Friday, June 24, 2011

Poodle Bitch is unimpressed with the new television program "Wilfred"

Tonight, while waiting for the second season premiere of one of her favorite programs, "Louie," Poodle Bitch decided to sit through the first episode of the program which immediately preceded it on FX, an abomination called "Wilfred."

This unpleasant program concerns an elfish-looking young man called Ryan who wants to kill himself. He is unsuccessful. His attractive and upbeat neighbor inexplicably entrusts this man with the care of her dog, Wilfred.

These two humans have not previously met. They have merely waved at one another, the night before. When Ryan answers the door, his eyes are ringed by dark circles, and his clothes are disheveled. He is a terrible, unattractive mess. If there are humans who are willing to trust such a human to care for their canine companions after sharing only a wave, then Poodle Bitch does not want to meet them.

Then there is Wilfred himself. He is apparently an actual dog, yet Ryan sees him as an unpleasant, irredeemably unlikable human in a dog suit. This human in a dog suit makes tired, unfunny dogs-as-human jokes about the digging up of the back yard, anxiety over whether or not the human woman who left him with Ryan will return to pick him up, and a special tennis ball. There is also the defecating in someone's shoe, the speech about particles of feces in underwear, and the passing of gas and blaming it the human.

Poodle Bitch apologizes for typing that previous sentence.

Also, Wilfred smokes marijuana. And humps the leg of a waitress. And humps a stuffed bear.

The theme of the program is that the human, Ryan, should be more animal, and less human. He should follow his instinct. Ryan's sister, the responsible one who got Ryan a job at the hospital at which she works, is portrayed as a shrill harpy. Wilfred is portrayed as a crass but lovable man in a dog costume.

There are a number of problems with this. The first is, why should anyone care about a drippy loser like Ryan? Poodle Bitch wonders why it is that quitting a job on the first day and giving up all responsibilities, especially in an era of such high unemployment, should be considered a likable character trait.

Second, and most important, dogs do not act like Wilfred. Wilfred is a man in a dog suit. Human beings have only a facile understanding of the inner workings of the average canine. Too many humans seem to think that it's funny to make jokes about the fact that some dogs are either ill-trained enough, or incontinent enough, or neglected enough, that they move their bowels in the house.

How many comedians have routines about their dogs? Wilfred is the hoariest "My dog does the funniest thing" routine that you've ever heard. There is nothing unique, original, or witty about this program. Nor is it funny. Poodle Bitch did not laugh once during this first episode.

Perhaps humans would be happier if they behaved more like dogs. Perhaps they should display more affection for one another. When their human companions return home, they should enthusiastically welcome them. When they rise every morning, they should stretch and greet the day with joy at life's possibilities. They should trust one another more (a lesson which, Poodle Bitch notes, was at the heart of the second season premiere of "Louie," which is a superior program in every way, and should not even be mentioned in the same blog post as worthless "Wilfred").

Poodle Bitch believes that for such a program to succeed it must have at least some feeling of authenticity to it. As she has already noted, the humans do things that have a hollow ring of untruth to them, and she did not care for any of them, not even a little bit. They are all either stupid, or they are ciphers.

At one point during the program, Wilfred gives a long, dull, insincere speech about his life in an animal shelter. Playing with a tennis ball, he claims, made him so irresistibly adorable that he was adopted. Poodle Bitch found herself wishing that he'd been put down, instead. Hopefully this unpleasant program will be.

Poodle Bitch wonders: Which one is more unpleasant? Actually, Poodle Bitch doesn't care.

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