My Family’s New Favorite Show

I have to tell you about my family’s new favorite show. It’s been on awhile, but I just added a season pass to the Tivo just before Christmas, and have been catching up on last season via Netflix.

It’s Raising Hope. It’s about a young man, Jimmy, who has a one-night stand with a woman who turns out to be a serial killer (The Boyfriend Killer). His family turns her in. When he goes to see her in prison, she’s pregnant with his child. When she’s executed, he ends up with custody of the baby. He lives with his parents, who had him when they were fifteen and seventeen, and they live with the mom’s grandmother, who is senile. So lots of dark mixed in with this comedy.

First of all, it’s by the creators of My Name Is Earl, which was a hilarious show (until he got hit by the car a second time—we quit watching after that). We think maybe Greg Garcia is the kind of blue collar comedy. Some may say white trash, but some stuff strikes a little close to home for me to call it that, lol.

Second, it’s really tightly written. My husband and son postulate that they come up with the end and write backwards so that everything points to that conclusion. Me, I’m imagining the writers thinking, “Now why would this boy end up with the baby? Why wouldn’t the mom have custody? Oh, I know! She’s a serial killer and is executed.” It’s like when you’re stuck in your manuscript and you make a list of the ways you can get out of this corner, and you pick the most ridiculous one.

An example of the creativity is the Christmas episode. The husband/grandfather, Burt, is selling dolls. Apparently every year he gets a stash of the hottest toys and sells them at a ridiculous mark-up. This year the hottest toy is a doll, called Baby Sneezes. Jimmy wants him to save one for Hope, the baby, but of course he doesn’t (Burt’s a little dim.)  So Jimmy goes to buy one from one of Burt’s customers, and pays all his commission from the sale of the dolls for it, so Hope will have something nice on her first Christmas. Meanwhile, his mother is staging a live Nativity scene across from the church’s Nativity scene, and Hope is playing Baby Jesus. Both scenes are trying to raise money for the church organ. The church hadn’t chosen Hope to play the Baby Jesus because her mother is a serial killer, and the mom, Virginia, and Jimmy, don’t want her to live with that label. But Virginia’s Nativity scene is a bust. Jimmy is determined his daughter won’t live with the serial killer’s daughter label and draws the crowd, including a TV crew, to his mother’s Nativity by marching into the middle of the church’s Nativity, holding up the Baby Sneezes, and announcing, “Behold, the Baby Sneezes.” They then proceed to auction off the doll and use the proceeds to fix the organ, on which Hope’s name is affixed.

But my favorite part of the show is the relationships. I know, it’s fiction, but here are two kids who married young because they have to but are still madly in love, though their life is hard. They hang out with their son, which I think is neat because they’ve kind of grown up together. They weren’t the best parents, but they didn’t give up. Then you have MawMaw, who raised Virginia and let Burt move into the house when they married. MawMaw has Alzheimer’s, though it’s never stated, and Virginia takes care of her, sometimes in outlandish ways.

And I love the interactions between father and son. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m fascinated with the father/son dynamic. Burt truly loves his son and wants to do what is right and best for Jimmy, even when it means letting Jimmy do for himself. (The Halloween episode with the hugs is one of my favorites.)

Do you watch Raising Hope? Did I convince you that you should?

And unrelated–still working on Bluestone 3 😉



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