Wilfred concluded it’s tragically short run today, leaving with questions answered and answers questioned.
Since I first started watching Wilfred via on demand (about three or four episodes into the series) during the summer of 2011, I quickly learned that for however much I love this ridiculous show, it will be one that others either decide to jump in for the ride immediately, or laugh off the premise almost immediately. Little did I know, however, how extreme said sides of the possible viewership would be until FX moved Wilfred to FXX as a part of the channel’s “opening ceremony.” Wilfred isn’t a show that should have an overlong run, but I can’t help but feel cut short. Possibly it is because of the short season’s that FX original thirty minute shows have, but more likely, the debacle that is FXX’s identity as a channel that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be.
Also, due to the problems that involve FXX and whether people are able to watch the episodes, this will be the spoiler free part one of my review. A full spoilers to the wind review will be available soon.
Yet even though the show only managed 49 episodes, those 49 episodes will leave quite the legacy, and an impact in how I look at filming.
(INCREDIBLY MILD SPOILERS; KEEP DIGGING AT OWN RISK)
The first episode of the two part finale starts with what may possibly have been one of the funniest quotations of the series, just because of the irony of the situation. “Resistance is futile”—Dr. Who, a quotation that would lead me in to what I was expecting from the first episode, the last big laughs before we get into the rough of the plot. However, someone somewhere must have known that was going to be what was expected, since “Resistance” hits, and hits hard, even though it opens to surreality of the couch being on the beach as though it were nothing.
As with all of Wilfred, the zaniness never overpowers the cinematography, as some of the shots from the couch on the beach are some of the coolest shots of that couch that will ever be seen. The show’s use of shallow depth of field seems like it has been perfected to a new level in this episode. No longer being just a plus that adds intense visual style to the show, the shallow depth really creates different atmospheres and tensions, making certain scenes almost feel like they may take place in different worlds.
The final episode, “Happiness,” may pick up where the penultimate leaves off, but in a twist I was not expecting, this is the episode where every single question that is unanswered gets its turn. I have full intent to go over those, but I will do that with my spoiler review for the episode, all I can mention here is that they involve the Flock of the Grey Shepherd and a surprisingly large number of characters other than Ryan, and their own levels of happiness.
The discussion on finale’s for TV series can be rough, because people’s views can vary so much on them. Scrubs had one of the most well done finales, and then a thirteen episode epilogue. How I Met Your Mother (regardless of how much waste there is in season nine), ended how Marshall said it would throughout the series, being the creators proxy for the ending that everyone (but me, oddly enough) seemed to hate (an entirely separate story). Yet for Wilfred, the finale only falls flat in that it decides to burn from both sides, allowing for the viewer to decide how the ending truly goes down.
I love the ending, it truly comes from a heartfelt place, and shows what the show obviously wants the ending to be (spoiler free ambiguity, like lolz y’all, amirite?!?). However, the very end, for as much heart as the duo of Jason Gann and Elijah Wood put into their characters and impossibly believable chemistry that sold the show on day one, doesn’t necessitate within me to vibe of which it is going for. As the tone became more explicit on one extreme and finally leaves you thinking, I constantly found myself digging deeper and deeper into the other extreme.
Now I have to contradict myself also, because part of me wants to do what Wilfred’s will says and “keep digging,” whereas another part of myself wants to take an older Wilfred’s advice instead, to “just be.”
My Arbitrary Rating System!!! Declares Wilfred’s Series Finale a:
Every element that allowed for four great seasons is on display and perfected in Wilfred’s final outing, feeling like Wilfred’s best walk to the park yet.