A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Amid all the jokes, the show stresses the importance of doing good things for other people and slides in some surprisingly positive messages about open communication between kids and their parents.
Positive Role Models
Most characters are flawed in some way, even altruistic Emmy, who can be self-righteous and judgmental. That said, Emmy's goal is to mold the selfish Steven into a person who does "good ... for nothing." His arrogance is reviled rather than revered.
Violence & Scariness
Some comedic violence that's played for laughs. One character is an eco-terrorist, although his schemes (like mailing a "filthy bomb" filled with oil) never really injure anyone.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief kissing and light sexual innuendo, including references to the two main characters having had a previous physical relationship.
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Use of words like "jackass" and "hell."
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Products & Purchases
Steven is very materialistic, but few of his "toys" are branded.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some characters drink socially. According to the voiceover, Steven is usually drunk at parties ... although you rarely see him drinking or acting any differently than he does when he's sober.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.