Ed Helms guest stars on "Wilfred." That's the dog himself… (FX )
Apparently you can teach audiences new tricks. FX's dark comedy "Wilfred" became an unlikely hit this summer with its blend of high concept and low-brow laughs.
Based on the Australian show of the same name, the half-hour series tells the story of Ryan (Elijah Wood), a former lawyer in a deep depression who bonds with his neighbor's dog, Wilfred (Jason Gann). The odd thing is, everyone else sees Wilfred as a dog while Ryan sees a mouthy, manipulative Aussie in a shaggy dog suit.
The series, which already earned a second season, ends its freshman run at 9 p.m. Sept. 8, but during a recent call with reporters, Gann and Wood were not willing to say if we learn the truth about Ryan's mental state.
"Let's just say that there will be more questions than answers," Gann, who co-created the original show and is co-executive producer for this one, said.
I asked Gann and Wood if Bear, Wilfred's stuffed animal lover/punching bag/sounding board that has become a break-out star of the show (at least to me), would seek therapy after being mistreated so badly, and if she'd be back for Season 2 with her name in the credits. Here's what they had to say, with a lot of laughter.
Jason Gann: Well, how do you know it's a her? [Laughs.] Look, I think that Bear is starting, as I'd hoped he or she would, to become a real character of [his or her] own. It's a great opportunity--and cheap for us, too, as far as characters go--to employ. I don't know whether Bear will go into therapy, but look, I really see Bear being in the show for some time. Hopefully you'll see Wilfred maybe start to appreciate Bear a little bit more.
Elijah Wood: I'd like to see her--
JG: I'd like Ryan interact with her, as well.
EW: Me too, me too. I think that Bear has a lot more to say about Ryan. I don't think Bear is a real fan of Ryan and I'm curious as to what it will have to say in the future. I'd also love to see a dream sequence of sorts where we get to see an animated Bear, maybe like an animatronic Bear, that comes to life.
JG: That would be cool. I think maybe Wilfred needs therapy about Bear, like that Ryan could maybe take Wilfred aside and say, "Look, you're talking to an imaginary friend." [Laughs.] Yes.
EW: That would be fantastic. Oh, the irony.
JG: Or, or Bear should see an imaginary friend. Like Wilfred is talking to Bear saying, "Bear, there is no one there, you're talking--you need help, dude."
Wilfred (Jason Gann) and Bear (Bear) meet in Season 1 of "Wilfred." (FX)