Raising Hope (seasons 1 & 2)

{5/5} “Noses are the unsung hero of the face, ties the whole thing together. Name one good looking person without a nose… can’t do it.”

Raising Hope seasons 1 & 2, aired in 2010-12

Raising Hope is a show unlike any other I’ve seen or heard of. Jimmy (Lucas Neff), who’s in his early 20s, hooks up with a woman who turns out to be a serial killer. She goes to jail and discovers she’s pregnant. She then gets executed, and Jimmy raises the baby, Hope. He lives with his parents (Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt) and his great grandmother (Cloris Leachman). Jimmy works at a grocery store, where Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) also works — he’s crazy about her but she has a boyfriend. Hope goes to Shelley’s (Kate Micucci) day care, where Shelley sings funny songs to babies, pets, and senior citizens.

The show is screamingly funny. All of the characters are unusual and have their moments, but Jimmy’s parents are the funniest. The quotation at the top is from Burt, who cleans pools. His wife Virginia cleans houses. They’re not particularly smart and they don’t have much money, but they care about each other. They’re constantly saying outrageous things and getting into absurd situations. They’re still fairly young as they had Jimmy when they were 15. Of course, they didn’t know much about raising a child and Jimmy’s lucky to be alive — as we see in some brilliant flashbacks once in a while.

Martha Plimpton was in some big movies as a teenager in the 1980s (The Goonies, The Mosquito Coast, Parenthood) — it’s great to see her again. Cloris Leachman has been in many movies (The Last Picture Show, Young Frankenstein) and TV shows (the first few years of Mary Tyler Moore, the last few years of The Facts of Life). Kate Micucci is one half of the singing duo Garfunkel & Oates. The other actors are new to me. Raising Hope was created by Greg Garcia, who has been a writer, producer, director, and actor on a few different comedy shows.

Things changed a little bit in season 2 but not too much — messing with a formula that works is risky. Raising Hope has now been renewed for a third season.

It seems to me that we’re in the golden age of TV comedy right now. Other shows I’m currently watching, and will be reviewing soon, are The Big Bang Theory, Castle, Modern Family, and New Girl. I’ve already reviewed The Big C. Every single episode of all of those shows is absolutely hilarious. Which is remarkable — in the past, comedies typically weren’t able to maintain such consistency. Plus there’s Awkward., Glee, and Napoleon Dynamite, which are usually very funny.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2012 at 9:23 pm and is filed under Reviews of TV shows. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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