10th Mar2012

‘WIlfred: Seasons 1 & 2′ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

WILFRED_S1-2

Having pets can sometimes be a mystery, the looks they give as you walk past or even the looks they give as you try to get them to do as they are told. Imagine you could understand what your pet was thinking, that they spoke to you and let you know in a foul mouthed tirade of insults about everything you do. Hell imagine if the pet was a man in a dog suit who wants to undermine everything you do while getting high all the time. That would be life according to Wilfred.

When Adam stays over the first night at his girlfriend’s house little did he know he’d be meeting a guy in a dog suit, Wilfred. To everybody else Wilfred is just a normal dog but to Adam he’s a walking insult machine who from the outset wants to get rid of him. Adam has moved into Wilfred’s territory and this means war. Whether it’s introducing him to Cindy’s (the girlfriend) dildo collection that Wilfred has buried in the back yard or it’s manipulating a dog whisperer into seeing Adam as an animal abuser Wilfred aims to get rid of Adam by any means necessary, it’s the survival of the fittest and in this house the fittest is Wilfred, just don’t ask him to do any running that would be just too much hard work.

Watching every episode of the show (both series one and two) it really feels a shame that the Australian version of the show only lasted that long. Series two is obviously where it really hit its stride as the writers got more confident with where they wanted Wilfred to go story wise. This is not putting down the first series at all as it’s a very strong start. The success of the show rests solidly on Jason Gann’s shoulders though as Wilfred and this is given further credence by the fact that he went on to do the American remake, which I sadly have to admit I’ve not seen yet.

I say series two is stronger and really this is because it feels more fleshed out. There are more animal characters and we learn more about not only Cindy’s history but more importantly Wilfred’s when we meet his father. In typical Australian style the humour has that edgy feel, Wilfred himself reminds me of Eric Bana’s Chopper character but in dog form. Half of the tales he has to tell Adam about his life are lies made up to manipulate the guy into being a failure, and of course we as the watcher really enjoy this, pretty much because Adam is the stereotypical loser. Wilfred is more the anti-hero, we can tell he’s totally setting Adam up to fail in any way he can manage it but it’s fair to say that Adam deserves it. This rivalry does lessen though as the series goes on because of the way Wilfred starts to actually like the guy. Of course this leads to even more madcap adventures such as Wilfred becoming an actor and even taking part in Bite Club, but we can’t talk about that as the first rule of bite club is nobody talks about bite club.

One of the reasons that Wilfred really worked for me was the humour which is quite dark. It gives a unique view of what it is like to be a dog, from sniffing butts to how Wilfred views people we are introduced into his mind, sometimes we may not like what he says but he’s a typical dog, he either wants attention or he wants to hump anything that moves, which of course often gets him into trouble. I found it interesting that where the animal characters were often quite likable and comic the human characters were a little more annoying, in a way this could be that the human lives we recognise are far less boring than the animalistic and chaotic lives of the animals where it’s more about sex and working out who you need in your life and don’t. A nice little TV classic from Australia, I’d say this version is a must see. Now I’ll have to go hunt down the America remake and see if Elijah Wood does a good enough job of being victimised by a psychopathic dog.

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