I will be release a twofer for today for The Tube section of WFTH, as well as a third one in the music section. So feel lucky.
“Raising Hope” is a sitcom about a young man named Jimmy who is a single-parent raising his daughter, whom he fathered with a serial murderer, with his two parents who barely know how to raise a kid. They aren’t the most picture perfect family, but they do mean well…for a dysfunctional family.
I will admit I was a bit slow to warm up to this show at first, because I wasn’t sure whether I would like it or not, but it took my father (again) to convince me to give a shot. Especially when a lot of live-action sitcoms here in the states are usually letdowns. Especially if the show is supposed to be a comedy and then someone on the production team gets stupid, forgets that the show is a comedy and ends up turning into a public service announcement for some moral bullshit.
You know what is awesome? Seeing dysfunctional overtake what is or was considered as the picture-perfect or “normal” family/society. It is just awesome!
To some degree, but not completely, I do see a bit of myself and my own immediate family in the show. We are a bit dysfunctional, my parents had my sibling and I when they were young, and what my family and I did to help raise my nephew. As odd and funny the moments have been, we are not “perfect” by any definition of the word but for some odd reason we have managed to stick together over the years. I think that is why it is pretty easy to relate to a lot of things in the show.
I really dig this show.
The Characters (My thoughts on them):
Be forewarned; my thoughts on the characters are going to be how I see them from growing up in the eighties. Others might see things in a different respect.
Jimmy used to be a goth, although if it came down to a fight between goths in sitcoms I would have to place my money on Richmond from IT Crowd. Jimmy does have the right attitude at times but tends to be a bit absent-minded when he is trying to do the right thing or working hard to achieve what he wants, it also takes a lot of balls to want to raise a kid (like a lot of single-parents either by choice or circumstance) by yourself when everyone else around you is telling you to do otherwise. My favorite moment was in a particular episode when he decided to mouth off to a cop when he got pulled over, just to end up getting tased.
Burt is that jock/rocker dad that leans a bit more on the “rock and roll” (he aspired to be a rockstar and had long hair), rolling with the punches (even when he knows better) side of life than most of the guys like him. Not the brightest crayon in the bunch because he dropped out of high school, funny as fuck, but works pretty damn hard at what he does, and means well. He is pretty much what a lot of dads were in the eighties, a bit rough and tumble as well as sensitive. My favorite moments in the show are pretty much Burt’s facial reactions, I nearly piss myself laughing half of the time. Especially in the one episode they have a talent show at the super market and towards the end Maw Maw goes on-stage, opens her top, and Burt immediately grabs a bottle of hot sauce and pours it in his eyes, while everyone is running for the door.
Virginia is also a high school dropout, works for a local maid service, and is pretty much a hoarder, malapropism goddess. It is the fact that she has a tendency for confusing terms and words that I have bestowed this title on her. Every time she completely misunderstands how to use a particular word, or uses one in place for something else she is thinking about. In some respects, like Burt, she is like a lot of moms in the eighties. Just because she doesn’t know the correct word to use for when she wants to get her thoughts across doesn’t make her stupid. Favorite moments are any time when a malapropism comes out of her mouth.
Maw Maw is Virginia’s grandmother. She also has alzheimer’s which leads to some pretty funny moments, but it is usually the moments when she is lucid that ends up getting the biggest laugh out of me. Especially when you do not expect it. It is her house that everyone lives in. Favorite moment is any type of disturbing moment that would have you looking away from the screen. It just proves how awesome of a comedic actress Cloris Leachman is, if you do not believe me go watch the three Mel Brooks films she is in.
Even though Hope is the namesake of the show it is pretty hard to talk about a character that really doesn’t say anything or at all most of the time. With Hope it is one of those things where you have to watch to see what the kid does. Although if I have to pick a favorite moment it would have to be when she manages to piss off a particular child star later in the series.
Sabrina (Virginia tends to refer to her as Sabriner) is Jimmy’s wife (girlfriend if you are watching the show from the beginning), and has been working at the local supermarket since she was in high school. It was also around that time she had a huge crush on Jimmy when he was a goth. Although she doesn’t let it be known at first she comes from a well-to-do family, but choses to follow the beat of her own drum. At times she tends to clash with Virginia but after a while grew to understand one another. She also has a few other quirks she has that I will not expand upon. Shelley is her cousin. Favorite moment for Sabrina was the episode where her and Jimmy were competing to see who could get the most viewers for the videos they were taking on their cellphones, it was pretty much a large advertisement for a particular company but it was still pretty damn funny
Shelley is Sabrina’s eccentric (I think that is correct), ukulele playing cousin. She tries to start a relationship with Jimmy, but then realizes that he is in love with her cousin when he tells her. She used to have a dead tooth which she kept as a conversation starter, but later had it fixed. She also runs a daycare for children, dogs, and senior citizens, whom she also entertains with singing songs and playing her ukulele. Out of all of the characters Shelley is the favorite in our house, from the things she says to the fact that she will just come up with a song at the drop of a hat. I think it has to do with the fact that we have a cousin that is kind of like her, the personality is kind of similar but they play an accordion instead of a ukulele. Favorite moments are any.
Barney is the manager of the supermarket that Sabrina and Jimmy work at. He is pretty much a pushover, used to be obese, has a tendency for hitting the sauce when he is depressed (chocolate sauce). Barney is that guy that pretty much does right by everyone, but somehow gets screwed over in the long run. In an odd sort of way he does fit in with the gang. My favorite moments for Barney is whenever he says or does something kind of corny.
Frank is…..well…Frank is Frank. We’ll just leave it at that.
I love this show, not just for the various situations and circumstances that are funny but also because I am a huge fan of puns and malapropisms. I think that was the big selling point for me.