Raising Hope: The Complete First Season

Raising Hope: The Complete First Season Review

By now we should have learned that a sitcom needs at least a good half-season to find its legs. It’s easy to dismiss a new show early on in its run, yet history shows that even the greatest sitcoms had mundane starts. Raising Hope might be considered such a sitcom, but, in retrospect, its early episodes are pretty solid, and it has continued to get better. 

The show centers on Jimmy (Lucas Neff), a 23-year-old who must raise baby Hope with the help of his imperfect family. Hope’s mother, a serial killer (played by Bijou Phillips), has been executed for her crimes. The writers actually found a way to make that kind of funny. Phillips is seen in flashbacks as well as videotapes left for her daughter.  

Brought to you buy the creative team behind My Name is Earl, Raising Hope operates in the same poking-fun-at-the-lower-middle-class space. The humor, however, is not mean-spirited and has gradually moved away from white-trash gags to more character-driven places. Well cast, the show doesn’t try to be overtly whacky (most of the time) but simply has good jokes. 

Greg Dillahunt, who plays Burt Chance, Jimmy’s father, is on his way to an Emmy, though the academy might never notice. Martha Plimpton, who plays Jimmy’s mother, and Cloris Leachman, who plays his grandmother, did get Emmy nods last season, so the show is getting critical attention. A solid first season under its belt, the series seems poised for an even funnier future. Grade: A

Scroll to read more Movies & TV articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cincinnati CityBeat. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cincinnati CityBeat, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes.
No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email.
Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]