Saturday, September 23, 2023


June 23, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

It’s not often that a scripted comedy show debuting in the summer on a cable network receives much notice from TV critics, let alone rave reviews, but such is the case with FX’s new comedy series Wilfred, which premieres tonight (Thursday). The show, which stars Elijah Wood as a depressed lawyer and Jason Gann as his neighbor’s dog Wilfred (Gann created the original series in Australia), who attempts to persuade Wood’s character to experience the joy of life. In the Hollywood Reporter, Tim Goodman commented: “While all the philosophical, existential and surprisingly intimate moments of their friendship are the wonderfully surprising backbone to Wilfred, the hook is the absurdist situations and brilliant humor.” David Wiegand in the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the show is “stuffed with juvenile humor, steaming piles of bad taste and an idiotic premise. Perhaps an acquired taste for some viewers, but if the sheer absurdity of the show doesn’t get you, the rather sweet undercurrent just may do the trick.” In the Los Angeles Times, critic Robert Lloyd warns: “The humor is frequently scatological or sexual, but a mitigating sweetness enfolds it all.” And Robert Bianco concludes in USA Today: “In a sea of summer (and spring, and fall, and winter) sameness, it’s refreshing to find a show that is content to go its own way — and wag its own tail.” Several critics are not nearly so appreciative of the wackiness of the premise (Woods’ character sees Wilfred as a man with an Australian accent in a shaggy dog costume). “The show is cool to the point of being cold. The bark is all snark,” writes Hank Steuver in the Washington Post. And Mike Hale concludes in the New York Times: “Wilfred” tries for a coarse sophistication … but it ends up muffled and not very funny.”