How can a show produced by the creator of Arrested Development that stars Will Arnett and David Cross be so unfunny?
Running Wilde (Fox) features narration by a 12-year-old girl as well as broad musical cues to indicate transitions and punch lines. A laugh track would be funnier than the actual jokes.
The music insists to viewers: "This is getting wackier and wackier. Laugh accordingly. Laugh now! Wait, this part is really romantic. OK, laugh at this situational comedy again!"
Will Arnett's character, Steven Wilde, is a rich guy trying to convince his eco-loving ex- flame Emmy Kadubic (Keri Russell) that he's not so bad even though he has never heard of a dollar store or a car payment.
The main reason for the show's general humorlessness might be that Will Arnett isn't funny outside of Arrested Development. Remember the slow but incontrovertible revelation that Jason Alexander isn't funny except when he's playing George Costanza? Same thing here.
Also, the characters are behaviorally disconnected from reality. David Cross plays an eco-terrorist who shows up after traveling on a garbage barge. Wouldn't he at least wipe the Cheerio off of his neck? And even if he chose to ignore it, wouldn't the Cheerio come off naturally? That's the primary problem with Running Wilde--nothing comes off naturally.
Whoops, Fox has not ordered any more episodes of the show. At least that's kind of funny.