Wilfred: When Bears Drink

Wilfred S02E06: "Control"

Wilfred has a bit of an identity crisis going on, with many of its episodes split between an existential descent into the sanity of one man's deranged mind and hammy-yet-lovable sight-gag indie sitcom. For those looking for more from the show, the inconsistency can be frustrating. But if Jason Gann can continue the performance he gave in "Control," it won't matter.

With a story ripped straight from Three's Company or anything that's been called a comedy over the last few decades, "Control" saw Ryan force-introducing Jenna and Amanda via a dinner party after the two briefly said hello while inadvertently running into each other on the beach. (What is it with all the random beach encounters on this show?) We've seen this scenario a million times, so we half-knew what to expect; only our knowledge that Wilfred is perfectly capable of pulling the rug out from underneath us at any moment kept it enticing.

But "Control" never turned the convention upside-down, instead staying within the outer boundaries of the premise and pushing them with some edgy humor. And you know what? Sometimes that's all Wilfred has to do to be satisfying. Obviously Jenna and Amanda wouldn't like each other and obviously Wilfred would bound into the room and screw everything up for Ryan. But Amanda's story about where her true fear of dogs came from—that a pair of bluetick hounds ate her dead grandfather's legs and face—was delightfully sick and exactly the type of dark humor Wilfred excels at. And I'm not sure others will agree with me here, but I think Ryan's uncomfortable actions (his repeated need to have Jenna and Amanda bond over something in common) and the dinner party in general were a conscious yet subtle parody of the dinner party trope. Wilfred knew it was doing a dinner party episode and had some fun with it.

And the most fun came from Wilfred himself, who crashed the party with his own uninvited guest, his friend and lover Bear. The shtick here (and it was good shtick) was that stuffed-animal Bear had fallen off the wagon and gone back to alcoholism. Whether or not Wilfred was faking it so he could disrupt the party isn't the point. The point is THERE WAS AN ALCOHOLIC STUFFED ANIMAL. There's no point in overanalyzing this, it was just really funny.

Or can we analyze it just the right amount? I'm sure this had occurred to many of you before, but last night's episode really brought it to light. What if Wilfred sees Bear the same way Ryan sees Wilfred? What if Bear really is alive and talking to Wilfred? What if Ryan and Wilfred share the same psychosis? You know what I'd like to see somewhere in the future? Wilfred talking to a man in a dog suit in a stuffed bear suit. That would blow my mind.

"Control" wasn't one of the series' mind-benders, but it combined both sides of Ryan's life and delivered the dark moments we all love about the show.



NOTES

– Wilfred's story about Rex and the dog dike Lady was hilarious. Maybe he had sex with her corpse, maybe he didn't. (He did.)

– Wilfred sniffing Amanda's crotch.

– Even though Amanda and Wilfred got along in the end, I still don't trust her. There's something up with her. I just know it.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (16)
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Let's face it "Chloe" is amazing...
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"I haven't even so much as sniffed her map of Tassie". Ahh, makes me proud to be an Aussie. Hilarious.
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Ok so I still really like this show and everything, but am I the only one that is starting to find Wilfred extremely annoying and stubborn. I mean I know that it's that aspect of him that is supposed to be funny, and it is to an extent, but all he does now is ruin Ryan's relationships/dinner parties/etc etc. Like when Wilfred came to the door at the beginning, I wish Ryan would have just not let him in, because he had to have known that Wilfred would ruin everything.

I don't know, just my thoughts.
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.....hes a dog....hes acting exactly like a dog would act...I dont know what else to say here
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I just started working nights at Dish, but episodes like this are the reason I find time to watch Wilfred. When Wilfred said that Bear was on the wagon I giggled a bit, but when Bear fell off the wagon my laughter was uncontrollable. I have been watching Wilfred on my Dish Remote Access app and then I watch The Daily Show afterwards, but this week I just watched this episode twice.
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hahha i was thing the exact same thing tim, concerning wilfred seeing bear as ryan does him. (and ryan's mother does that cat, which was awesome)
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- Also, Ryan sees Wilfred -> Wilfred sees Bear -> Bear sees Origami Crane



I wonder how far down THAT goes
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I love how Wilfred was just drooling uncontrollably after Amanda told the story about the dogs eating her grandfather's legs.
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Wilfred was simply on fire in this episode. "Common Wilfred, you're better than this..."



I gotta say that I never expected to see a show where a guy in a dog cosutume and a 'stuffed bear' (oh boy...this is wrong) would be stealing the show. Great!
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I also liked the part with Ryan's made up story about why Amanda hates dogs (she got bitten in the rear by a Great Dane) before the lie was exposed--literally!
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Jason Gann is the only person who should be competing with Louis CK at the Emmys (Ok maybe Matt LeBlanc as well - he got screwed too). He's working in a dog suit and its so absurd and its wonderful. Elijah Wood got screwed too - he's playing the most difficult straight man role on television, (how either of their performances are so overlooked is baffling)... as did Mary Steenburgen..



"Wilfred", "Louie", "Archer", "The League", and the godfather "Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia". These are shows that are clearly their creators' visions. All are exceptionally well written and genuinely funny, all of them are different, the network never screws with what these shows creative teams are doing, and they all work. And all of them are working on a budget for a season that is probably less than it costs to make one episode of the overrated "Modern Family". Seems like a good way to run a comedy division at a network! I think F/X ideas about Comedy fly directly in the face of NBC's new comedy edict (with one glaring exception which I'm choosing to ignore) and I'll take F/X's thinking over the brain trust at NBC every day of the week.





Not a bad episode at all, Fiona Gubelmann and Alison Mack in the center of the story can't complain about that - when Amanda told Jenna she had "seen her work" the looks/look aways exchanged between the two were priceless - even Suri's dad had his moments.



Good review.
More+
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I don't know what it is, but Alison Mack keeps growing on me.
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Of course, comedies have to be absurd to make sense, and people have to behave unreasonably. In any normal circumstance if you have a guest and they are uncomfortable with a dog or a cat, the animal is simply removed from the premises, no questions asked. Nobody goes on analyzing why the guest doesn't like the animal, or tries to reason with the guest why they should like pets. Yet they all treat Wilfred like a person. But then if TV people behaved with the minimum common sense, comedies wouldn't be funny, I guess.
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Animated Gif #1: Wilfred: "Hmmm. That's tight. Note to self..."

Animated gif #2: Amanda is cute doing that but nothing beats "squishy tits."

Wilfred sees Bear like Ryan sees Wilfred? While it's all really happening in Ryan's head? A psychosis inside a psychosis? Wow, you've officially blown my mind, Tim.
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didnt watch the episode , but the second animated picture looks like Allison Mack

chanting a spell to enhance her boobs
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