Friday, September 5, 2014

Currently Binge Watching: Raising Hope

A friend told me I'd like this show a few years ago, but I forgot all about it until I was looking around on Netflix earlier this week. Turns out, she was right. The show is about a guy named Jimmy (some dude I don't recognize from anything else), who's kind of a loser but wears a lot of R. Crumb T-shirts, so he's got that going for him, which is nice. Jimmy and his equally loser white trash parents (Martha Plimpton and that creepy whore-killer guy from Deadwood) live with his senile great-grandmother (Cloris Leachman). One night Jimmy sleeps with Bijou Phillips, which I think most of us would do given the chance. He manages to get her pregnant, but since it turns out she's a serial killer she gets executed right after the baby's born and Jimmy gets stuck with the kid, Princess Beyonce. In one of the few displays of good judgement shown by the show's characters, they decide to change the baby's name to Hope. That's pretty much the premise, though they do throw in a love interest (the daughter from The Riches).

Yeah, I know, sounds like once you get past the pilot it's a pretty standard sit-com, but it's got that same kind of so-weird-it-seems-authentic poor white trash vibe as My Name Is Earl. Given the fact that Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee (who Plimpton describes as looking like a skinny version of that fat guy from Mallrats), and Jaime Pressly have all had cameos and Crabman shows up whenever they need a random dude with a job who has lines (the joke is that he works everywhere because he has 12 kids), I'm guessing some of the key people behind the show were also involved with Earl. Like My Name Is Earl, Raising Hope is filled with characters who consistently make terrible decisions, oddball bit characters (instead of Patty The Daytime Hooker, they've got Dancin' Dan), and a kind of skewed version of reality that's simultaneously surreal and completely believable. Also, Oates from Garfunkel and Oates has a recurring role as the woman who runs the dog/baby/old people day care, and most episodes with her include a song.

So basically, if you like off-the-wall white trash sit-coms, you should watch this.
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