‘Wilfred:’ Dude-Dog Bromance Takes on Dark Comedy

In a world where those of us with a Netflix account dedicate most of our free time trying to figure out which show to binge next, it can be frustrating trying to find a show out of the pool of hundreds that won’t be a waste of time. However, there are few shows that are golden musts, one being “Wilfred.”

“Wilfred” is not your typical Disney’s “Dog with a Blog” kind of show. It is vulgar, offensive, quirky, positively hilarious and definitely falls in the top of my binge-watch worthy list. “Wilfred” is a dark comedy with an original and unique storyline that is easily lovable.

This show, created by Jason Gann and Adam Zwar, ran on FX from 2011 until its series finale in 2014. It stars Jason Gann, Elijah Wood, Fiona Gubelmann and Dorian Brown.

The series follows Ryan Newman (Elijah Wood), a depressed, introverted lawyer living in Venice, California who struggles to find his path in life. After a failed suicide attempt the night before, Ryan wakes up to find Jenna, his next door neighbor, at his door desperately asking him to watch her dog, Wilfred (Jason Gann), for the day. Ryan, completely baffled, accepts.

But instead of seeing a regular dog like everyone else does, Ryan sees an Australian man in a dog suit.

After that day, Ryan and Wilfred spend most of their time together getting into all sorts of havoc, and he even starts learning life lessons from what Executive Producer David Zuckerman says is “a half Labrador Retriever, half Russell Crowe in a bender.”

Wilfred uses coercion and manipulation to push Ryan into disastrous situations usually for his own selfish needs. But in the end, the crazy adventures they have together help Ryan slowly break out of his shell and appreciate the thrilling side of life.

Gann does an outstanding job at playing the talking, beer-chugging, pot-smoking, Matt Damon-loving dog. Wood also plays the very relatable character that is just trying to figure out his life much like most of us today. Together, Wood and Gann provide the show with strange bromance whose relationship gives a new meaning to friendship between man and dog while instilling a sense of hope in its audience.

The comedy is very dry and sarcastic, so those fans of the typical American sitcoms such as “Seinfeld” will probably not appreciate the humor. For those with a more open mind when it comes to comedy, some episodes will make you laugh while others will make you cry. Every day they sign off in Ryan’s basement with him and Wilfred doing what all best friends do: smoking pot from a homemade Gatorade bong talking about the many wonders of life.

It is important to note that this show is not just about a guy who sits around all day with another guy in a dog suit; it embodies much deeper values such as courage, hope, friendship and discovering happiness.

Every episode leaves its audience mind-blown, and each season finale forces the viewer to ponder on some deep and complicated question in life.

Near the end of the series’ pilot, after Ryan and Wilfred break into their rowdy neighbor’s house, steal his marijuana plants and defecate in his boots. Wilfred tells Ryan, “When was the last time you ever felt this good? It’s called living, mate. Trust your instincts. No more doubt. No more fear. Welcome to your new life.” In short, this show is about hope, living in the moment, overcoming fears and embracing the insanity of life.