I finally got a chance to watch the first two episode of Rasing Hope, and my initial reaction after watching it was that it was fabulous. I laughed a lot during it, and I honestly can’t remember the last time something made me laugh that much. (Maybe B Gata H Kei). At the same time, it’s very hard to describe. Part of me wants to say it is just a show you have to watch and experience for yourself, though at the same time, I can see a lot of people turned off and offended by the first episode. After all, Hope’s mother dies in the electric chair.
See, the show has a very quirky, sometimes inappropriate and sarcastic sense of humor. It deals with some heavy topics. We quickly realize that the family is poor and barely making ends meet. Great-Grandma is usually stuck in the past and doesn’t know who the people around her are. Yet the show has this light-hearted tone that lessens the impact of these darker things-similar to the way death was handled in Pushing Dasies. This tone is added by the innocence and cluelessness of the characters. Even the main character’s parents, who have an exterior of being jaded turn out to still have their innocence, and while they have more knowledge then their son, they’re still clueless as well.
What is the story about anyway? To sum it up, single parenthood, except with the man raising the baby. In this case, dead-end Jimmy ends up raising his daughter Hope. The situation surrounding how this came to be is a little weird. Jimmy slept with a murderer before he knew she was a murderer in a one night stand, she was executed, and he ended up with Hope. After that, well, I really don’t want to spoil anything.
It’s really hard to have a handle on the characters at this point, as Raising Hope is a half a hour show with commercial breaks, but so far they seem to be handled well. The characters have strong character traits, and most of them have distinct strengths and weaknesses. The people who made it took care to choose people who can really act, and although the viewer spends a short time with them, they really make an impact.
I do admit, I was worried Sabrina was going to be a ‘Magical Pixie Girl’ after the first episode but she seems to be more down to earth in the second episode. I hope she stays that way.
So far, the show strikes a balance between being hilarious and powerful emotionally. I think this could really be an amazing show. We’ll see what me of the future thinks at the end of this season.