'Running Wilde' - 'Oil and Water': A job fit for the Colonel
Episode three shows improvement, but how much hope is on the horizon?
A review of last night's "Running Wilde" coming up just as soon as I get out of the Easthampton drunk tank...
Yesterday afternoon, Vulture posted a very candid, fairly depressing interview with Mitch Hurwitz about his struggles with this show. In particular, he suggested that he's dealing with network notes far more than he ever did on "Arrested Development," and that FOX's push to simplify storylines is really impairing his writing staff's ability to make the funniest show they can.
I don't know that it's fair to lay all the blame at the feet of FOX, as I don't get a sense from the interview, or any of Hurwitz's previous ones, that he has a really clear sense of what this show is and why it should be working if he and the others were left alone. But the Keep It Simple, Stupid approach was very apparent in "Oil and Water." The "Arrested" version of this story, in addition to servicing a much larger cast, would have featured six or seven more twists in how Steve and Emmy felt about his job at the oil company, whereas here we only got a couple of reversals.
Still, this was clearly the strongest, and funniest, of the three episodes so far. I laughed pretty consistently at the running gag about Steve's home school teachers ("I had Marvin Hamlisch for math") enjoyed how Steve surprised everyone, including himself, by fitting in so well at the office, and was glad to see another side of Emmy as she got too into character at the job. I'm still not sure Steve is complicated and/or sympathetic enough to be at the center of a show, but this was a step in the right direction.
And for all of Hurwitz's talk in the interview about how "Arrested" comparisons are unfair, he and the writers keep inviting them. The bit where Puddle is narrating while Fa'ad does everything wrong to avoid frostbite was exactly the kind of joke Ron Howard would have told (and though I like Puddle, this one would have been funnier coming out of Howard's mature, sincere voice), while the KFC product placement (leading into an actual KFC ad) was as shameless as Tobias and Carl Weathers' trip to Burger King, only not as funny.
Still, I'll take a little improvement here, even if that interview, and the ratings, and the news that FOX is pre-empting the Oct 26 episode to double-run "Raising Hope," don't exactly fill me with optimism for the show's creative or financial future.
What did everybody else think?
News From Our Partners
- 'Avengers 2′ — Joss Whedon Talks Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy HD Will Let You Hold It on Your Mobile Device Will Smith Raps 'Fresh Prince' Theme with Jaden, Dances "Carlton" and "Apache" with Alfonso Ribiero
- One Direction's Niall Horan Spends the Night With UK TV Star Louise Thompson Kelly Clarkson Denies 'American Idol' Judging Gig Did Justin Bieber Get a Kitten? [Pics]
- WATCH: Gay Protest Turns Into Fashion Show What Netflix Really Wants Out Of 'Arrested Development' Game Of Desks Is HERE!
- What to Watch This Weekend: Orphan Black, Behind the Candelabra, and Arrested Development's Netflix Debut Do These Four New Arrested Development Clips Get You Excited for the Show's Return? (VIDEO) Arrested Development Q&A: Alia Shawkat on Maeby, the Return of the Show, and the Canonization of Mitch Hurwitz
- The Telefile - The Most Heinous Person on Reality TV This Week The Telefile - Does Someone Have to Go?: Work Sucks.... If You Are On This Show The Telefile - Save Me: Lightning Strikes NBC
- Weekly Ketchup: Fox and Marvel Both Courting Quicksilver for Comic Blockbusters Critics Consensus: Fast & Furious 6 is Certified Fresh Red Carpet Photos with Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano and More
- Hear This: “Second Best” reflects a pivotal moment all serious bands face Watch This: The wages and the fear remain high in William Friedkin’s Sorcerer Cannes Film Festival: Cannes 2013, Day Nine: James Gray and Joaquin Phoenix reteam for a compelling period drama
- 'Star Wars: Episode VI': What's Its Legacy... And Its Future? 'Arrested Development' Season Four: Eight Things To Remember 'Fast & Furious 6': The Reviews Are In!
Steven Soderbergh biopic about Liberace is HBO's best movie in yearsFriday, May 24, 2013
Will gets lost in a case, and Lecter tries to protect Abigail HobbsThursday, May 23, 2013
Announcing this summer's blog rewatch seriesThursday, May 23, 2013
The Dunphys and Pritchetts head to Florida for the funeral of Phil's momThursday, May 23, 2013