FOX’s new comedy “Running Wilde” brings together one of the stars and two of the principal writer-producers of “Arrested Development.” Will they be able to recapture the comedy magic (and find a bigger audience)?
Disclaimer: These posts are not reviews — shows often make tweaks to their pilot episodes between filming in the spring and their fall debuts. Full reviews will come closer to the premiere date.
What it is: Wealthy manchild Steve Wilde (Will Arnett) has just about everything he wants — except the only girl he’s ever really loved, Emmy Kadubic (Keri Russell, “Felicity” and “Waitress”). He contrives a way to bring her back into his life, but Emmy, a self-righteous do-gooder, can’t stand the way Steve lives his life.
Who’s making it: Mitch Hurwitz, who created “Arrested Development, and Jim Vallely, a writer and executive producer on that show, created the series along with Arnett.
What to look for: Emmy’s 12-year-old daughter, Puddle (Stefania Owen) — yes, Puddle — narrates the show, so the lead characters are seen mostly through her perspective. The show also stars Jane Houdyshell (“The Bounty Hunter”) as Steve’s overly attached head of security/former nanny, Joe Nunez (“Prison Break,” “Superbad”) as his driver/go-to guy and Peter Serafanowicz as Steve’s equally spoiled friend Fa’ad.
What pops: Having Puddle serve as the narrator was a smart move, because it allows “Running Wilde” to show that both of its leads are flawed. Emmy’s heart is certainly in the right place, but her strident nature and utter certainty of her moral superiority makes her a bit of a pill — which makes for good comedic balance with the generally clueless Steve.
What doesn’t: The pilot produced more chuckles that outright laughs. We get what Hurwitz and Co. are going for, but we have a feeling that it might take a few episodes for the comedy to start really hitting its stride.
Reminiscent of: “Arrested Development,” obviously, but also any number of opposites-attract comedies.
Here’s a clip from the pilot.