Season premiere review: ‘Wilfred’ – ‘Uncertainty’

Senior Television Writer
06.20.13 12 Comments


A review of tonight’s “Wilfred” season premiere coming up just as soon as I vaguely remember the Troglodytes…

After the end of “Wilfred” season 2, David Zuckerman stepped down as showrunner, but in what seems to be a rare orderly producer transition. Zuckerman remains involved, if not as active, and the new showrunners are “Wilfred” veterans Reed Agnew and Eli Jorne.

Still, I wanted to see if “Wilfred” under the new bosses would be the same as “Wilfred” under the old bosses, and “Uncertainty” was reassuring: dark and weird and mysterious, but also full of big laughs.

On the one hand, Ryan continued to explore his discovery that he’s been drawing pictures of Wilfred since he was a little boy, including a trip to the home of Wilfred’s former owner. Zuckerman always said we shouldn’t dwell too much on the mystery of who and what Wilfred really is, but it’s still a note he liked to play, and one his successors did very well here, including the introduction of Wilfred’s posh clone Stinky, a photo of a puppy Wilfred (a cute baby in a dog suit), and Wilfred burying another picture in the yard.

Mostly, though, “Uncertainty” was really funny. Because this is a show about a suicidal man who may be mentally ill, “Wilfred” sometimes dispenses with the jokes for long stretches. But the premiere did a nice job of balancing the darkness with the jokes, sometimes blending them both together (Wilfred’s riff on being owned by Anne Frank: “Thank God, those well-dressed German men heard my barking and broke into the attic”) and sometimes just reminding us that Jason Gann is still playing a dog. Wilfred and Stinky going nuts over the cuckoo clock was great, as was Stinky’s coke/orgy room with its multiple giraffes, and the two dogs having an off-camera rapefight. (Ryan: “So, who won the rapefight?” Wilfred: “Just drive.”) Wilfred being a dog gives the writers license to go to some sick places, and Agnew and Jorne did that impressively. And for bonus points, we got Angela Kinsey from “The Office” doing terrible things to both Stinky and Wilfred.

As usual with this show, I don’t expect to be reviewing it every week, but I’ll try to check in when there’s a notable episode. I’ve also already seen episode two, which also felt comfortably like a continuation of what we’d seen before.

UPDATE: I’ve been traveling a lot this week, and as a result forgot that FX was airing the first two episodes last night. So feel free to also discuss Wilfred’s belief that Drew and Jenna were dead on their honeymoon, Wilfred versus the mailmen, the ups and downs of Wilfred’s relationship with Bear, and the final Jenna/Ryan scene, which was some of the better material Fiona Gubelmann’s been given to date.

What did everybody else think? 

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