Release Date: June 18, 2013 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Packaging: Dual Disc Blu-ray Case
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 13
Running Time: 286 minutes
Running Time of Features: 14 minutes
Audio: English DS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles and Captioning: English, Spanish, and French Subtitles
Special Features: "Stay" Exclusive Short; Deleted Scenes; Blooper Reel; "News at Noon with Jenna" featurette; Wilfred/Ryan Mash-Up
Man and dog are a pair that have gone together throughout history, but Wilfred isn't quite the same. He is a dog that is quite literally a man... well, almost. The FX series, based upon the Australian series with the same name (and same actor playing Wilfred), follows Ryan Newman (Elijah Wood) as a suicidal and depressed washed-up lawyer who finds the guiding path in life with his neighbor’s dog, Wilfred (Jason Gann). It isn't that Wilfred is anything more than just a dog to most people, but Ryan sees Wilfred as a man in a dog suit. To Ryan, Wilfred is a dog who smokes a lot of marijuana (often with Ryan) and drinks a lot of beer, and is a good friend... but again, he's just a dog to the rest of the world.
The second season begins with "Progress," where Ryan is in a mental institution and is about to receive shock therapy at the hands of his incredible sane therapist (played by Robin Williams)... or is he? Ryan is convinced that he can always depend on Wilfred in "Letting Go," so what happens when he can't? Wilfred could be costing Ryan his reputation in "Dignity." In "Guilt," Wilfred finds an enemy in an unborn baby (literally). A traumatic event causes Ryan and Wilfred to assess the changes they have undergone in "Now." In "Control," Wilfred makes things more complicated than they need to be when Ryan attempts to have the two women in his life meet one another. Ryan and Wilfred find themselves unable to face each other in "Avoidance."
In "Truth," Wilfred has to face one of his greatest nemeses returning to his life once again. A road trip turns disastrous for Ryan and Wilfred in "Service." Jenna's career needs a boost in "Hoensty," and Ryan and Wilfred are there to help. Ryan tries to discover the truth about Wilfred through self-examination in "Questions." In "Resentment," Wilfred tries to do Ryan a favor by sabotaging Jenna and Drew's wedding. The season ends with "Secrets," where everybody is facing some big problems that may not be resolved until the next season.
The episodes appear to be unedited, with runtimes as follows:
The Blu-ray version of this release comes packaged in a standard two-disc Blu-ray case. On the cover, there is a photo of Ryan and Wilfred, with the tagline "The story of a dog and his man," and on the back, there are a few episode snapshots along with a brief description of the season and a listing of special features. Inside, you'll find the two discs, with a picture of Ryan and Wilfred on Disc 1 and a picture of Jenna on Disc 2. There are several black and white snapshots of Ryan and Wilfred (Photo Booth style) inside the case, along with a listing of the episodes on the set (but as is typical with most Fox releases these days, no descriptions).
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus on the Blu-ray set are very nice, and feature plenty of animation with Ryan and Wilfred, along with brief video clips from the season. On the bottom of the screen, there are options of Episodes, Set Up, Search, and Extras. Episodes brings up a pop up menu that allows you to see all of the episodes (along with a description) one either disc. Of course, you'll be prompted to put the other disc in if you choose an episode on the other disc. In lieu of a Play All option, there is a Play Season Mode, which allows you to watch the entire season in order and stop anytime that you wish. It will remember where you left off anytime that you wish to go back to watching the season. Set Up provides audio and subtitle options. Search allows you to go to certain times or bookmarks within episodes, although personally I think it is just as easy to just go to the episode and use search yourself. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.
While the menus are fine, I have one complaint: the trailers on this set reach the point that I would consider to be excessive. When you put in Disc 1, you'll sit through five trailers. Sure, you can skip past them, but you have to hit skip five times to go through them all. Promoting other DVDs is fine, but I feel that this set crosses the line into excessive.
Video and Audio Quality:
There really is absolutely nothing to complain about as far as the video and audio quality is concerned. The presentation looks just as it did when it aired in high definition on FX, with no problems at all. The audio is presented in Dolby DTS-HD 5.1, and subtitles are available in English, Spanish, and French.
There are a few special features on this set, just not much. First, there are deleted scenes from "Letting Go," "Now," and "Avoidance" (2:28) on Disc 1, and more from "Secrets" (0:37) on Disc 2. Essentially, these are just what they sound like... scenes that didn't quite make it into the episode. "Blooper Reel" (4:41) is a series of bloopers from the season. It is kind of fun seeing Jason Gann break character when something goes wrong, and it almost seems surreal remembering that he actually is just a guy in a dog costume. "Stay" (3:43) is an exclusive short featuring Wilfred and Ryan. I'm not sure what the purpose of this is, but it is nice to see on there. "News at Noon with Jenna" (1:02) is a music video (of sorts) featuring Jenna at the news desk... with plenty of PG-13 humor in it. Finally, "Wilfred/Ryan Mashup" (0:52) is nothing but a bunch of short clips of Ryan shouting Wilfred's name, followed by... a bunch of short clips of Wilfred shouting Ryan's name.
All in all, most of these are pretty pointless special features. Why not include some interviews or something?
I only recently got into this series, and I really like it... which is surprising considering that I've never been much of an Elijah Wood fan. It is the perfect FX series, and also the first one (and to date, really the only one) that I've ever been able to get into. If you're a fan of the series, you'll definitely want to own this set. If you've never seen it, I would strongly suggest catching a few episodes on FX. I didn't think that I would like it when I first saw it, but I was hooked pretty quickly. This Blu-ray presentation of the second season is of excellent quality, although I wish that they would have gone with a few more special features. All in all, I'm satisfied with this set, I just wish that it had a bit more to offer.