Wilfred-The First Series (2007)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-2, with commentary.
|Year Of Production||2007|
|Running Time||192:47 (Case: 200)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Tony Rogers|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Have you ever looked into the eyes of your pet and wondered what's going through their mind? If they could speak, what would they say? In my household we have two insanely jovial Cavalier Spaniels, and I know that if they could speak the conversation would most certainly revolve around food. Wilfred, on the other hand, is a Labrador Alsatian cross; he's p***** off, foul-mouthed, spiteful and loves a practical joke. The premise of the series revolves around the lady of the house, Sarah (Cindy Waddingham), and the hilarious rivalry between Wilfred (Jason Gann) and her new boyfriend, Adam (Adam Zwar). The hilarious twist lies in the portrayal of the Wilfred character, which is essentially an actor in a dog suit, complete with giant, floppy ears and painted nose.
Some of the series' most memorable scenes involve Wilfred's interactions with the humans around him. We see him screaming at passing cars, telling strangers to 'f*** off' and attacking the postman for no apparent reason. Add to this Wilfred's fondness for marijuana and junk food, and you have the basis for a very funny series indeed.
Wilfred gained initial notoriety as an entry in the 2002 Tropfest short film festival. The entry won awards for best comedy and best actor (Jason Gann), so it's not surprising that the short piece was enough to secure production of this independently made TV series, via Australia's SBS network. The first seven minutes of episode one is that original short film, while the remainder of the series serves to develop these superb characters even further.
There are a total of eight episodes in this series, with four contained on each disc. Each episode has a rough runtime of 25 minutes.
Wilfred is an hilarious comedy that offers a view of the world through the eyes of a cynical, jealous dog and his fight for the attentions of his owner. If you appreciate comedy that is a little off-centre, then this is certain to please.
This video transfer is consistent with the series' broadcast on standard definition, digital free-to-air TV. The image is presented in an aspect of 1.78:1, with 16x9 enhancement. The widescreen image is tight to the frame.
The series has been shot on film and has a consistently grainy, earthy appearance, which is a style we don't see on television too often nowadays. Well-lit indoor and exterior scenes fare well in the transfer, however, darker scenes can be a bit of a grainy mess at times. Take, for example, the opening of episode one as the couple are walking down the hallway. Obviously, this is an independently produced series with a limited budget, so I intended from the outset not to be overly critical of the transfer, especially when the effect seems to be intended as a consistent, stylistic one.
The level of grain does limit the degree of fine detail present in the image, but again, this appears to be a stylistic choice on the part of the filmmakers. Colours are muted and drab for the most part, in fact, I don't recall seeing any vibrant colouring in the series at all.
MPEG compression artefacting is only present in cuts between scenes, where it seems the encoding process struggled to render the cut from one image to the other. Film artefacts are visible, like the persistent grain, but rarely go beyond the odd spec of dirt here and there. I noted a few scratches in the final episode, running the length of the frame. Telecine wobble is absent.
Unfortunately, there are no subtitle streams provided.
Both discs are dual layered, however there are no interruptions resembling a layer break. I presume the transitions have been inserted between episodes.
There's only one soundtrack; the series' original stereo audio, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0.
Like the video, the audio is a little on the rough side. The dialogue has been captured on location and comes across distinctly without any major issues. Audio sync is perfect.
The music is probably a facet of the series I enjoy the least. Air Supply's All Out Of Love is featured prominently in one episode, however, the remainder of the music is muddy, poorly recorded and amateur-sounding. This includes the Wilfred theme song, which is a real shame, because the lyrics are barely audible and I'm certain they're supposed to be funny. A little more attention (or budget allocation) to the music would raise the series to a whole other level, in my opinion.
The subwoofer and surround channels aren't given any work to do.
|Surround Channel Use|
This is a pretty brief collection of extras, mostly comprised of clips of behind the scenes footage. This is mostly superficial fluff, nothing that really gives an in-depth insight into the production. Only the menus and trailer are 16x9 enhanced.
There are six short clips of behind-the-scenes shenanigans, botched lines and the like. A few quick laughs can be found here, but nothing substantial.
A montage of memorable clips from the series.
A look behind the scenes, with images of cast and crew at work. Adam Zwar, Director Tony Rogers and Jason Gann briefly discuss how the concept came about.
Similar to the above, with audio commentary accompaniment by the two actor/writers.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The transfer is rough around the edges, but that's part of its charm.
The extras are brief.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.|