Running Wilde may look like Arrested Development—Will Arnett plays a pompous ass with a douchey sense of style and David Cross plays a half-witted buffoon with a terrible sense of style. It may even feel like Arrested Development—the brilliant Mitch Hurwitz is one of the show’s executive producers. But Running Wilde is most definitely not Arrested Development.
FOX didn’t exactly make a huge mistake with Running Wilde—it’s got the names to draw in old AD fans and newcomers who have discovered Arnett and Cross since that short-lived small-screen miracle. But the show doesn’t have the humor that made AD great. Far from it, actually—the dialogue is forced, the jokes are forced, the voice-over is forced, and the premise seems random and unfinished, like it was ripped off from a straight-to-DVD movie. Plus, Keri Russell and Stefania Owen are completely wrong for this show—their comedic talents are dismal compared to those of the rest of the cast. When it comes down to it, the only reason I’m watching Running Wilde is because I freakin’ love Will Arnett and David Cross. (Peter Serafinowicz as Fa’ad is an added bonus.)
Despite all of these shortcomings, I’m going to stick with it. Somehow, my love for Arnett and Cross has trumped my dissatisfaction for everything else about the show. It might be unfair to keep comparing Running Wilde to Arrested Development, but Arnett, Cross, and Hurwitz had to know going into this project that parallels would be drawn all over the place. At the very least, watching Running Wilde will only enhance how awesome their last collaboration was. At the most, the show will improve and we’ll get to see Will Arnett every week. Now that is a freebie.
What did you think of the premiere of Running Wilde?
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom