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Wilfred confronts "Fear"

Wilfred (US) poster

Written by : published Friday 8th July 2011

Please click here to watch the latest Wilfred episode online.

     "Fear," the third episode of FX's Wilfred, is a sequel to the first episode, "Happiness." In the earlier entry, Ryan (Elijah Wood) breaks into Spencer's (Ethan Suplee, My Name is Earl, Mallrats house at the urging of Wilfred (Jason Gann), and they not only steal the man's weed, but also poop in his boots. Wilfred goes back later to drop Ryan's wallet at the scene, which is why in "Fear," Spencer angrily confronts his neighbor. Luckily, Spencer isn't very smart, and Ryan is able to convince him that he is also a victim, and the robbers must have dropped Ryan's wallet, which they stole. Unfortunately for Ryan, having Spencer as a friend, which mainly involves looking at naked women, on screen or in clubs, is far worse than having him as an enemy.

     It is curious that "Fear" airs third instead of second, as "Happiness" flows right into "Fear," and there is no relevance of the second episode to this story. However, it is just nice to get that closure and continuation, so no complaints.

     After "Happiness," it is hard to see where the series is going. Three episodes in, things are a bit clearer, and it's looking good. While still a very strange show, and no effort is being made at this point to explain why Ryan sees Wilfred as a man in a dog costume, and everyone else sees Wilfred as a normal pooch, that's not the issue at hand. Instead, Wilfred is about Ryan discovering himself with the help of an insightful and ornery new chum. Whether Wilfred is real or in Ryan's imagination, he serves that purpose quite capably, and the series manages to make the premise both humorous and seriously emotionally good.

     Wood is slaying the role, which seems perfectly tailored to the type of character the actor usually plays. He's a not-so-confident man, who realizes he must gain acceptance of himself, or make himself better so that he can get to that place. Gann, who had a hand in creating the show, is much less known, but holds his own equally well against the established co-star. He uses many of the same tricks he did in the Australian version, but with more talent to play against. And, of course, a much higher production value.

     "Fear" is a wonderful episode, as not only does it deal with the titular concept, but honesty, trust, friendship, and consequences are touched on with equal insight. Ryan let fear prod him into lying, thinking his best option to handle a scary man is avoid physical confrontation, but it's not. Ryan learns a valuable lesson, that one should deal with problems head on, instead of trying to wiggle around them.

     Of course, Wilfred is a comedy, so viewers will want to laugh, too, which they can do in spades. Suplee is hilarious as the boob-obsessed neighbor, both simple and crude, but wholly inoffensive in his worldview, even if one does not wish to spend too much time with him. As Ryan scrambles to keep his secrets, Wood does the type of physical comedy that few can pull off. A bit where Wilfred is bringing up Spencer's stolen pot to smoke with him is particularly amusing.

     If you are still on the fence about Wilfred, hopefully "Fear" will help you make up your mind. Watch Wilfred Thursdays nights at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

     If you like my reviews, please follow me on Twitter!

    
Article first published as TV Review: Wilfred - "Fear" on Blogcritics.

About the author JeromeWetzelTV

JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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