Follow Up – Wilfred
Wilfred – SBS – 10:00pm Monday – AUS
Wilfred is back on SBS for a second series, because if there’s one rule they have at SBS it’s ‘renew everything’. Since its debut way back in 2007 Wilfred has become a cult hit, meaning that lots of people talk about it but not a lot of people actually watch it. Wilfred originally appeared as a short film in Tropfest and unfortunately the one joke premise of putting a dude in a dog suit and pretending he’s an actual dog while watching him drink, swear, have a ciggie and smoke some bongs is about as funny now as it was then – which is to say that it’s still kind of funny… sorry if I approached that sentence in such a way that it felt like I was going to pan the show.
Of course the show hasn’t really evolved much since those early days. Wilfred still doesn’t get on with Adam, the bloke who’s dating his owner, Sarah. While Adam and Sarah have been hurrying along from dating to moving in together to a proposal, Wilfred and Adam still can’t get fully comfortable with each other. Adam is the only one who can hear Wilfred when he’s talking, while Sarah still treats him like a proper dog – it’s a little bit like Garfield in that way, and yes I just compared the world’s blandest comic strip to that SBS comedy where the dog-man says the C-word a lot.
Jason Gann is still absolutely hilarious as Wilfred and is the highlight of the show; whenever the show shifts focus away from his incredibly adult doggie adventures it drags to a halt. The problem is that Adam and Sarah are such a shit couple that spending any time with them is like getting jabbed in the ear with a really pointing stick. As season two starts Sarah thinks her and Adam need couples therapy, while Wilfred has unexpectedly fallen in love with a cat named Kat. The Kat storyline subtly highlights the standard interactions between a cat and a dog whilst dabbling in their forbidden love, while the Sarah storyline plods along like we actually want to spend time with this dreary couple and don’t want to get back to the funny dog who’s always on about his DVDs.
As Wilfred fans well know Wilfred is the comedy gold centre while Adam & Sarah just seem to get in the way of more laughs. It’s actually rather unfortunate that the premise requires Adam and Sarah to stay together forever because I’d much rather Sarah walk out on Adam leaving him with Wilfred. The show is at its best when Wilfred and Adam are reluctantly getting on.
With its muted colour scheme and its dark as you can get comedy (what other show can make jokes about rape, and screwing ‘deadies’, and get away with it because it’s coming from the mouth of a pretend dog?) Wilfred is a uniquely SBS comedy. Wilfred is also the best Australian comedy on TV at the moment – which is EXACTLY the same as saying it’s the ONLY Australian comedy on TV at the moment. As much as the networks would like us to believe that panel shows and celebrity quizzes are ‘comedy’ programs, they’re not – Wilfred is the only scripted Australian comedy on air as we speak. Huzzah to the grumpy mutt. Huzzah!