek

    The show is OK, it’s nice that they kept the dog actor from the original Australian version.
    While entertaining, I think the show limits a wider appeal by concentrating so much on pot smoking. In the original, there was definitely a bong around, but they just smoked it without all the discussion about it, and not nearly as much time spent talking about poop.
    Still funny, would probably have an even higher opinion of it if I hadn’t viewed both seasons of the original.

  • MediumRob

    “The show is OK, it’s nice that they kept the dog actor from the original Australian version.”
    He’s excellent – I might even go so far as to say superb. He gets the balance just right. I can see what you mean about the weed issue but not having seen much of the original beyond the movie, I can’t really compare, and they’re treading just about the right side of the line for me at the moment.

  • benjitek

    “”The show is OK, it’s nice that they kept the dog actor from the original Australian version.”He’s excellent – I might even go so far as to say superb. He gets the balance just right. I can see what you mean about the weed issue but not having seen much of the original beyond the movie, I can’t really compare, and they’re treading just about the right side of the line for me at the moment.”
    Didn’t know there was a movie, I was talking about the series. Season 1 of the Australian version is on iTunes.

  • If follow the link above to my review of the first two episodes, the movie’s embedded there – it’s only a short, about six minutes long, but quite like the first episode of the Australian series.

  • benjitek

    “If follow the link above to my review of the first two episodes, the movie’s embedded there – it’s only a short, about six minutes long, but quite like the first episode of the Australian series.”
    Wow, great short — thanks for the link. They duplicated that into the opening scene of the series.

  • benjitek

    “If follow the link above to my review of the first two episodes, the movie’s embedded there – it’s only a short, about six minutes long, but quite like the first episode of the Australian series.”
    Wow, great short — thanks for the link. They duplicated that into the opening scene of the series.

  • bob

    It’s quite clever. I’m going to be laughing about “Club Midia” for ages.
    I don’t like Wood though- he’s not an engaging actor for me.
    Wilfred himself is brilliant though. Great comic actor.