Thursday, October 21, 2010

TBG TV: Running Wilde

When/Where: FOX -- Tuesdays at 9:30 PM

10-Word Premise: "I'm conservative and she's liberal. We're the original Odd Couple!"

Starring: Will Arnett as Jack Handle, a retired cop Steve Wilde, billionaire...he owns a mansion and a yacht. Keri Russell as Emmy accurate depiction of all those eco-friendly women who shave their legs and wash their hair regularly. Stefania Owen as Puddle Kadubic...the obligatory child actor who's always the "realest" person in the room. Peter Serafinowicz as the white guy playing an...Arab? (Recent history indicates...
this won't end well.)

The Best Thang: With the show teetering on the brink of cancellation (its audience has dwindled from the 5.9 million who tuned in for the series premiere five weeks ago to 2.9 million for this week's episode) the writers and producers should be lamenting their biggest missed opportunity. The comedic chemistry between "Steve Wilde" (Arnett) and "Fa'ad Shaoulin" (Serafinowicz) is terrific. Their characters' mutually obtuse rivalry -- based on tiny horses one week, perhaps chest hair the next -- generates legitimate laughs. Focusing the show on two oblivious, wealthy caricatures might've been risky given the national economic climate, but their offbeat banter deserves more screen time. Their (poorly) premeditated "fake psychiatrist" bit killed me in the pilot.

The Worst Thang: It's just...lazy. Two primary characters with divergent social views somehow see eye-to-eye in the final scene every week. There are "dirty hippie" and "insensitive capitalist" digs with a small orbit of annoying secondary characters floating in and out of every scene. Most disappointing -- considering the show's incessant "from the creators of Arrested Development" hype -- is the quality of the writing. I'm still groaning from Keri Russell's lament in the pilot ("You don't do charity for an award. You do good for nothing. [Pause] I guess you still are.") See what she did there? See? Ugh.

The Verdict: I'm glad I got this review in before the official ax fell. There are still a few new shows sitting unwatched on my DVR, but none of them could be worse than Running Wilde. The FOX network has been in the primetime television business for almost 25 years. One of these decades, they'll stop picking up pilots with the broadcast philosophy of filling dead air between
Duet and The New Adventures of Beans Baxter.


Josh said...

Greatest moment in Fox history.

Mark Smo said...

I don't think I've ever been so disappointed in a show in my life. Arrested Development was one of the greatest shows of all time and this is just pure garbage.

Carrie said...

Ugh, thank you! I love Will Arnett, but every time he's tweeted (and re-tweeted) about saving the show, I've just been like, "You realize that people are not watching it because it's AWFUL, right?" I tried mightily, but I couldn't get past the second episode. Whoever thought, "You know what's better than a comedy with an oppressive voiceover? A comedy with an oppressive CHILD voiceover!" should be stabbed in the throat.

Now I'm just sad that they burned through the potential of having Will Arnett on Parks & Rec by featuring him as the MRI guy blind-date in the first season.

Lew B said...

Dude, what was with that strange Arabic video in the beginning of your review. I watched the whole thing waiting for something to happen! I want that 1:59 minutes of my life back!