“The Junior Affair”

The most maddening aspect of the one-season run of Running Wilde was the fact that every episode consisted of a misunderstanding between Steve and Emmy that arose because they would pathologically hide their true motivations.  That their relationship was always in this state was a little hard to accept, either because of its lack of believability or its lack of sense.  But thanks to the talents of Will Arnett and Keri Russell, this was also paradoxically the most consistently funny aspect of the show.  “The Junior Affair” stood out as the best of the series, because it dropped that maddening aspect by making it so that Steve and Emmy’s misunderstandings were not with each other, but with people who did not have confused motivations.  In attempting to help Puddle with a rich classmate who she has a crush on, Steve and Emmy both practice inadvertent seduction, a clueless Steve towards the father of the boy (as played by the always welcome Andy Richter) and an overeager Emmy towards the boy himself.  Ultimately, it turns out that Puddle has been getting in on the motivation-hiding that Steve and Emmy practice so diligently, as it is revealed that she had actually been giving them the runaround to prevent them from getting involved in her love life in the first place, and Running Wilde presented itself as the ultimate metaphor on television for a dog chasing its own tail.

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