TITLE: RUNNING WILDE - SEASON ONE
Release Date: August 30, 2011 (Lionsgate)
Color / 2010 on Fox - 2011 on FX
Packaging: Amaray Case
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 13
Running Time: approx. 286 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Subtitles and Captioning: Closed-Captioned
Special Features: None
From the team behind Arrested Development comes Running Wilde, a romantic comedy starring Will Arnett as Steven Wilde, the playboy son of a rich oil tycoon trying desperately to win the heart of his childhood sweetheart, Emmy Kadubic (Keri Russell), the eco-liberal humanitarian who got away.
With Emmy committed to doing good for nothing, and Steve being a good-for-nothing, will this hopelessly mismatched pair ever be able to reconcile their differences?
Running Wilde starred Will Arnett as Steve Wilde, Keri Russell as Emmy Kadubic, Robert Michael Morris as Mr. Lunt, Mel Rodriguez as Migo Salazar, Stefania LaVie Owen as Puddle Kadubic and Peter Serafinowicz as Fa'ad Shaoulin. David Cross had a recurring role as Dr. Andy Weeks. The show premiered on Fox on September 21, 2010 with the "Pilot," in which Puddle and Emmy arrive at Steve's house to protect their humanitarian cause but in Steve's attempt to win over Emmy, he ends up destroying her work instead. Steve convinces Emmy to take a vacation with him but Emmy's fiancé Andy arrives from the rain forest intent on winning her back in "Into the Wilde." Emmy discovers that Steve is on the payroll at Wilde Oil and tries to get him to quit in "Oil & Water." Paul Shaffer appears as himself. Emmy decides to get involved in Puddle's love life when she finds her daughter facing the same problem that she did with Steve at Puddle's age in "The Junior Affair." Andy Richter guest stars as Dan Thorngood. Steve and Emmy team up to throw a cheap, environmentally friendly soiree in "The Party." Steve's feelings for Emmy prompt him to offer to host a wedding for her and Andy because he wants her to be happy and it is only for lack of money that they have not married in "Best Man." Steve wants to bring Emmy to a charity gala, but Emmy worries Steve is only concerned with appearances in "Mental Flaws." Steve and Emmy trade roles in "It's a Trade-Off." Ana Gasteyer plays Anna Lowry.
Steve's stepmother comes to cut off Steve's money, just when Steve is trying to give Emmy money for a charity - a charity that she made up in "One Step Forward." Drea de Matteo guest stars as Didi. An old friend (Rob Corddry) of Steve and Fa'ad returns to their lives as a reformed man in "Jack's Back." Emmy forces Steve to give Migo a holiday, and then convinces him to join her at a protest supporting immigrants' rights in "Alienated." While Steve and Fa'ad begin plans to develop a nightclub on the site of a recent flood disaster, a jealous Mr. Lunt convinces Emmy to sign a pre-nup stating that she would not take Steve's money in the unlikely event that the pair get married, leading to a chain of mistaken impressions in "The Pre-Nup." Wilde Oil causes an ecological disaster and Steve's father (Jeffrey Tambor) puts Emmy in charge of the clean-up in "Basket Cases." Episode summaries courtesy of Wikipedia.
All of the episodes appear to be unedited. They have running times of 20-21 minutes. The episodes are presented in their original broadcast order. The production order (the order in which they were made) was quite different for episodes 2-7, so I think the show lost a little continuity the way they were broadcast. Fox aired the first 9 episodes. FX aired the final 4 episodes starting on April 28, 2011 on various nights. Runtimes and original airdates for each episode are as follows:
1. Pilot (09/21/10) (21:36)
2. Into the Wilde (09/28/10) (21:24)
3. Oil & Water (10/05/10) (21:29)
4. The Junior Affair (10/12/10) (21:27)
5. The Party (21:31) (10/19/10)
6. Best Man (11/09/10) (21:33)
7. Mental Flaws (11/30/10) (20:55)
8. It'a a Trade-Off (12/07/10) (21:36)
9. One Step Forward (12/26/10) (21:28)
10. Jack's Back (04/28/11 on FX) (20:40)
11. Alienated (05/06/11 on FX) (20:26)
12. The Pre-Nup (05/14/11 on FX) (21:35)
13. Basket Cases (05/21/11 on FX) (21:36)
All 13 episodes that were produced for the season are included on this 2-disc set. The packaging is a standard Amaray movie-style case. It's one of those thin plastic, environmentally friendly cases with the vents inside the case. The artwork has a photo of Will Arnett holding a drink in a glass and Keri Russell holding a green recyle bottle. The show logo is above them and at the very top they note the series comes from the team behind Arrested Development. On the back of the case, there is a brief summary of the show and a photo of Arnett, Russell and Owen. Unfortunately, there's no episode guide or even a listing of the episodes included. The discs have a grass background with golf tees. The show logo is in white and yellow. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-8. Disc 2 contains episodes 9-13.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are very simple and easy to navigate. The Disc 1 main menu has the same photo of Arnett and Russell as the case packaging. Disc 2 features Arnett, Russell and Owen. There is grass and the sky in the background and the show logo is to the right of them. Play All and Episode Selection options are available. The show's catchy theme music plays in the background before looping after about 11 seconds. When you choose Episode Selection, it takes you to another menu where there is a photo of Arnett holding a rose and Owen trying to push forward Russell on Disc 1 and Arnett on a horse with Russell and Owen looking at him on Disc 2. The episode titles are listed vertically in light blue text. There's a light blue circle next to the episode you highlight that turns gold upon your selection. When you first insert disc 1, there is a trailer (1:16) for some other Lionsgate releases for Mad Men, Weeds and Nurse Jackie. Chapter stops are placed at the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality is very good as you might expect from episodes that were shot just last year. The episodes are presented in widescreen 16x/9 - 1.78:1 format. Running Wilde was a single-camera comedy shot without a studio audience. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there are logos for Tantamount Studios, Principato - Young Entertainment/5 Hole Pictures, and Lionsgate. If you want high definition quality episodes, you can find them on Amazon.com Instant Video.
The audio track is English 2.0 Dolby Digital Audio. The volume is at a good level. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes.
As you might expect for a show that was canceled pretty quickly and produced only 13 episodes, there are no special features on this set. It would have been nice to have some audio commentaries, cast/crew interviews, deleted scenes, etc. but I would only have expected to see them if the show was renewed for a second season.
I was a big fan of Arrested Development and Will Arnett is funny in everything I've seen him in, but this show was a bit of a letdown. I think Will Arnett and Keri Russell had some good chemistry. I don't think she was a natural choice for a comedy, but the show probably wouldn't have had any more ratings success with another actress. The show had some funny moments, but it was just not consistently funny enough to me. There were some good guest stars like Andy Richter and I liked all of the references to Arrested Development. I didn't really like the narration and thought they overdid that part of the show.
This show had some similarities to Arrested Development, but people who thought it would be the same type of show were setting themselves up for disappointment. Arrested Development had low ratings also, but it had the critical acclaim that Running Wilde never really received. The show started off with some respectable ratings, but then they slipped the next 5 weeks. It had a pretty weak pilot and many people didn't come back the second week. I think having another rookie comedy lead-in hurt them, but there were many reasons that this show never developed a large audience. This type of humor just wasn't going to appeal to a mainstream audience and it lacked the zaniness that die-hard Arrested Development fans might have been expecting.
This release is very basic and lacking any special features, but if you are a fan of Will Arnett and Keri Russell or missed the show originally, it would probably be worth checking out on DVD. Will Arnett will be on another comedy this fall on NBC called Up All Night. It will also star Christina Applegate, Maya Rudolph and James Pumphrey. Hopefully it will have some more success for him than Running Wilde.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 08/28/11
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