Wilfred (FXX) Season 4 Interview: Jason Gann on the Freedom of the Final Season

Beginning tonight, Wednesday, June 25th at 10PM, Wilfred is back for one final season, this time airing on FX’s sibling network FXX. The psychological comedy about a man (Elijah Wood) and his dog best friend (Jason Gann) who appears to him as a man in a dog suit has been praised for its complex mythology and no holds barred humor. Recently, TV Equals joined in a conference call with the man who is not only behind the man in the dog suit, but behind the entire idea of Wilfred— Gann.

During the call, Gann discussed the freedom of knowing season four would be the series’ last, how the mythology has evolved over the years and more. Read on for highlights from the interview, then tune into FXX tonight at 10PM for two back-to-back episodes.

The One Good Thing About Knowing Season 4 Is The Last

The decision for season four to be the final season came from FX, not Gann, but because the network gave the series one last hurrah, Gann and his team were allowed to create a satisfying final season without the lurking pressure of ratings. Wilfred has always been a fearless series, now that its fearlessness has been amplified as the unanswered questions can be answered and the humor can be as weird as Gann wants it to be without any worry about alienating viewers.

“We didn’t have to worry about ratings anymore,” Gann explained. “I mean, Season 3 we kind of thought that maybe we’d gone too mythology heavy in Season 2, and perhaps too dark. I think we lost a section of our audience because it wasn’t as funny as, I think, Season 1 promised it to be, and a lot of people did tune in for the comedy. This season we didn’t have to worry about trying to win back numbers; it was just about creating a satisfying conclusion for us as the creators, and we’ve done that.”

Gann expressed his appreciation that FX gave Wilfred a final season to wrap up the story in. “I think that FX has been really proud of what we’ve done creatively, and the painting has been completed and it’s there for everyone to see now. I do believe that history will be kind to the TV show that is Wilfred over the years, and that’s going to be fun to watch the response grow.”

Looking Back On the History of Wilfred

Gann has been playing Wilfred off and on since he first created a short film based around a man having a conversation with a dog. That short film led to a two season series in Australia and four seasons in America. Wilfred is not mainstream, but the series is part of the culture and the character is a huge part of Gann.

He admitted he and Wilfred have a fair amount in common, including hitting many of the same life milestones last year: they both got married, Gann and his wife had a baby, Wilfred was introduced to a baby and more. “Wilfred is certainly a dog on steroids, but it’s weird because some of these scenes of parallels between Wilfred’s life and my own life happen when I’m not even writing it anymore,” Gann confessed. “It’s a bizarre situation. Over the years Wilfred becomes that creature, and David Zuckerman (Wilfred‘s showrunner) will say, even though it’s you it’s not Wilfred; I don’t see Wilfred when I’m talking to you. I’m glad that my life isn’t literally reflective of Wilfred Season four, for reasons that shall be revealed, but it is definitely a very strong symphonicity.”

As for the show itself, when asked if there was a particular moment or episode he was particularly fond of, Gann had a hard time narrowing it down. However, as a lover of the humorous side of Wilfred, Gann did mention a fondness for season two’s “Avoidance,” an episode that found Ryan confusing Wilfred’s desire for a Churro for something else entirely, due to its “great mix of comedy and drama.”

“Elijah and I just worked those dances out ourselves,” Gann remembered. “I watched the episode the other day and, to me, that kind of captures that real camaraderie between Ryan and Wilfred. For me, personally, those are the really magic moments.”

What To Expect From Season 4

Answers are high on the list of season four’s priorities. Gann revealed the mythology has continued to evolve and change over the years. The answers we get now may not be the answers we would have gotten if the series had ended in season two or three. However, Gann promised, “It feels like a full conclusion, all the little steps along the way seem to make sense in a new way that they didn’t at the time; we got to the destination.”

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