Amazon Contextual Product Ads

Monday, October 25, 2010

TV Review: Running Wilde

     FOX's new sitcom Running Wilde hasn't gotten that much attention.  Despite following another new sitcom, Raising Hope which is a hit, and was the first show on network television picked up for a full season this year, not details on whether Running Wilde's run will be extended have merged.  Five episodes have aired, and I still haven't decided if I like it or not, though the show had plenty going for it, and I was initially excited.

     Starring Keri Russell (Felicity) and Will Arnett (Arrested Development) as Emmy and Steve, child sweethearts who were driven apart by the very different lives they lead.  Emmy was a maid's daughter for Steve's family.  Steve allowed his father to buy him off to give up Emmy.  Now adults, Steve wishes to have Emmy back, and Emmy is in a Peruvian rain forest trying to save a tribe from Steve's father's oil company.  When Steve invites Emmy to see him get a humanitarian award (which he is giving himself), she comes with her daughter, Puddle (Stefania Owen), in tow, though only so she can try to talk him into finally standing up to his father to help her cause.  By the way, there has been no mention yet as to who Puddle's father is, so it's certainly possible that she's Steve's, but Steve is clueless enough to never ask.  Or perhaps the backstory timeline for Steve and Emmy's relationship doesn't come close to Puddle's inception.  Either way, it'd be nice to have a little clarity there.

     By the end of the pilot, Puddle has convinced her mother to stay and live in Steve's treehouse so that Puddle can go to school and lead a normal life.  Emmy doesn't need much convincing, because even though she keeps shutting down Steve's romantic overtures, she is clearly very fond of him.  Plus, he's become her latest project, as she tries to mold him into what she considers a decent human being.  Oddly, Puddle narrates the series and almost seems billed as the star, but doesn't have a lot to do past causing her mother to move in the pilot.  This is definitely Arnett and Russell's show.

     Last week's episode clearly was the second episode, even though it was aired fifth, dealing with Emmy and Puddle first settling in.  Perhaps it was held back because it wasn't that funny, and other episodes aired early inspired more laughter.  I don't know, but I wasn't impressed.  I have chuckled at moments in the series, but not so much this past week.

     Of course, three people do not make a show.  Steve has two people working for him that are part of the starring cast: Migo (Mel Rodriguez), who is Steve's friend, even though he skims some of the fortune, and Lunt (Robert Michael Morris), the old queen that tutored him.  Both are good for a few punch lines, but have yet to have any real plot or depth.  Both were recast after the pilot, and Lunt's character originally had a different name and was a woman.  Fairing slightly better is Steve's neighbor / rival / best friend / foil, Fa'ad (Peter Serafinowicz).  Though Fa'ad was an enemy in the pilot and this past week's episode, other installments have showed him more as a friend.  Sure, a superficial friend, but Steve is just as shallow.  The two connect because of similar upbrings and attitudes, and I prefer it when Fa'ad is not just trying to one up Steve.

    Interestingly enough, Will Arnett's Arrest Development co-star David Cross plays recurring character Andy (also a recast from the Running Wilde original pilot), Emmy's fiance.  Arnett is also playing a supporting role on David Cross's new show, which is currently airing on IFC, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, as Cross's boss.  The two are wonderful together, and thankfully that has been used on Running Wilde somewhat, though not a lot.

     The jury is still out on whether this show will last, or whether it deserves to.  If you'd like to watch, good luck.  Running Wilde  has been running Tuesday nights at 9:30 on FOX, however, this week Raising Hope is doing a one hour special episode, so Wilde does not appear on the schedule.  It will be showing a rerun at 12:30 Saturday night (Sunday morning), and FOX's web site lists it's timeslot at Saturday at midnight, which is not a good sign.  It is unknown if it will return to Tuesdays, or burn off the remaining episodes on Saturdays, or just disappear all together.

For frequent mini-reviews and occasional tv news, follow Jerome on Twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.