- 4 Seasons
Wilfred is a comedy series that aired on FX from 2011-2014. The show follows the story of Ryan (Elijah Wood), a young man who is struggling with depression and anxiety. Ryan feels alone in the world, isolated from the people around him and unable to connect with anyone. That all changes when he meets his neighbor's dog, Wilfred (Jason Gann), who appears to him as a man in a dog suit, but as far as everyone else is concerned, Wilfred is just an ordinary dog.
Despite initial reluctance on Ryan's part, he soon finds himself drawn into Wilfred's world, where the dog acts as a kind of spiritual guide, offering him advice and encouragement in ways that only a dog can, while also leading him on a series of crazy and unpredictable adventures. Though Ryan is never sure whether Wilfred is real or just a figment of his imagination, he comes to rely on the dog's presence in his life.
Throughout the series, Ryan struggles to balance his relationships with others, including his sister Kristen (Dorian Brown Pham), his best friend Spencer (Ethan Suplee), and his co-worker Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann). He also contends with the often bizarre behavior of Wilfred, who is not above getting into mischief or leading Ryan astray.
Jason Gann's portrayal of Wilfred is one of the highlights of the show. His deadpan delivery and offbeat sense of humor are perfectly suited to the show's unique blend of comedy and drama. Elijah Wood is also fantastic as Ryan, bringing depth and nuance to a character who is both sympathetic and frustrating at times.
The show's themes are often dark and complex, touching on issues such as mental illness, substance abuse, and existential angst. The writing is sharp and witty, and the show does an excellent job of balancing humor with heartfelt moments. At its core, Wilfred is a show about the human condition, exploring what it means to be alive and connected to others.
The supporting cast is also strong, with standout performances from Fiona Gubelmann as Jenna, Chris Klein as Drew, and Gerry Bednob as Vikram. J. P. Manoux also appears as Ryan's therapist, Dr. Ramos, providing a sounding board for Ryan's existential crises.
The show is both visually and thematically ambitious, using dream sequences and abstract imagery to convey Ryan's internal struggles. The cinematography is excellent, with a distinctive visual style that sets the show apart from other comedies.
One of the most notable things about Wilfred is its willingness to take risks and experiment with the format. The show often plays with narrative structure, using flashbacks and dream sequences to flesh out the characters and explore their motivations. The show's writers are not afraid to delve into complex psychological territory, pushing the boundaries of what a TV comedy can accomplish.
Overall, Wilfred is an excellent show that defies easy categorization. Its unique blend of comedy and drama, excellent writing, and standout performances make it a must-watch for fans of offbeat television. While the show may not be for everyone, those who are willing to take the leap into Ryan and Wilfred's world will be rewarded with an unforgettable viewing experience.
Wilfred is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (49 episodes). The series first aired on June 23, 2011.