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Wilfred “Resistance”/ “Happiness” Review (4×09/4×10)

14 Aug

Wilfred_1_1600“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”

These are the words that open the series, and these end up being the words that resonate the most with regards to the ending. There’s a full circle aspect to the events of this finale, and it feels like we’ve been on quite a journey to reach where we leave off with Ryan Newman; essentially, he remains in the same place, but at the same time, he’s learned to cope with his problems, to find something in his life upon which he can build off of…even if he’ll never be fully healed.

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Wilfred “Courage” Review (4×08)

7 Aug

960-5Resolutions are difficult, but rewarding. Last week, we saw one of sorts with Kristen and her mother, and this week, we shift focus to Wilfred, Ryan, Jenna, and, most importantly, Bear. It’s not so much a resolution to the questions that were posed in full force this season–that’s next week–rather, it’s more about recognizing what needs to be done in order to move on. It’s about taking a good, hard look at your life and having the courage to do what’s always been at the back of your mind.

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Wilfred “Responsibility” Review (4×07)

31 Jul

960-2Ryan’s psychological problems have compounded over the years, and this season’s episodes–with aptly named titles such as “Answers”, “Patterns”, and now “Responsibility”–have brought these problems to the forefront. Ryan’s always been searching for answers, falling into old patterns, and taking on responsibilities to the point where he’s unable to handle them all, and the constant cycle he’s been thrown into has led to tension and conflict and disappointment. However, like the quote used to open this episode states, he’ll get crushed by it all if he continues to let it build up.

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Wilfred “Patterns” Review (4×06)

24 Jul

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Patterns are means by which we can find some sense of normalcy in a crazy world, and even if the pattern happens to be self-destructive or at the detriment of others or just plain dumb, we tend to want to return to what we know, to what we’ve seen before. For, any semblance of uncertainty can throw us for a loop, sending us on a spiral downward before a pattern pulls us back up again. Temporarily.

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Wilfred “Forward” Review (4×05)

17 Jul

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It’s time to see things from the dog’s perspective. In “Forward”, we operate under the assumption that Wilfred truly is is own entity, that he has his own way of looking at things, that his way of looking at things isn’t just a twist on Ryan’s views. As a result, it’s a nice and refreshing take on things, but it also signifies a desire to bide time on the part of the writers.

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Wilfred “Answers” Review (4×04)

10 Jul

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“The idea was to make your worst fears come true.”

When Wilfred gets really trippy, it’s one of television’s most entertaining and compelling shows. Sometimes, it can be too confusing for its own good, but the show’s always able to craft a very unique ambience on screen, regardless of story or laughs. “Answers” is a fun, disorienting ride through Ryan’s headspace, and it emphasizes one aspect of his character that continually holds him back: fear.

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Wilfred “Loyalty” Review (4×03)

3 Jul

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“You’re a pretty amazing horrible sister, too.”

Kristen was far from the most endearing character early on in the show’s run, but the writers slowly started to shade her in and build upon the foundation of her being Ryan’s sister. In “Loyalty”, she reverts to the behavior she was known for in the past, but thankfully, it doesn’t prevent the episode from being thoroughly enjoyable.

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Wilfred “Amends”/ “Consequences” Review (4×01/4×02)

26 Jun

zap-wilfred-season-4-premiere-amends-consequen-004Wilfred is a show that, recently, has started to rely more on mystery than on comedy to drive the story. It’s always had this mysterious aura to it, but last season ramped that up to a whole new level; it was still enjoyable, but there were a few more problems in season 3 than in seasons 1 and 2. As we open the final season, though, we get a nice dose of both mystery and comedy, and it’s a refreshing start to the show’s endgame.

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Wilfred “Regrets” Review (3×13)

6 Sep

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Well, that was…interesting. The final shot of the third season of Wilfred is of Ryan in a forest, unearthing a statue of a man in a dog suit. It’s a moment that’s perfect for a cliffhanger, intended to be intense and mysterious. However, it comes across as tacky and unnecessary. Let’s break down why.

Ryan’s dad has always been a fundamental part of the show, even without his physical presence. He’s been hovering over these characters’ heads, influencing Ryan’s life in ways Ryan himself does not want to admit. Wilfred is important, but he may very well be a manifestation of Ryan’s inability to let go of his childhood. The series is about him maturing as a person, and his dad has impeded that natural progression of events.

This is exactly why I was excited to hear that his dad would be brought into the fold this season. However, I feel like the writers only scratched the surface with this relationship; it was a unifying storyline, but it jumped around the other side stories way too much. The weaving was less effective in this season.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the season (there are a few absolutely amazing episodes), or the episode. I love Wilfred’s reunion with Ryan, as it conveys true sadness on both of their parts. It’s heartbreaking and endearing, and it reminds you why you’re watching this show. The Jenna stuff, on the other hand, feels a bit generic, just like the rest of the season. The show pushed the boundaries in seasons 1 and 2, and I feel like they took a step back here.

As for the decision to kill off Ryan’s dad, I’m left disappointed. I guess that it is a smart move on the part of the writers, as they can maintain the ambiguity they’ve created with the character. However, it comes across as an avoidance of Ryan’s father issues. I hope that next season, the writers focus on him coping with the death, and not with the new overarching mystery. I don’t think that will happen, but I’d really love it if Ryan worked to make himself better. If that means the series has to end, then so be it. I want to see a natural progression of events, not some meandering plot that dances around a big mystery the whole season.

It’s not a bad episode. I’ve made it out to be worse than it really is, but that just stems from disappointment.

Grade: B

Season Grade: B

Other thoughts:

-So Ryan’s roommate is a spy! Okay.

-We also find out that the pro bono division managing job is actually real. It’s an interesting decision that I hope will be handled well next year.

-“What’s next, landscaping camp?”

-“At first I thought it was you, but then I thought about what you look like, and act like, and how you struggle with dandruff and stuff, and honestly I just burst out laughing.”

-Renewal is not a given. The show has been struggling, especially without Louie as a partner, but I hope FX allows it to end on its own terms. Hopefully I’ll see you all back here next year for season 4.

Credit to FX and Wilfred for all pictures. I own nothing.

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