Awhile back I called comedian Louis C.K.'s "Louie" on FX "pure genius: sweet, profane, hilarious, heartbreaking and unlike anything else on TV" -- so I'm incredibly excited about the second-season premiere Thursday night at 10:30/9:30 C. But I'm also excited about another show from FX: "Wilfred," a surreal sitcom (based on an Australian hit with the same name) for Elijah "Frodo" Wood. It debuts tomorrow night -- at 10/9 C, right before "Louie." We're previewing it below as part of the MediaWorks Guide to Summer TV, our series of video cheat sheets to help you stay on top of the cultural/media conversation about the season's new shows.
Here's FX's pitch:
"Wilfred" is a half-hour, live-action comedy about Ryan, a young man struggling unsuccessfully to make his way in the world until he forms a unique friendship with Wilfred, his neighbor's canine pet. Everyone else sees Wilfred as just a dog, but Ryan sees a crude and somewhat surly, yet irrepressibly brave and honest, Australian bloke in a cheap dog suit.
Actually, screw that . I much prefer this take by the always spot-on Rob Sheffield in Rolling Stone:
It's hard to describe "Wilfred" without sounding like you just gobbled an angel-dust fajita, but here goes: Elijah Wood makes friends with a talking dog owned by the girl next door. Nobody else can hear the dog talk except Wood. And he's played by a guy in a dog suit. ... There's some kind of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters-meets-Donnie Darko thing going on, with the whole imaginary-friend Mr. Snuffleupagus motif. It's a daring move for Wood, not to mention FX, but here's the weirdest part of it all: This is the funniest and trippiest of summer's new comedies even if you can smell the pot-soaked carpet in the writers' room.
Actually, screw Sheffield too! (Much as I love him.) Just watch the two brief trailers below.
P.S. Joining us late? Here's the previous installment of the MediaWorks Guide to Summer TV (which links to earlier installments): Great! Starting Tonight, ABC Will Literally Torture Game Show Losers.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.