Raising Hope (Tuesdays 9/8 Central) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Raising Hope (Tuesdays 9/8 Central)


Sep 21, 2010 Web Exclusive
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In Raising Hope, Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt play Virginia and Burt Chance, former teenage parents to Jimmy (Lucas Neff). Lucas works for his father’s pool cleaning business where Burt is the most immature member of the team, pushing his employees into the bushes when they are attempting to relieve themselves and blowing leaves into the pool while it is being cleaned. Virginia works as a maid. In a classic line from the pilot, when late in joining her co-workers for a carpool she takes out her cigarette long enough to say, “What the devil are you ladies in such a hurry for? You know we’re going to scrub toilets, right?” The family lives at their (great) Maw Maw’s house (Cloris Leachman), who is so deranged, she is only partially clothed for most of the show.

The majority of the humor in Raising Hope is bald, bawdy, tacky, and obvious. The best lines come from 23-year-old Lucas, whose regular guy demeanor rings true. In a misguided one-night-stand Lucas creates a baby with a convicted murderer who uses her pregnancy to delay her execution. Once she is executed, witnessed by Lucas and her daughter, Princess Beyonce, Lucas is the child’s caregiver. Ignoring his parents’ unenthusiastic response to their grandchild, Lucas is determined to make things work for his daughter. Renaming her Hope, the dysfunctional Chances have no choice but to raise the child.

The comic ideas in Raising Hope, while white trash to the maximum, are pretty clever. Plimpton’s and Neff’s deadpan performances drive this sitcom. Veteran comedienne Leachman has the guts to walk around topless at her age. Jimmy’s cousin, Mike steals the scene more than once. And Jimmy’s potential love interest Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) has the dry, sardonic wit and smart-ass attitude that is so attractive to the Jimmys of the world. Raising Hope is sharp in its low-rent comedy, will definitely give you more than a few chuckles each episode, and hopefully will serve as good motivation for birth control. (www.fox.com/raisinghope)

Author rating: 6/10

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