Spoilers for this week's excellent "Wilfred" after the jump:
It's been a while since I checked in on "Wilfred", and this week's terrific installment is as good a time as any to do so. For starters, we're about midway through the season: long enough to get a handle on what does and doesn't work about this show. Also, this episode may very well represent an important turning point in the show' trajectory.
Thus far "Wilfred" has been mostly a self-contained show. There have been a few recurring characters and storylines, but just about every episode has explored a different idea (anger, pride, fear, etc.) and then dropped it. That would be fine: "Louie" does it every week. But the difference is that "Wilfred's" range of ideas aren't quite as varied or interesting as "Louie's" are. The result has been a series that, while enjoyable, isn't quite up to the level of most of the other comedies I watch.
What makes "Anger" my favorite episode of this show so far is that it takes what we already know about Ryan and applies it to one of those self-contained stories: in this case, Ryan's guilt over being responsible for his childhood dog's death (which the possessed Wilfred insists was Kristen's fault). Watching as this guilt turns to anger is fascinating, and the ultimate resolution to the plot seems to indicate a slight shift in Ryan and Kristen's relationship that probably won't go away anytime soon. And that's a good thing.
It also doesn't hurt that this was probably the funniest "Wilfred" to date. Wilfred turning into Sneakers was a great sight gag, and his antics at the party were absolutely hilarious. But more importantly, they were rooted in a truly compelling story: one that explains quite a bit about Ryan. I do hope that the rest of this season manages to do the same. This show needs to start developing its characters better, and this was definitely a step in the right direction.
- I don't usually like projectile vomiting gags, but for whatever reason I found the one in this episode hysterical. I'm not really sure why.
- More hilarity from the title character: the attempts to kill the fly. Sure, it was an obvious joke. That doesn't mean it wasn't funny.
- "Wilfred" was recently renewed for a second season. Great news. I like this show, even if it does have a few flaws that need to be addressed.
- I still don't plan on reviewing the show weekly. I may check in one more time this season: probably after the finale.
- The "Louie" review is going to be late this week, since I have two episodes to write about instead of one. I'll have it up as soon as possible, though.