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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Louie and Wilfred premiere tonight

     Tonight, FX presents two premieries. Louie returns for a second season, with Louis C.K. starring as the titular, things-never-go-right-for-him man. In tonight's episode, Louie's very pregnant sister visits, and he must try to be the best dad he can, even when making a very difficult decision. He also learns about neighbors. But before that is new show Wilfred, based on an Australian comedy of the same name. In the pilot, a suicidal Ryan (Elijah Wood, Lord of the Rings) tries to off himself. When he wakes up, he suddenly sees his new neighbor's dog, Wilfred (Jason Gann, reprising the role), as a man in a dog suit. Wilfred offers Ryan advice, but is he being helpful, or destroying Ryan's life?

     Wilfred's pilot is a bit weird. It takes pretty much the entire episode to get used to the strange, unique personality of Wilfred himself. But stick with it. Wood is typically delightful, and Gaan paints a complicated picture that is going to take a lot of time to work out. It'll make you think a lot more than most sitcoms, but that's the beauty of such a show. Are Wilfred's words just in Ryan's head? Might Ryan have died, and this is some sort of afterlife or purgatory? Is Ryan even interacting with Wilfred, or just making him all up?

     If you watch season one of Louie, then you know what to expect from the first episode back. Louie will make insightful, though pessimistic, comments on life at a standup comedy club, and then you will see them played out in life situations. There are actually several things going on in this episode, from Louie not sure he's being the best father he can be, or even wants to be, as well as seeing him as a brother, and dealing with his innate distrust in others. Can Louie accept help when he needs it? It's also quite funny, so tune in.

     Wilfred premieres tonight at 10 p.m., followed by Louie at 10:30 on FX. Check back for full reviews on each.

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