The central character has a one night stand with a hottie that turns out to be a psychopath. Of course she falls pregnant (why are white trash always the most virile?), and is executed leaving Jimmy literally holding the baby. Oh, the hilarity. All of this in the first 10 minutes including the setup that his family is poor, badly educated, working class America. Hilarity. Jimmy decides to raise the baby, agains the insistence of his Mom to dump the baby at the local fire house. Cue more hilarity. Words are used, like “dramastically”. My. Sides. Please hand me some cotton and a needle because they are splitting.
I wasn’t expecting big things. I should have been – I mean, the cast has acting (particularly comedy) credibility up the hoo-hah. Cloris Leachman (Grandma) has been in every fricken’ thing since 1948. Garret Dillahunt (Burt) was in No Country for Old Men and has been a “that guy” in a whole raft of shows, not least of which includes a decent role in Deadwood. Martha Plimpton has also been in a whole bunch of stuff since forever, including Goonies. Freakin’ Goonies, man! GOONIES! Instead I was assaulted with a script that made My Name is Earl look like high-brow New Yorker-esque humour.
And then, it hit me. It’s like My Name is Earl because it’s from the SAME GUY who created My Name is Earl – Gregory Thomas Garcia. Just think on that. The person that made it socially acceptable for white trash to be on television again has ‘reinvented’ the format with a ‘new show’. Al Bundy is white trash – this doesn’t even fall into the same universe as Al Bundy. If anything, this is the prequel to My Name is Earl. Where Earl came from, why Earl became a jerk, & why Earl thinks he can’t do any better for himself.
Roll the dice. Take your chances. After trolling through YouTube to catch some of the “highlights” of future episodes, I thought my opinion had been formed. Look, it’s no Modern Family, that’s for sure – that show is all class. We’re laughing at ourselves there, with this we’re laughing at the assembled Chance family (and with good reason). But then Jimmy… he’s just too darn optimistic. He wants to give Princess Beyonce a good life. He wants to be a responsible father. He wants to hook up with Sabrina (and who wouldn’t?).
That clip entirely reminded me of the Chad Vader series. Get on that & enjoy some quality weirded out Star Wars humour.
More importantly the clip showed that with Raising Hope, there is hope. Jimmy’s one dimensional character grows. More characters are introduced, adding to the wacky quotient. I warmed to him, seeing this battler want to have a better life, wanting to rise to the adequate level the rest of us co-habit. It will get better. It better get better. This is an example of summer programming on Channel 10, people. Raising Hope is on a short leash, but I’ll give it another run.
P.S. I did not like My Name is Earl. At. All. And never will. The end.
Raising Hope – Wed 8pm, Ch10
Image/Video sources: Fox.