Deadline Comic-Con television correspondent Gary Hodges files:
If there’s a more bizarre and unconventional show than FX’s original series Wilfred at Comic-Con, I’m really not sure what it’d be. For those unfamiliar: An American version of an Australian show by the same name, Wilfred is about a young former lawyer named Ryan (played by Elijah Wood) who, unsuccessful and near suicidal, forms a quasi-friendship with his neighbor’s dog, Wilfred… whom he sees as a rude, maniacal Australian man in a dog costume (Jason Gann). Both Wood and Gann were on the panel, joined by the two female leads (Fiona Gubelmann, who plays Wilfred’s owner, and Dorian Brown, Ryan’s sister) and producers David Zuckerman and Randall Einhorn. Wood was the most energetic and chatty of the lot, and seems to have quite a following among the female geek population. More than once a female attendee expressing her admiration (“You’re sexy!” one cried), followed by squeals of agreement from the rest and a few awkward Lord of the Rings-related questions. Everyone involved seems to know the show is an odd duck, and thus faces an uphill climb. Zuckerman admitted: “This is a high-concept show, and high-concept shows generally have a short lifespan.” Admittedly, watching Gann copulate with a stuffed giraffe wasn’t really the best example of high-concept, but overall the show is challenging in its own curious way.
They hope for a second season; we’ll see if that happens. It’s dark, it’s weird, it’s melancholy… and the show veers into perverse weirdness I can’t say I’ve ever seen before in a television show or movie. (The highlight had to be Wilfred’s sexual fascination with a stuffed toy giraffe, culminating in a montage of lovemaking set to thumping bass. Then Wood gets his own turn with the stuffed animal.)
The audience mostly want to talk about differences between the original series and this one (in short: the original is darker and more absurd), and pointed questions about whether Ryan is crazy or not. There was also some interesting conversation about the rules the writers have for the show, necessary when Ryan is dealing with Wilfred who – regardless of how he looks to Ryan – is a dog. Wood recalled one episode where he demands Wilfred hand over an axe the dog used to chop a hole through a fence. “But I couldn’t take it from Wilfred, because then the axe would exist.” Also slipped in there was a concession from Zuckerman that the show is best enjoyed under the influence.
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