Lunchtable TV Talk: Wilfred

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A long time ago I saw the first season of Wilfred and although I liked it, I forgot all about it. Recently I binged my way through the subsequent seasons during an equally all-encompassing baking binge and was surprised by how poignant a show it turned out to be. Questioning our sometimes tenuous links with reality, the quality of our relationships and the very meaning of existence at times, Wilfred never delivers answers and seems only to pose more questions. Its absurdity drives its stories and is its engine while its heart is as cruel, as manipulative, as misleading, as deceptive, as multilayered but ultimately as soft as … humanity. And that seems to be the point.Humanity and our relationships with other humans (or humanized canines!) is cruel and manipulative, among other things. And perhaps worst of all, our own minds can be playing tricks on us – and as Wilfred asks more than once, how can you tell the difference?

Given that answers are all left open to interpretation, Wilfred leaves you with a few laughs, some frustration and a lot of triggers for emotional response and analysis.

The premise – depressive and suicidal young man begins having conversations with his neighbor’s anthropomorphized dog, Wilfred. No one else can see the dog in this form. And from this basic and frankly silly idea, there is a lot more under the surface – and continuing the awkward and ill-formed analogy – a lot of bones to dig up and chew on.

It’s no masterpiece, but Wilfred felt like a quiet but powerful wave. I was easily sucked in, never once felt taxed or bored and was left with a lot to think about.

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