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Raising Hope – Burt really does rock!

Usually, it takes awhile for the cast of a new show (especially a comedy) to click. Not so with the talented bunch on 'Raising Hope.' Chalk one up for FOX!

I am just loving the Fox show Raising Hope more and more. Not only is the casting perfect, the writing is top notch. And I always consider writing the key to a show’s success. Year after year when I watch the acting awards where the performers are celebrated, I’m always frustrated that we as a television (or movie) audience don’t give more kudos to writers. I mean, after all … if you don’t have a solid script, it really doesn’t matter who you’ve got on the screen.

Raising Hope seems to have hit the sweet spot on all accounts. Created by Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl), the dialogue is witty, biting and sweet at the same time. I’ll give you an example. This week, baby Hope is driving his dad Jimmy (Lucas Neff) a bit bonkers, because … well, babies can be boring and frustrating. Jimmy feels guilty about his negative thoughts about the baby and tells his Dad (Garret Dillahunt). The characters are always painfully honest on the show, so Jimmy’s Dad throws his arm around him and tells him, “I was miserable when you came along. I hated you.” And Jimmy replies, “Really? You’re not just saying that to make me feel better?”

And as you fans of Earl know, the writing of Greg Garcia is filled with these sorts of smart-ass but loving comments. We can see that deep down the family accepts and loves each other, but it completely appeals to my sense of sarcasm in the way that they do it. And also, this show reminds me a lot of Earl in that the characters grow and learn something each week. With Earl’s character, it was his list. With Jimmy and his family, they learn about each other through their experiences with Hope.

Take this week. We learn that Jimmy’s Dad has always wanted to rock. (He only realizes this as he literally “rocks” himself to calm his nerves.) So in flashback, we see him audition for Smokey Foley’s band (Jason Lee). I have to say I loved the Smokey’s requirements for a new guitar player … fit into the pants, be able to carry 180 pounds of dead weight to a hospital, and shave your body from the neck down so no one gets crabs. See what I mean? Priceless writing!

Anyway, Jimmy’s Dad originally lost the gig because he had to bring Jimmy as a baby to the audition. Jimmy feels bad about it, and sets it up so his Dad has one more shot to play with Smokey Floyd in the produce section of the grocery store at “Grocery Palooza.” And rock! Well, you saw how things went horribly wrong (again due to a baby in the family — Hope). But Jimmy’s Dad realizes that Smokey Floyd is kind of an asshole and maybe it was providence that he didn’t become a “rocker” after all.

There was a lot of great stuff along the way — like when Jimmy finds his Dad with his head stuck to a freezer shelf due to “sweating and rocking” or Jason Lee’s hysterical “Barry Gibb” like hissy fit at the unappreciative grocery store audience.

Suffice it to say, the writers pack so much into this twenty-two minutes, that there’s never a dull moment. And the cast keeps up impeccably. I so dig this show.

Photo Credit: Fox

Categories: | Episode Reviews | Features | General | TV Shows |

9 Responses to “Raising Hope – Burt really does rock!”

December 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

The cast is simply perfect, the mom, dad and son all feel like a family, and the girl he has a crush on (which isn’t overplayed and that’s nice) fits in well too.

I just hope there is room for this great show next year.

December 1, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Fox is crazy if they don’t pick it up Oreo.

December 1, 2010 at 6:10 PM

I don’t really think they need a 30 minute show. They already have, House, Terra Nova, Bones, Glee, The X Factor, that’s already 3.5 nights out of 5ish (Friday doesn’t really count anymore.). So really why keep a show that can’t hold on to the network’s number one show audience better?

It most likely will get picked up, (Til Death got 90ish episode) but if it doesn’t I wouldn’t be shocked.

Plus they use different babies, because babies look alike, at some time they will need to stick to one baby because Hope will become to old to interchange the “actors”.

December 1, 2010 at 4:52 PM

At first I was a bit worried about the similar lifestyles of “raising hope” and “earl. But I’m glad I stuck with it. It hits all the right notes.

And I really love Dillahunt in this.

I mean I knew he could act (Life, Terminator, Burn Notice), but he is really growing on me in a comedy.

December 1, 2010 at 5:28 PM

I agree. I wasn’t crazy about him at first, but as you learn more about him, the way he plays Burt makes a lot of sense.

December 1, 2010 at 6:13 PM

I did miss Maw Maw this week, but it was nice to put the spotlight on Burt. That auto tune YouTube video at the end was hilarious! And that baby is pretty much the cutest TV baby ever. What ever will they do when she starts growing? I hope they just shoot a ton of footage of her now that they can use and alter with CGI for the next few seasons. Burt did have a great line about how TV shows with babies never last more than a season! LOL

December 2, 2010 at 11:01 AM

It’s more than one baby. There are laws saying you can’t have a baby on the air for that long, so they get look alike babies to fill in. I think that’s why Hope is always wearing a hat.

So it will be interesting next season when the baby should be big enough to look different.

December 2, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Actually, the laws are that a minor can only be on set for certain periods of time, not on air, and I think everyone knows by now that there are twins (or triplets) or two sets of twins … or Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen … when filming babies for movies and TV shows. The baby I was referring to was the one they use for all of the close-ups and reaction shots. She’s just too cute and I wonder how things will change once she starts growing. I was kind of whimsically suggesting they just shoot as much footage of her now, so that if the show goes on for several seasons, they can use her footage (and body doubles and dolls for wide shots) and then she would be like a real life Maggie Simpson, who has not aged in 23 years!

December 2, 2010 at 3:13 PM

This is one show I can say I really laugh when watching. Love the show !!!! And I HOPE it comes back next season.

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