June 24th, 2011
12:32 PM ET
After watching Thursday night's premiere of "Wilfred," I'm not sure there's enough to sustain a long-term series, but there's more than enough to keep me watching.
Elijah Wood stars in FX's remake of the critically acclaimed Australian series of the same title. Co-creator Jason Gann reprises the role of Wilfred, a dog who is seen by Wood's character, Ryan, as a man in a dog suit.
The show began with Ryan trying, unsuccessfully, to kill himself by swallowing a cocktail mixed with medication. At one point, he was interrupted by the yammering of what he believed to be his neighbor's boyfriend.
When the neighbor, Jenna, showed up at Ryan's doorstep the next morning, she asked him to watch Wilfred, and before long it became clear - to Ryan, at least - that this was not a side effect of the drugs (which turned out to be placebos).
In between musings on some of the habits of dogs, Wilfred was able to read Ryan like an open book and offer up sage advice from a canine point of view. Soon, after doing unspeakable things to the property of another neighbor who had threatened him, the once-suicidal Ryan discovered that he never felt more alive.
That's when the big twist took place: Wilfred planted Ryan's wallet at the scene of the crime.
Yes, I laughed out loud at some of the silly humor here. Despite the opening, it's not as dark as one might expect. At the moment the show's intriguing, if only because you just want to know the reason why Wilfred appears to Ryan this way. I worry, though, that the dog jokes may wear pretty thin after a few weeks.
The two biggest highlights here are the performances by Wood and Gann. Gann, especially, is extraordinary in this role, and hopefully we'll be seeing a lot more of what he can do in the future.
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