A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that they can watch this quirky sitcom from some of the creators of Arrested Develompent with younger teens and up, thanks to surprisingly positive messages about generosity and altruism and relatively infrequent doses of language, sex, and violence. (Characters rarely say anything stronger than "jackass.") One character's drinking is played for comedy, although he rarely imbibes onscreen. Another main character is a wise-beyond-her-years 12-year-old girl who doubles as the show's narrator via a connective voiceover.
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What's the story?
In RUNNING WILDE, self-absorbed playboy Steven Wilde (Will Arnett) makes a desperate attempt to reunite with a childhood crush -- do-gooding Emmy Kadubic (Keri Russell) -- by restyling himself as a humanitarian. But when Emmy flies home from the Amazon with her 12-year-old daughter, Puddle (Stefania Owen), in tow to see the newly transformed Steven for herself, she discovers that he hasn't really changed at all. But to give Puddle a chance at a normal childhood, she agrees to stick around, taking up residence in a treehouse on Steven's property.
Is it any good?
When a show touts its ties to Mitch Hurwitz, the Emmy Award-winning creator of the innovative comedy Arrested Development, you expect it to be good. And when that new show spotlights the talents of two Arrested Development alumni -- Arnett and David Cross (who plays a supporting part as a bungling ecoterrorist) -- you expect it to be great. So when it fails to deliver, you're left feeling a little underwhelmed.
That's definitely the case with Running Wilde, although it does have its moments (large man + tiny horse = funny) -- and the potential to become a must-see series if it can work out some of the kinks that, strangely, make it feel a lot like Billy Madison. Mainly though, it's a matter of putting faith in Hurwitz, Arnett, and Cross and hoping they can re-create some magic. We sincerely hope so.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this show portrays kids, particularly in terms of how they relate to adults. Teens: Can you relate to Puddle ... and are you supposed to? Does the show take a realistic approach to growing up?
Does it work to have a 12-year-old narrate the show? Why do you think the show's creators wanted to tell the story from a kid's perspective?
How does Steven measure up as a role model? Is it possible to have a lot of money and be a good person? Conversely, does having less mean you'll always do the right thing?
For kids who love comedies
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