So Tell Me About Running Wilde: A Movieline Premiere Week FAQ

Until the never-happening Arrested Development movie happens, the closest fans will get to a reunion is Running Wilde. Created by Mitch Hurwitz and starring Will Arnett and David Cross, the new Fox sitcom brings with it a load of expectations, some fairly negative reviews and a pilot that was fiddled with all summer. But is it funny? That answer and many more ahead in the latest edition of Movieline's Premiere Week FAQ.

Considering the title of the show is a pun, I'm going to guess that Running Wilde is about a guy named Wilde. Good assumption?

It sure is. Will Arnett plays Steve Wilde, the embarrassingly rich son of an oil tycoon. Keri Russell is Emmy, his former girlfriend and a current environmentalist who lives in the rainforest with her 12-year-old daughter, Puddle (Stefania Owen).

Are you kidding?


Wow. OK, let me guess: Something contrived forces these two back together?

Yep! Steve's company is threatening to tear down the rainforest and displace the indigenous tribe, so Emmy goes to talk Steve out of it and -- spoiler -- winds up staying in America.

How does that happen?

Puddle. She's our narrator -- think Ron Howard via Maeby -- which is good, since she hasn't spoke to another person in six months. Until she talks to Steve, of course, and tells him that she just wants to stay in America and be normal.

Something about Steve's wealth and the fact that he's played by Will Arnett makes me think "normal" isn't in his vocabulary.

It's not. His life is like Billy Madison's minus the giant penguin and Norm MacDonald.

You haven't mentioned David Cross yet, isn't he in Running Wilde?

He is. Cross was part of the pilot reshoots and appears only in the first ten minutes. He plays Emmy's fiancé, a man prone to making -- and exploding -- fertilizer bombs.

Is he funny?

Cross is Cross. He isn't given much to do in the pilot, but you can tell he already has good chemistry with Russell. Watching him compete with Arnett for her affections in the later episodes should provide many laughs.

What's the rest of the cast like?

They're good. Robert Michael Morris plays Steve's man-ny, Mel Rodriguez is his driver and Peter Serafinowicz is Steve's frenemy, Fa'ad Shaoulian. In his first scene, Fa'ad sitting on a miniature horse.

Of course he is. Sounds like Arnett isn't short of rivals on Running Wilde. How does he work with Serafinowicz?

Like an old married couple. Their timing is perfect and their repartee provides the biggest laughs in the pilot.

You didn't mention Russell at all. Is that because she's bad?

Absolutely not! The erstwhile hair model is surprisingly game. She's quick on her feet and holds her own opposite Arnett. She's there to sell the romantic angle of Running Wilde and she succeeds.

Do you think Running Wilde will stick around?

Who knows. I'm inclined to say no, if only because the reason Arrested Development hung around for two-and-a-half seasons was because the critical community embraced the show. They haven't embraced Running Wilde. Couple that with an unfortunate time slot -- not immediately following Glee is a bad hand to draw -- and that could wind up being a problem. But I'd like to see it survive because, hello: Will Arnett and Mitch Hurwitz deserve to be on television each week.

Sounds like you enjoyed Running Wilde. Why has it gotten some less than spectacular notices?

That's tricky. I laughed more than a few times during the pilot, and the premise is funny enough, but it has one major problem going against it.

What's that?

Arrested Development.

That's ridiculous. Shouldn't people give it a chance on its own?

Yes, but Hurwitz has invited the comparisons by making Steve so similar to GOB Bluth. He's humanized more, but the two could be brothers. Or hermanos, if you please. Given the option, I'd just rather watch Arrested Development. Any other questions?

Just one: Has anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken?

Good one.