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The Dog Days of Summer

By Jac Kern · June 19th, 2013 · Television
ac_tv_wilfred_frankockenfels-fxFrank Ockenfels/FX

It’s time to spark up a J, laugh out loud and then question your existence with an Australian guy in a gnarly dog suit. Wilfred’s back (10 p.m. Thursdays, FX).

Now in Season Three, we still don’t know why Ryan (Elijah Wood) sees his neighbor Jenna’s mutt, Wilfred, as a pervy, vice-stricken dude in a dog costume. Ryan planned to overdose on pills one night only to survive with this one disturbing side effect — to communicate with and see Wilfred like a person. This doesn’t work with other animals and no other person sees the same “Wilfred” Ryan does (besides us, the viewers). The fact that the pills were sugar capsules (Ryan’s doctor sister gave them to him knowing it was ethically wrong to prescribe medicine to a family member and hoped a placebo would get him out of a funk) makes the whole situation even more messed up.

Wilfred works because there is a careful balance of obvious funny dog-isms and over-the-top humor (the idea of a dude and his dog getting high together; witnessing the verbalized breakdown of a dog who falls for the fake-out ball throw) and much darker, heavier subject matter (namely, mental health; in last season’s finale, Ryan discovered Wilfred in one of his childhood drawings, which has super troubling implications).

If Ryan really did see Wilfred as a boy, did he hallucinate him? Was he (and is he) an imaginary friend? Or did he actually see the real dog version and manifest him into this man-in-a-dog-suit character years before Jenna introduced them? To get closer to the answer, Ryan tries to track down Wilfred’s original owner. Another new episode follows at 10:30 p.m. in which Ryan betrays Wilfred by befriending his lifelong rival — the mailman.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 19

The Soup Investigates (Series Premiere, 10:30 p.m., E!) – Following your weekly dose of Soup silliness, Joel McHale continues E!’s long-lasting reputation of hard-hitting analytical reporting.

THURSDAY JUNE 20

Hannibal (Season Finale, 10 p.m., NBC) – So…we all know what’s going to happen to Abigail Hobbs, and now it looks like Will’s been the copycat killer all along.

Why am I most upset about Hannibal and Will’s friendship coming to an end?

Small Town Security (11 p.m., AMC) – Captain Starr provides security for a rave (based solely on his name?); Irwin takes over Joan’s local access show; the Irwin-Joan-Dennis love saga gets even crazier.

FRIDAY JUNE 21

Maron (10 p.m., IFC) – Spoiler Alert: Marc’s “no strings attached sexfest” girlfriend isn’t actually interested in anything long-term and plans to move to Los Angeles.

SUNDAY JUNE 23

True Blood (9 p.m., HBO) – Bill discovers telekinesis and stake resistance are just a few of his new powers; Sookie meets a long-lost relative who sheds light on her family’s history and, later, a stranger who shares her fairy abilities; Sam must meet with Alcide and Martha to discuss Emma’s future; one friendly vamp falls victim to a new government weapon.

Mad Men (Season Finale, 10 p.m., AMC) – Everyone is awful. Isn’t that what we learned this season? Don’s issues continue to catch up to him and affect those around him and, finally, he’s beginning to take notice. Not that he’s changing his behavior or trying to be a better human because of it. By next season, the last of the series (tear, sniffle), we’ll be ankle-deep in 1969 — maybe Megan will be pregnant, Sally will be hazing prospective students at boarding school, but it’s probably safe to expect the only change from Don Draper is just his continued corrosion.

Veep (Season Finale, 10 p.m., HBO) – With the administration in full damage-control mode, Dan and Amy must decide whether to stay on board or leave to work for Chung.

MONDAY JUNE 24

Miss You Can Do It (9 p.m., HBO) – Abbey Curran created the Miss You Can Do It Pageant in 2004 to highlight inner beauty while offering the pageant experience to girls with disabilities. Curran became the first woman with a disability to compete at the Miss USA Pageant in 2008. This doc gives a look into the alternate side of Toddlers & Tiaras.

TUESDAY JUNE 25

Inside Amy Schumer (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – Amy summons Dave Attell, wears a catsuit and lies to get out of doing charity work.


CONTACT JAC KERN: jkern@citybeat.com or @jackern

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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