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DVD Review

DVD cover

Wilfred (USA Series)
The Complete Series
Seasons 1-4


Starring: Elijah Wood and Jason Gann
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £99.99
Certificate: 18
Release Date: 28 September 2015

Ryan is struggling to successfully make it in the world and decides to end it all. But when his suicide attempt fails, he winds up striking up a bizarre friendship with Wilfred, his neighbour’s not-so-domesticated dog. To everyone else Wilfred is just a loveable pup, but to Ryan he is man’s best friend in a dog suit... Together the gruff but brutally honest man in the suit and down in the dumps Ryan enjoy a bromance of beer-guzzling, dirty deeds and lewd lust-fuelled affairs. Can Wilfred help Ryan conquer life in the mad, messed up world surrounding him or will he make a dog’s dinner of it all...?

Wilfred: The Complete Series collects together all 49 episodes of the American incarnation of Jason Gann's original Australian show. This release simply collects together the previously available single season DVD releases and houses them in a large slipcase.

It's an interesting show which, after the initial season (which revolves around getting to know the characters) grows to be something a little more mysterious. The question of why Ryan can see Wilfred as a man in a dog suit while everyone else sees a dog, is explored, as is Ryan's strained relationship with his parents.

There's also some interesting guest stars including Mary Steenburgen (she's replaced by Mimi Rogers in season 4) as Ryan's mum ; Dwight Yoakam (replaced by William Baldwin in season 4) as the mysterious Bruce, Wilfred's nemesis; Robin Williams; Smallville's Allison Mack; Brad Dourif, Rutger Hauer and Tobin Bell.

Over the course of the show, Wilfred also talks to a large stuffed bear, in much the same way that Ryan talks to Wilfred. The audience and Ryan just see a stuffed bear, but there is one episode where we see what Wilfred sees. Bear is "real" and not, as Ryan suspects, Wilfred playing mind games. We also, finally, get to see what Wilfred looks like as a dog.

It's eventually revealed that Wilfred may be one of two identical looking gods, sent to lead the chosen one to happiness. But is Wilfred the good god? Or the evil, trickster god who will bring Ryan nothing but misery?

The show's fourth season neatly ties up all the lose ends. Although, I was a little disappointed to see that the penultimate episode concludes everything rather well by not having a cliched happy ending, but then the finale episode stretches out a rather bland cliched happy Hollywood ending that feels very much out of place.

Extras include:

Season 1 - Wilfred at Comic-Con 2011 (6 min, 33 sec Q&A); Deleted Scenes (15 min, 45 sec); Wilfred & Bear: A Love Affair (1 min, 04 sec edited scenes from the show with Wilfred having sex with Bear); Mary Jane Mash-Up (1 min, 01 sec edited together clips of drug references from the show); and Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life after Film School with Jason Gann (9 min, 58 sec interview. This extra isn't overly easy to find as it's on the second page of extra material which you could easily miss if you don't see the little arrow indicating another page. In addition the aspect ratio seems to be incorrect, which means you'll have to change your screen settings on your TV).

Season 2 - Deleted Scenes (2 min, 30 sec); Deleted Scenes (38 sec - single deleted scene); Blooper Reel (4 min, 43 sec); Stay (3 min, 45 sec spoof Bear episode where Bear is the star of the show); News at Noon with Jenna (1 min, 03 sec full "squishy tits" viral video); Wilfred / Ryan Mash-up (53 sec with lots of clips with Ryan saying "Wilfred", followed by more clips with Wilfred saying "Ryan".

Season 3 and 4 contain no extras, which is a shame as it would have been interesting to hear where the religious dog god idea came from.

Wilfred is an enjoyable show, which keeps going from strength to strength. And, thankfully, it is all neatly tied up at series conclusion. Just pretend the final episode didn't happen.


Darren Rea

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