Ryan Newman (Elijah Wood) finds that his life has no meaning for him anymore. He tries to commit suicide but he doesn’t succeed at that (reminding me of Orlando Bloom in Elizabethtown). Then, his neighbor (Fiona Gubelmann) leaves her dog with him for the day, and suddenly, he’s experiencing a different perspective.
His neighbor’s dog looks like a dog to everyone else, but appears to Newman as an Australian man in a giant dog suit (Jasan Gann, co-creator). Weird, right? Somehow, the longer you watch this, the more it makes sense. And yes, maybe you’ll also want to tune in for the Mark Wahlberg vehicle Ted later this summer for animal/inanimate objects that speak to humans and provide them perspective.
What happens when a smoking dog starts speaking to you, whether you’re high like the dog or not? In Newman’s case, life starts to get better. He recognizes that life might actually be worth living, that happiness isn’t necessarily what society thinks it means, and that maybe he should change his perspective on what he thinks he should be following. It’s about changing directions, finding purpose, and listening to your inner dog. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)
This Blu-ray collection brings all thirteen episodes of the first season together, along with deleted scenes, and a few featurettes, like the Fox Movie Channel look at “Life After Film School” with Gann. The FX original show uses Ethan Suplee as a motorcycle-riding neighbor and Chris Klein as Wilfred’s owner’s boyfriend to bring out some funny dog moments, but the focus is on a boy and his dog, or vice versa.
Wilfred didn’t knock me out (it was a little different) but it certainly highlights that society-driven falsehood that pursuing happiness will actually make us happy. I believe we’re called to seek joy, the joy of the Lord, and when we have that joy in our hearts, we’ll be at peace even amidst unhappy times. Happiness itself is pretty fleeting. Just ask Newman.