Thursday, September 30, 2010

DVR Guide - "Running Wilde"

Steven Wilde (Will Arnett) is the screw up, do-nothing of his oil business family. He spends most of his days drinking, competing with his equally worthless neighbor in who can waste the most money, and occasionally giving himself humanitarian awards for work he has not done. Think Billy Madison with a little more wit. His one weak spot is Emmy (Keri Russell), an environmental activist who grew up in the Wilde household as the house keepers daughter. When Emmy shows up to the fake humanitarian presentation to appeal to Steven's conscience, her daughter Puddle (Stefania Owen), seizes the opportunity to get out of the Amazon and into a normal childhood. Before long Emmy and Puddle are living on the Wilde estate where shenanigans take place.

"Wilde" is the brainchild of Mitch Hurwitz, the genius behind best-TV-show-ever "Arrested Development." Reuniting Arnett and Hurwitz is a dream come true and provides a precursor for the upcoming (please, oh please, let it actually happen) "Arrested Development" movie. This certainly isn't up to the quality of "AD" (because nothing is) but after a rocky start, the pilot episode more than holds its own. Arnett plays the man-child quite well, crossing Gob Bluth (again, "AD") with his take on Will Ferrell, and the dynamic between he and Russell has potential. "Wilde" isn't as quick witted as some of the better comedies on television these days but there's enough of it to balance out the slapstick ridiculousness, creating a pleasant combination. My only complaint is the off screen narration, done through the perspective of Puddle. Part of what made "AD" so great was the BRILLIANT narration by Ron Howard. When "Wilde" opens with a similar style of narration, (keeping in mind the people involved) I was primed for an "AD"-like revamp and really the two shows are very dissimilar. It took me a few minutes to adjust my expectations to what was actually happening on screen and I wonder if my fellow "AD" loyalists tuned out early on. Regardless, "Wilde" is very funny and has me on the hook until Fox inevitably kills it off.

Verdict: Season Pass

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