12 January 2011

Raising Hope

I don't watch much TV. But I have been loving Raising Hope. I try to catch it every week. It reminds me of Juno.
It's about Jimmy a young single father raising his baby (born to a one night stand now executed girlfriend) in a family, no wait, town full of - well, white trash. As dismal as my description sounds, Raising Hope is so very funny. And it has heart.

Here is a review:
After finding success with My Name is Earl, Greg Garcia is mining the same territory for his new FOX comedy, Raising Hope, premiering tonight at 9pm. And with Glee as a lead-in, it could be another solid success.

Which is good, because TV needs more of what Garcia has to offer. Many shows are focused on rich and successful people (see the show's companion, Running Wilde), but Raising Hope dares to look at the working class.

Following in the footsteps of Roseanne, Malcolm in the Middle and My Name is Earl, Raising Hope centers on a family struggling to make ends meet. Jimmy Chance (newcomer Lucas Neff) has a one night stand with a criminal and gets her pregnant. With the mom in jail, Jimmy is forced to take care of the baby, despite living at home at 23-years-old with hardly any life experience or skills.

Neff's winning personality make him a truly likable lead, and his family is played by more familiar faces who seem handpicked from a wide cross section of pop culture. Martha Plimpton is great as a chain-smoking, rough but loving mom. It's also nice to see Garret Dillahunt in a comedy after playing a serial killer on Deadwood and a killer robot on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. And for good measure, Cloris Leachman shows up as the senile grandma.

However, the real success of Raising Hope comes from creator Greg Garcia. He's created a new style that I call sophisticated white trash, shows about lower middle class families without much education who are still surprisingly bright and clever. Garcia doesn't look down at his characters, but instead he shows just how much love and affection he has for hardworking families.

However, this isn't a pure blue collar show, as Garcia injects just enough clever and witty jokes to make you think you're watching Roseanne, as written by Tina Fey. As an example, keep an eye on the TV the family watches following Jimmy's one night stand for an ingenious nod to Garcia's earlier show, My Name is Earl.

Raising Hope is a fun little off-beat comedy, the kind of show that deserves to be nurtured and loved just like Jimmy's baby.

 I particularly like the babysitter with the missing tooth.

Lucas Neff is kinda cute.


  1. This looks cool, I love a good comedy plus I like good social comedies that look at lives so different to mine. Have you seen Breaking Bad? We just finished watching the 3 seasons that have been released, it's BRILLIANT!! Highly recommend it!

  2. Carly, I love Raising Hope too.

    Which reminds me, I have a whole backlog of eps to watch from my IQ recordings.

    SSG xxx

    PS - how cool is Martha Plimpton? I remember her from The Goonies 24 years ago?!?!?

    Sydney Shop Girl blog


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