The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

#6 Raising Hope (10/8)

EW Description: “When an aimless guy (Lucas Neff) unexpectedly gains custody of his infant daughter, what’s the first thing he does? Gets help from his blunt blue-collar clan (including Martha Plimpton as his mom and Cloris Leachman as his great-grandma) in this funny, sweet comedy from My Name is Earl creator Greg Garcia.”

This is another instance where a show I thought sounded completely atrocious turns out to be pretty awesome. Here’s the basic premise: Jimmy (Lucas Neff, who looks super familiar but apparently hasn’t been in anything else I’ve seen) got a girl pregnant on a one-night stand when she jumped into his van. It turns out that she was a serial killer, so when she was executed, Jimmy got custody of their baby Princess Beyonce (who later was renamed Hope). Jimmy still lives at home with his parents (Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt) who had him when he was 15 and his completely senile great-grandma (Cloris Leachman). He also has a potential new love interest in Sabrina, the cashier at the local grocery store.

There were several moments in the pilot that made me laugh at loud. I love the flashbacks to how Jimmy’s mom raised him and him marveling at the fact he’s still alive. It does seem pretty amazing. His entire family is completely hilarious. Cloris Leachman doesn’t have much to do, but she plays old and senile perfectly. Hope is basically adorable, even though I will always call her Princess Beyonce in my mind.

At its heart, the show is just a really sweet show about a guy trying to navigate fatherhood when he is completely unprepared for it. Neff plays Jimmy with this really naive innocence that is so endearing that you can’t help but root for him. The show is from Greg Garcia, who also created My Name is Earl. While I didn’t watch Earl on a regular basis, the episodes I saw also had the same kind of sweetness to them. Hope is definitely worth a watch, though.

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