The best thing Fox network did this year was, after Glee, put “Raising Hope” on to make us laugh and warm our hearts, they’re the best two shows on prime time TV Tuesdays.
Tune into Fox at 9pm on Tuesdays and you’ll find,
” a 20-year-old kid named Jimmy (Lucas Neff) who is handed a six-month-old daughter he didn’t know he had, and instills the help of his parents (Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt), who didn’t do the best job of raising him. They all live in the house of Jimmy’s grandmother Maw Maw (Cloris Leachman), who isn’t all there. Martha Plimpton is the chain-smoking backbone of this sweetly raucous new white-trash sitcom created by Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia.”
More about RAISING HOPE
The show follows the Chance family as they find themselves adding an unexpected new member into their household. The show has been the highest-rated new Fox series, performing better than fellow freshman comedy ( Running Wilde) and the already-cancelled drama Lone Star. Which both sucked, big time. But Fox hit a home-run with Raising Hope. The latest news on deadline.com said that Fox’s comedy Raising Hope has become the first new series this fall to receive an order for additional episodes.
Lucas Neff-Jimmy Chance
Lucas Neff who plays the main character, is painfully quirky and shy, with a big heart and big dreams, which only make his trying to raise a baby more hilarious as he doesn’t know squat about how to bring up a baby, let alone deal with his parents. Lucas said when asked if he’s ever made any of his own real life plans answered,
“No, my life has been a series of happy accidents. This is where Jimmy and I intersect. I had no idea I wanted to be an actor, they just misprocessed my college application and sent me to the wrong department. That led to me trying it out and falling in love with it.”
Lucas Neff’s acting career began as an accident when his application at the University of Illinois was misprocessed and they assigned him to the performing arts department by mistake. After graduating from college, he went on to study at the School at Steppenwolf.
Cloris Leachman -Maw Maw (Jimmy’s Grandmother)
I have to say that Cloris’ character “Maw Maw” is one of the funniest on the show. She really knows how to steal a scene. And the things the writers come up with for her to do just slay me. I don’t know any ‘grandma’ like her that would do the things she does, it only makes it funnier to see her do them. You’ll have to tune in to find out. And I’ll bet you didn’t know Cloris Leachman has won eight Emmy Awards – more than any other female performer – and one Daytime Emmy Award. She’s probably best known for playing the nosy, self-centered and manipulative landlady “Phyllis Lindstrom” on ” Mary Tyler Moore ” and later on the spin-off series ” Phyllis .” Her additional film credits include the Mel Brooks films ” Young Frankenstein” and “High Anxiety,” as well as “American Cowslip,” “Ponyo,” “Inglorious Basterds, ” and many others.
Martha Plimpton -Virginia Chance (Mom)
I think my favorite character on the show is the multi-talented Martha Plimpton. Sometimes she doesn’t have to say a word, and I’ll bust out laughing. It must be a combination of the outfits she wears coupled with the constant cigarette hanging out of her mouth, and the sheer seriousness she can snap out the ridculous baby advice without cracking a smile. She’s really funny. Plus, her vocabulary alone warrents watching the show, she makes up new words every chance she gets (when she just doesn’t “get” something). (See the bottom of the article for facebook voting on Virginia’s new word of the day). Martha made her film debut in Alan J. Pakula’s ” Rollover ” and went on to star in over 30 films, including “The Goonies,” “The Mosquito Coast,” “Running on Empty,” “Beautiful Girls,” “Parenthood,” “200 Cigarettes” and “Pecker .” Her most memorable television appearances would have to include ” The Good Wife,” and a recurring role on “Law & Order: SVU, ” which garnered her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Then, there’s Garret Dillahunt-Burt Chance (Dad), who’s slow wit and strange concepts about how to raise a child really crack me up. He was asked about the show and how he would explain it to someone who hadn’t heard of it or know what to expect, and answered, “Well, Raising Hope is from the mind of the creator of ‘ My Name is Earl ,’ Greg Garcia, who’s kind of the David Milch of comedy, if you ask me. He’s real creative, he’s real on the fly and he has a real strong vision of what he wants. I really dig him and his sense of humor. Me and Martha Plimpton play Burt and Virginia Chance and we had a kid together when we were about 15, (which we don’t recommend), but we stayed together and raised him (Jimmy) – he’s about 24 now – and he meets this hot girl one night and they have a one-night stand, which is a rare occurrence in Jimmy’s life because he’s kind of a homebody. He’s kind of a directionless, slacker kid. Turns out she’s a serial killer though and she gets the chair, and our family gets the baby, so we find ourselves young grandparents all of a sudden. And it’s all about us having a second chance at doing a better job at raising a kid.” He’s a riot in his own right.
Shannon Woodward-Sabrina (Jimmy’s love interest)
Shannon is great as Sabrina, and plays her snide, quirky, yet sweet self very well. I haven’t seen her in anything else that I remember but after looking her up on IMDB, I found out a few things, like; she starred in a few TV shows such as Psyche, Criminal Minds, Law & Order, ER, The Riches, Cold Case, Boston Public, and Malcom in the Middle. Who knew? All I know is I hope that Jimmy gets his “Chance” with Sabrina, they’d make a cute couple.
And just in from Fox, the Golden Globe nominee Jason Lee , (who was the lead character on ” My Name is Earl,” and ” Memphis Beat “) has signed on to guest-star in the upcoming “Burt Rocks” episode of RAISING HOPE. Lee will play SMOKEY DANIELS, a washed-up rock star who is hired as the lead act at “Grocery-Palooza,” a rock concert at the supermarket where SABRINA (Shannon Woodward) works. Smokey was once BURT’s (Garret Dillahunt) musical idol, and Burt hopes to relive his rock-star years by playing backup for him at the concert. Can’t wait for this one. Should be a riot.
Also don’t forget to Vote for “Raising Hope” on the People’s Choice Awards for Favorite New TV Comedy
A fun thing Fox has on the Raising Hope website is this parenting quiz. It says, “You survived your own childhood and now you’re a parent (or considering parenthood). Take this short quiz to learn your dominant parenting style.” I took the test and it told me that I’m
” A Survivor ”
– It said, ” You are probably amazed that your child has made it this far without serious psychological or physical damage (OK, it depends on how you define “serious”). But cut yourself some slack. No parent is perfect and sometimes doing the best you can is good enough. Kudos for keeping your kid alive for as long as you have … and for keeping your sense of humor along the way.” Ha! that just made me laugh so I had to include it.
If you’ve never seen Raising Hope you can see full episodes here.
Thanks goodness Fox has stretched out of their normal box and put out a winner for prime time TV, it really “raises my hopes” for nighttime TV.
Vote on the Latest Poll Help develop Virginia’s vocabulary by choosing your favorite new “Virginia-ism” from the list below (this should give you a good idea of the words she comes up with).
Chronobetical: chro• no• bet• i• cal Adj: arranged in order of time. (Usually pronounced chronological)
Revibrate: re• vi• brate Verb: to continue in a series of echoes. (Usually pronounced reverberate)
Optical Delusion: Op• tic• al De• lus• ion Noun: misleading image. (Usually pronounced optical illusion)
Nostralgic: nos• tral• gic Noun: a yearning to return to a past period. (Usually pronounced nostalgic)
Consolimate: con• sol• i• mate Verb: to join together into one whole. (Usually pronounced consolidate) Redunderant: re• dun• der• ant Adj: characterized by repetition. (Usually pronounced redundant)
Resources & More Reading:
Jason Lee to Rock on “Raising Hope” | TheFutonCritic.com
Vote for “Raising Hope” on the People’s Choice Awards for Favorite New TV Comedy
Take this short quiz on Parenting (c’mon, it’s fun!)
Garret Dillahunt; http://www.popeater.com/2010/11/19/garret-dillahunt-is-raising-hope/
Vote for Virginia word of the day; http://apps.facebook.com/fanappz/poll/vote?id=15218&ref=nf
See full episodes of Raising Hope here;