RUNNING WILDE “Pilot” Review

RUNNING WILDE (FOX) Pilot

This week Fox premiered its latest show RUNNING WILDE. The premise involves a spoiled wealthy very immature playboy Steve Wilde (Will Arnett) who spends his time attempting to one up his rich spoiled neighbor Fa’ad. The other main character is Steve’s childhood love Emmy (Keri Russell), a humanitarian who lives with her daughter, Puddle, and her fiance, Andy (David Cross), in a rainforest in Peru.

The similarities between Running Wilde and Arrested Development, a show dear to my heart, goes beyond the fact that it shares two of its actors, Will Arnett and David Cross. Like Arrested Development, Running Wilde is a half hour show narrated by one of the characters. In Arrested Development it was the son, played by Jason Bateman. Here it is Emmy’s daughter, Puddle, who narrates. The twist is that in the show itself Puddle doesn’t speak at all.

The pilot episode seemed a bit fast paced and rushed to both introduce us to the characters and to reunite Steve and Emmy who were techinically continents apart. In fact, quite a lot was accomplished in the half hour show. Steve, feeling bad that he does nothing but spend money, gives himself a humanitarian award and a party where he was going to present the award to himself. Of course, a major goal is to get Emmy to notice him and return from Peru for the “award” party.

Emmy is in Peru with Andy and Puddle (no they have yet to explain her name) protecting a tribe from the big bad evil oil corporation. Have you guessed yet? Of course, it is Steve’s family’s company and the source of all of his money. Despite this good deed, when Emmy receives an invite for Steve’s humanitarian award presentation, for some reason she and Puddle fly back to attend.

Emmy quickly realizes there is no award, mainly because the entire party thinks they are contestants on the Price is Right. She lectures Steve on how a true humanitarian does good for nothing in return. Taking her cue, Steve flies to Peru and back by morning and bringing with him Emmy’s entire tribe which he sets up in a five star hotel. Dismayed to find the tribe and culture she has protected and nutured over six years tarnished by chlorine, Emmy decides to take Puddle back to the rainforest.

Finally, Puddle breaks her silence to enlist Steve’s help in figuring out a plan to keep her in civilization. In a poorly hatched and horribly executed plan, Steve convinces Emmy with the assistance of “Doctor” Fa’ad that Puddle would be better off staying in the States and living in Steve’s palace, or at least in a treehouse. However, Steve is too self absorbed and dim to keep up the pretense and soon Emmy realizes she’s been duped. In a truly selfless act, Steve does not tell Emmy that Puddle can speak and it was all her idea. In the end, all is revealed and yet Emmy still thinks it is a good idea for her and Puddle to remain with Steve. And so the season begins.

Arrested Development, this is definitely not. The timing was rush, the jokes a little flat and the plot stretched a bit beyond belief. I do like Will Arnett and have always been a Keri Russell fan, but I am not sure it is enough to keep me interested.

What did you think of this first episode of Running Wilde? Is it a failed attempt to be Arrested Development? Will the rich guy versus do gooder premise hold up? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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