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Running Wilde 1.01 – Pilot


 

The cast of Fox's Running Wilde

NEW TELEVISION SHOW

Genre: Relationship Comedy

Grade: C

Verdict: DVR

Too Long, Didn’t Read: Insanely disappointing, especially considering the talent involved. It might be worth keeping up with to see what happens.

Without context, Running Wilde is another frustrating attempt by Fox to create a stable live-action comedy block. Knowing who is involved, however, turns the mediocre pilot into something of a television tragedy. Running Wilde‘s production team was also responsible for the brilliant Fox comedy Arrested Development and while it might be unfair to compare the two at this point, the differing levels of quality are staggeringly brutal.

Running Wilde stars Arrested alumn Will Arnet as Steve Wilde, an incredibly wealthy narcissist who wishes to reconnect with his childhood love, “eco-terrorist” Emmy Kadubic (Felicity‘s Kerri Russel). Russel plays the straight man to Arnet’s ridiculously selfish Wilde with some success and chemistry. The two actors are obviously incredibly talented and produce believable sexual tension, but the script provides few ways for them to exhibit their talents.

Wilde’s well-intentioned-yet-woefully-misguided antics are the basis for the comedy, not unlike the humor from Arrested. There are some genuine laughs, but the majority of the jokes falter due to either poor situational scenarios like placing the tribe that Kadubic works with in a swimming pool or the hideous expository narration by Kadubic’s child, Puddle. Her narration adds unnecessary explanation to humor that would be better off by through viewer realization. They seem like the voice of the network, trying to explain humor that might be too implicit for its viewers (“No, see! They tried to practice beforehand and they can’t do it now! We’re funny! We know you didn’t understand the jokes from Arrested so we’re going to tell you why it’s funny!! Get it?!”).

That’s not to say that there is nothing humorous about the show. Most of the humor derives less from Arnett and Russel’s dialog and interaction and more from seemingly insignificant details. Take, for instance, that everyone at Wilde’s party is wearing The Price is Right nametags while the theme song is playing in the background. Or that Wilde turns off the piano while the viewer believes the music is typical melodramatic background fare. Small touches, but they offer some laughs while the banter stalls.

It will be interesting to see how Running Wilde develops over the next few weeks. The talent is obviously there, but will the series be able to find itself before the audience bails? We’ll see.

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One Response

  1. […] Running Wilde (FOX – C) Verdict: DVR […]

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