You can see what the creators of Running Wilde were going for. Put together by Mitch Hurwitz, the brains behind the beloved (though clearly by not by enough people) Arrested Development, he even managed to snag Arrested alums like Will Arnett and David Cross for his second chance show at Fox. With Running Wilde, the hilariously odd characters seem almost like an offshoot of his former series, but the show doesn’t always run on all cylinders, ultimately dooming it early on.
There were plenty of rumors going around about the show, the most likely being that Hurwitz, burned by his fan favorite getting the axe, decided to listen to Fox exes this time around and tweak his show with any and all notes they threw his way. That explains the unevenness of the series, which vacillates between laugh out loud funny and roll your eyes corniness.
The show focuses on Steven Wilde (Arnett playing a slightly different version of Gob) as the irresponsible wealthy son of an oil tycoon. Liberal environmentalist and single mom Emmy (played by Keri Russell) is Wilde’s childhood love who comes out of the Amazon to live with Wilde in the hopes of helping him become a better person. Just as he did with Arrested Development, David Cross (playing Emmy’s fiancé) steals every scene he is in.
The characters are great, the story lines appropriately odd, but the writing is all over the place – sometimes fantastic and sometimes just plain weak.
Running Wilde, quickly killed off by the network, though not nearly as great as Arrested Development was still far more entertaining than most sitcoms the network has decided to keep on the air year after year. On the bright side, the cancellation gives all involved more time to finally work on the oft-promised Arrested Development movie.