FX's Wilfred will soon return for a third season this June. The popular comedy series has certainly transitioned well from the original Australian version over to American TV. The series debut was the highest rated comedy show debut for the network. A large part of this successful remake's charm is that Jason Gann, the original show's creator, writer, and actor who plays Wilfred reprises his role in the American version. Aside from the crude humor elements and quirks, the episodes center around philosophical themes that attempt to teach simple life lessons. Each episode begins with a word in a quote. These serve as the basis of the lesson the main character should learn. Mixing dark comedy with surprising elements of effective and moving drama, there's a lot more to Wilfred than just a man smoking pot and talking to dog.
At a quick glance, the show's concept is a little odd and outside the traditional American TV comfort zone. Elijah Wood stars a Ryan, a man who after a failed suicide attempt begins to see his neighbor's dog as a man in a dog suit who only he can communicate with while everyone else still sees a dog. As the two spend time together, crazy things start to happen in Ryan's life,
usually exacerbated by Wilfred's actions. Wilfred seems to
want to help Ryan, but at the same time he is manipulative and seems to be using him for his own personal gain. At various
points, it's easy to wonder if he really has Ryan's best interests in
mind. He leads Ryan through a series of adventures and attempts to teach
him lessons about life. Viewers are left wondering: Has Ryan gone crazy? Is he actually dead? Is Wilfred just an extension of his personality?
There are many questions still to be answered about the truth of Ryan and Wilfred's relationship. A possible explanation for Ryan's condition came to light to last season as he found an early childhood drawing with Wilfred mysteriously in the background. This leads us to believe that Wilfred has actually been with Ryan for his whole life. This will be a topic of discussion as more information is revealed about this. One thing viewers have learned about Wilfred is that he rarely gives clear answers to all of Ryan's questions. While he has revealed the picture to Ryan, he has still been unclear in explaining it to him.
This past season also had Ryan looking deep inside himself to solve his problems. In his drug induced flash backs, he was able to understand that a lot of his problems are rooted in his upbringing. This flash back scene where we see him cry with his sister was very moving because we saw a different and hidden side of Ryan. He will need to start embracing and addressing his issues with his father in the coming season. Some fans see Wilfred as a father figure in Ryan's life, who helps him learn how to be an adult. He has had to live his life in fear of never being able to adequately please his father. He is a good lawyer like his father, but as we are quickly learning, he may have never really wanted to be one in the first place. He just wanted to make his dad happy. This emotional aspect will continue to develop as the show continues and Ryan learns more about everything.
Season three is set to premier on June 20th and should jump right back in to what made the first two seasons so enjoyable. Good writing, acting, memorable characters, moments, presenting the comedy alongside philosophical lessons with little dashes of effective drama, etc. Ryan has recovered from being framed with his company, learned more about the root of his problems, and survived seeing Jenna and Drew get married. He has come a long way and will continue to grow with Wilfred's help of course. Hopefully more answers will be revealed as he learns more about his condition and more importantly, the truth about Wilfred. For some of series creator Jason Gann's theories on who Wilfred really is, see the interview below