At the outset of Wilfred‘s first season, Ryan Newman (Elijah Wood) was a depressed former lawyer attempting to kill himself. His suicide proved unsuccessful, however, and his life returned to relative normalcy, albeit with one major exception: his neighbor’s dog Wilfred (Jason Gann) now appeared to him as foul-mouthed Australian in a dog suit.
With a common interest in smoking marijuana and Wilfred’s attractive owner Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann), Ryan and Wilfred formed an unlikely symbiosis, with the canine serving as Ryan’s generally selfish but occasionally helpful friend and spiritual mentor.
The pair’s pot-fueled adventures in existential philosophy earned Wilfred a strong cult following, with the first season delivering shock, absurdity and hilarity in equal measure. Wilfred season 2 is poised to keep the provocative humor coming, while delving a little deeper into whatever surreal mechanisms created this world for Ryan.
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What to Expect from ‘Wilfred’ Season 2
Wilfred will return to FX this summer, with all of the major cast members and creative team expected to remain onboard. Throughout most of Wilfred‘s first season, the show took an “embrace the mystery” approach to Wilfred’s existence, playing up Ryan’s struggle with unknowable absurdity as opposed to investigating how Wilfred came to be.
The season finale, however, promised a closer look at the Wilfred mystery, ending on the revelation that the door to Wilfred and Ryan’s hang-out basement now simply leads to a closet, and possibly may have the entire time. Show producer and co-creator David Zuckerman dropped hints about this at the Wilfred Comic-Con panel, stating for the record that they do have a mythology in mind for what’s really going on.
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The most obvious possibility is that Ryan is insane, and Wilfred is a manifestation of his animal impulses: There is a history of mental illness in Ryan’s family, we only see Wilfred through Ryan’s eyes, and none of Wilfred’s actions have consequences that extend beyond what a real dog could do.
The other more interesting possibility is that Wilfred is somehow real, and Ryan is the only one privy to this reality: Think Jacques Lacan by way of Cheech and Chong, with Ryan’s alternate world of dog people just as valid a representation of truth as anyone else’s. Regardless, it adds up to a world in which Ryan is probably crazy, but also just might be right.
What do you want to see from this show’s mythology in Wilfred season 2? Do you want answers, or do you prefer to keep things ambiguous? Is Wilfred a hallucination, a magical trickster god, a hoax played on Ryan that everyone else is in on, or something else entirely? Let us know your theories in the comments!
(Image courtesy of FX)