Wilfred: Complete Series 1 & 2
By now Wilfred’s simple yet
decidedly effective premise will be familiar to most, especially with a
US remake starring Elijah Wood having kicked off in the States earlier
this year. It’s fairly neatly evinced in the series’ tagline: One Man.
One Woman. And a bong smoking dog who thinks he’s human.
The chap in the titular dog suit is writer
Jason Gann, formerly best known for his work on comedy program The
Wedge, and he proves a master of the deadpan as he growls his way
from one howlingly funny line to the next. Also putting in a deft turn
is co-writer Adam Zwar as the hapless love interest of Sarah (Cindy
Waddingham, I Love You Man), Wilfred’s beautiful owner. Together
the trio careen through life as the world’s most dysfunctional love
triangle, searching for something pure in an increasingly chaotic world,
or in Wilfred’s case eating pizza, smoking his homemade bong, watching
DVDs, ‘rooting’, and trying to get rid of the increasingly annoying Adam
once and for all.
Wilfred is an endlessly enjoyable
series, and it’s difficult not to be instantly charmed by its easygoing
appeal. The premise is expertly played for laughs without being mined
completely dry, and both seasons contain a near-perfect mix of clever
writing and spot-on performances, bolstered by a number of excellent
cameos (for my money the best is Stephen Curry as a giant talking
cockatoo – I must’ve watched that scene fifteen times, sad as it may
sound). Wilfred even manages to find himself a love interest in the
unlikely form of a feisty neighbourhood feline (played by Kestie Morassi,
Wolf Creek) and flirts with fame as the star of a TV commercial
(‘Dog Star’, Series 2). This is off-kilter and occasionally off-colour
comedy at its finest, and one of the most daring and memorable
Australian sitcoms of the past decade.
Audio & Video
No glossy, sissified HD here. The 16:9
transfer is quite grainy, particularly during the first season – the
pilot is especially gritty. Picture quality tidies up nicely as the
series progresses however, and at the end of the day Wilfred
looks better a little rough around the edges. Both seasons features
two-channel audio, which though a little rudimentary also proves
perfectly acceptable – again, a big fancily immersive sound mix would be
surplus to requirements, and the soundtrack on offer is more than up to
the job at hand.
The four disc ‘Dog Box’ doesn’t contain
anything new in the way of bonus features, merely housing the previously
released editions of Seasons 1 and 2 in the aforementioned cardboard
receptacle. That said there’s plenty on offer in the bonus features
department, some two hours worth, including a Making Of, Outtakes and
Blooper Reels for both seasons, Behind the Scenes footage, trailers,
‘Wilfred Bites’ and much more.