Saturday, September 25, 2010

FOX: Running Wilde is No Arrested Development

Oh, I wanted to like “Running Wilde.” After all, “Arrested Development” is probably the best comedy of all time. Mitchell Hurwitz and Jim Vallely are geniuses. Cast members Will Arnett and David Cross are attached to this project. And I watched nearly every episode of “Felicity” and kinda miss Kerri Russell. What could go wrong?
Well, as it turns out, pretty much everything. Whereas “Arrested Development” was a delectable comedy that you could watch over and over and still laugh at new jokes, “Running Wilde” feels like a forced mess. Will Arnett is supposed to be playing a spoiled rich guy, something he excels at (and was pretty much his stock in trade on both “AD” and “30 Rock”). Kerri Russell plays the do-gooder environmentalist, fighting Arnett’s big oil company. What’s not to like?
You know how in finely tuned comedia dell’arte, characters rush around the stage in perfect timing, the timing of everything alone is what makes you laugh, in addition to what they are saying? Well, this is the opposite of that. Everyone is running around, slapstick like. But not in a funny way, just in an annoying way.
The only likeable characters are Arnett’s and Russell’s and those are marginal.
Oh yes, and let’s not forget that the whole shebang is narrated by Russell’s daughter, Puddle. *eyeroll*
No, this was such a mess that I won’t be revisiting it at all. The only real upside is that, for once, the focus of the show isn’t Kerri Russell’s hair. Small comfort.
BOTTOM LINE: Leave this “Running Wilde” in its puddle.

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