The setup of Wilfred allows it to get away with plots and jokes few other series can. Not only is it about a psychologically fractured nut who once tried committing suicide, allowing scenes that frequently toe the line between reality and insanity, it’s about about a psychologically fractured nut who once tried committing suicide…who talks to a dog. “With” a dog, actually. The titular Wilfred begins season three by messing with not only viewers, but also Ryan, who isn’t sure what to believe. Is the dog in the painting real? Is Wilfred real? IS ANYTHING REAL?
This what-the-f*ckery has always been what I find most appealing about Wilfred — well, that, and whenever a human in a fuzzy dog suit indulges in well-worn dog tropes, like being afraid of the mailman and engaging in rape fights — which is why I liked the season premiere, “Uncertainty,” more than the funny, yet slight “Comfort.” It’s unlikely the show will go back to the mythology doggie bowl too often this season (although he’s still involved with the series, old showrunner David Zuckerman has been replaced by Reed Agnew and Eli Jorne, and they’ll likely want to try different things), and honestly, that’s fine — it’s not the mystery that drives the show; it’s the amusing darkness and sense of, well, uncertainty and lack of comfort. A dog may drink an anti-freeze cocktail and have to get his stomach pumped. Who knows? The success of Wilfred lies in how far the writers and cast are willing to take Ryan’s damaged psyche, and if we’re willing to tag along for the ride. Without sitting in the driver’s lap, please.
Also, Dave from Happy Endings and Angela from The Office showed up. Anyway, every week, I’ll choose the biggest WTF moment that only Wilfred could get away with, beginning with TV’s first dog-on-bear blumpkin.