‘Raising Hope’ (FOX – Tuesday, 9:00p.m.)

Raising Hope is a new single-camera family comedy from Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia that follows the Chance family as they find themselves adding an unexpected new member into their household.  At 23 years old, JIMMY CHANCE (Lucas Neff) is going nowhere in life. He skims pools for a living, parties every night and still lives at home with his family, including his MAW MAW (Cloris Leachman); his mother, VIRGINIA (Martha Plimpton) and his father, BURT (Garret Dillahunt).  Jimmy’s life takes a drastic turn when a chance romantic encounter with LUCY (guest star Bijou Phillips) goes awry once he discovers she is a wanted felon. Months later, when Jimmy pays a visit to the local prison, he learns Lucy is pregnant with their baby, and after she gives birth, he is charged with raising their daughter. – FOX 

The Preview (originally posted on 9/15/2010):

Shawn:     I didn’t think it was possible but Rasing Hope has given me whole new reason to hate sitcoms.  You see, what’s pissed me off thoroughly is the lie perpetuated on show’s Official Page that I posted above.  It’s leaving out a crucial detail and the omission is by design.  The little baby’s mother, isn’t just a wanted felon, she’s a serial killer and her big joke in the trailer is that they would never execute a mother of a seven month-old baby.  Then, they cut to a scene with Jimmy sitting on the other side of the glass with the baby on his lap watching her get electrocuted and about halfway through the process he covers the baby’s eyes.  I’m sorry, and you can call me old-fashioned, but a baby being separated from its mother and then forced to watch her get executed in an electric chair is not exactly what I would call charming or endearing.  FOX has been doing a very good job of hiding that little piece of information on their website and their regular TV spots for this show.  Gee, I wonder why?  What I saw is not nearly as bad as the fact that they are trying to hide it.

Beyond, that, of course this show is as stupid, clichéd and as recycled as any other sitcom.  Seriously, though, the rule of thumb for FOX should be to assume all of their sitcoms are going to suck.  It’s just a question of to what degree of suckitude (© 2010, TV-Tastic).  Raising Hope is certainly no different from any other FOX sitcom and they brag about why it sucks.  The claim to fame of this show is that Greg Garcia created it and of course he was the award-winning writer who came up with My Name is Earl.  What no one wants to admit about My Name is Earl is that it wasn’t funny after the first season and to be honest, the novelty wore off after the first 10 episodes.  And of course, this show isn’t even much different from Earl with the portrayal of the stupid, white-trash and downright depressing family.  Again, recycled crap.  It’s seems like a shame too because the main cast includes Cloris Leachman, Martha Plympton and they FINALLY got a lead role for one of my favorite character actors of all time, Darren Gillahunt (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Deadwood), an actor that is so talented that he played TWO different characters on Deadwood and no one noticed it was the same guy.  So, yeah. we’ll be passing on this.  Oh and if you watch this video, you’ll the scene in question.

The Review:

7 out of 10

Well, like Detroit 1-8-7, we have another case of I was exactly right yet I was dead wrong at the same time.

First, the mea culpa: the scene that I was most concerned about in the trailer with the mother being executed in the electric chair wasn’t nearly as bad as it seemed in the trailer. When taken in context with the ridiculous tone of this show and although I would have preferred that it not be in the episode, it flows pretty well in a cartoonish sort of way. In fact when I think about it, cartoonish is the perfect way to describe that scene. It was like something on Family Guy and South Park where, yes, under normal circumstances it would be processed by your brain as being horrific, but in context it’s pretty tame, because it’s really just slapstick. I’m guessing that the reason that FOX decided not to air that spot on TV was because it screened as poorly with their test audiences as it did it with your friendly neighborhood test-critic.

Now, on to where I was right and what I hate about this show. Raising Hope is exactly what I thought it would be: a typical Greg Garcia show about a family of really dumb, loser P.W.T. (that’s po’ white trash for the unenlightened) who are completely ridiculous and just like the aforementioned scene, absolutely cartoonish. It’s style and tone is very much like My Name is Earl and it goes to show that Greg Garcia is really kind of a one-trick pony which is something I suspected all along.

That being said, the show is pretty funny and despite its flaws is very charming. The characters, although cut from the ‘Earl’ cloth, are endearing and all very well-cast. There’s a lot of good humor here and even though they’re resorting to the same Bundy-style adversarial family that has been used a hundred times before, they all seem believable in their caring for each other.

What has really sucked me into Raising Hope show is Hope herself. That cute little baby is irresistible especially for anyone who has kids and honestly, you forget about the flaws of this show when you see that precious little face. She reminds me of my own daughter at that age and I seriously just melt when she’s on-screen just being cute. You will too.

Watch complete episodes of Raising Hope, here.

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About The Anti-Nerdist

Originally from Rochester, New York and has lived in Las Vegas, Nevada since 2003. Aside from being a huge fan of movies and television, he's a huge fan of Sci-Fi and in particular, Star Trek.
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2 Responses to ‘Raising Hope’ (FOX – Tuesday, 9:00p.m.)

  1. Pingback: Meet FOX’s New Shows For 2011 – 2012 (VIDEOS!)… And Watch How We Tear Them Apart (Preview – Review) | TV-Tastic

  2. Pingback: FOX: ‘New Girl,’ ‘Raising Hope,’ and ‘Glee’ RENEWED!!! | TV-Tastic

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