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Hercules Has Seen Fox’s New
Baby Sitcom RAISING HOPE!!

I am – Hercules!!
The third sitcom about poor people from wealthy writer-producer Greg Garcia (“Yes Dear,” “My Name Is Earl”), “Raising Hope” follows a pool cleaner suddenly thrust into the role of single fatherhood. The pool cleaner barbeques on a grocery cart. He meets a cute supermarket checker who likes to rebel by drawing faces on produce. The pool cleaner’s dad likes to push people down while they’re trying to pee. The pool cleaner’s ancient grandma likes to wander around topless and make out with her grandson. The infant gets to watch her mother get electrocuted. There’s a lot of vomiting. Martha Plimpton plays the pool cleaner’s mom. I still find Martha Plimpton sexy, even as a grandmother. I laughed a time or two. Not enough to want to stick with it, but I’m not much of a sitcom guy. This might play well to the cannabis-saturated Adult Swim crowd that enjoys “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” Or not. HitFix says:
… Though I think a little of Garcia's "My Name Is Earl"-style humor goes a long way, I did laugh several times during the "Hope" pilot, including some things Dillahunt does as Neff's none-too-bright father. …
TV Squad says:
… Nothing about it is funny and it strands two outstanding actors in a vehicle that fails to harness their many talents. … broad, shrill and aggressively wacky …
USA Today says:
… when it's not trying too hard to be weird and rude — and sometimes when it is — it can be wildly funny and surprisingly sweet. … the standout — just as she was last season in her guest shots on The Good Wife and Fringe —is Plimpton, who creates her own humorous take on the traditional sitcom mom. With marvelous, subtle skill, Plimpton is able to scorch the earth with a look while still revealing the warmth beneath her character's cynical shell. It's a pleasure to watch her work. …
The New York Times says:
… Martha Plimpton isn’t the only reason “Raising Hope”could be the best new sitcom of the season, but she is the main reason. … Virginia’s son, Jimmy (Lucas Neff), has just quit his job and walks home. “There has to be more to life than cleaning the same pool over and over,” he says. “There isn’t,” she snaps as she sweeps past him. It’s not a brilliant line, but there is incandescence in the way that Ms. Plimpton manages with two words to morph into a comically hardened, uneducated, working-class mom without becoming either a caricature or a cruel joke.
The Los Angeles Times says:
… In keeping with the interiors, bits of old and broken junk take up too much space in the pilot — and then there's Leachman's Maw Maw who keeps taking her shirt off, a ridiculous vomiting scene, and the tedious if inevitable jerry-rigging of baby equipment by a newbie parent. But every time Garcia's script lurches, it quickly catches itself and swings back toward laughter. In his early travels, Jimmy meets Sabrina (Shannon Woodward), who survives her job as a grocery clerk by drawing faces on the melons. Neff and Dillahunt infuse their characters with depth and hilarity and Plimpton is, as she ever was, just marvelous.…
The Washington Post says:
… Plimpton, at 38, finds herself playing a new grandmother -- and frankly, making this show worth watching …
The San Francisco Chronicle says:
… works on two levels, the absurdist gags about dysfunctional families and lower-class values that populated "Earl," and the never-too-saccharine sweetness that Jimmy brings to the world. If Garcia can keep up this mix, Fox may have itself a non-animated comedy hit. …
The Boston Herald says:
… will leave you feeling better about the state of the network sitcom. It’s kicking and screaming. …
The Boston Globe says:
… There may be a smaller number of top-notch newbies this season, but “Raising Hope,’’ a celebration of parenthood and childhood, of small joys and big struggles, is certainly one of them. …
The Hollywood Reporter says:
… Garcia knows his territory, and anyone who watched his "My Name Is Earl" knows we're among the unshaven underclass with hearts of gold. …
Variety says:
… While the pilot's not as good, in fact, this Fox series almost feels like a logical companion to ABC's single-camera standout "Modern Family." … Tonally, "Hope" proves very similar to "Earl," which also broke with TV's homogenized sitcom vision of middle-class bliss. As with that show, though, you wonder whether there's enough here to sustain the series as baby Hope (hence the title) celebrates her first birthday, much less until she reaches the terrible twos. That said, the pilot is a laudable effort, and shines even more brightly when held up against its new companion, "Running Wilde."
9 p.m. Tuesday. Fox.
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Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 21, 2010, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Is this a spinoff of Accidentally on Purpose?

    by jim

    is that show still on?

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    "Martha Plimpton plays the pool cleaner’s mom"

    by jim

    She's 40. Is having a kid in her teens, who had a kid in his teens, part of the characters' dynamic? Or is it that bad in Hollywood that any woman over 25 is relegated to the "Mom" role, and over 35 can only be a grandmother?<p>Garret Dillahunt plays the father, so the show's got that going for it, which is good.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Martha Plimpton playing a grandmother...

    by OutsideChance

    Damn. I feel old.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 3:22 p.m. CST

    My glasses!

    by tlyel37

    I can't see a thing without my glasses!! Martin Sheen?! That's John F. Kennedy!! So stupid Mouth!

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Plimpton is the mother of the lead...

    by Cartagia

    not the "grandmother". 40 year old playing the mom of a youngish 20 something? Especially in the type of home here. Definitely.<br><br> Also, Garret Dillahunt? I'm in.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Cartagia

    by eric haislar

    if the lead has a baby then that makes her a grandma.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 4:01 p.m. CST

    eric- it was more of a response to Big Jim

    by Cartagia

    Her being a young grandmother is part of the dynamic, he was questioning that.<br><br> And as Herc said, there is the lead's grandmother on the show. People are gonna get confused. Just not us :)

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 4:17 p.m. CST

    God bless Dillahunt.

    by Johnny Smith

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 4:50 p.m. CST

    God Bless these Parenthood knock offs.

    by RPLocke

    TV needs about 5 more.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 4:57 p.m. CST

    Cartagia, I got that she was playing the baby's

    by jim

    grandmother, whose father, the lead, is her son (or is she the baby mama's mama?). I was just wondering if the part specifically called for a young grandmother, or if the "grammy" roles were all Hollywood would consider Plimpton for these days. Either way, I had little interest in this show until I saw the cast.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 5:21 p.m. CST

    that trailer was actually funny

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    Not gonna tune in, but When the torrent shows up tomorrow i might download and take a look

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Martha Plimpton is sexy?

    by dukeroberts

    I have never found her even remotely sexy. Not in the least. Really? Martha Plimpton is sexy?

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 6:40 p.m. CST

    The review as we know it is dead.

    by daggor

    "Potheads might like it" is not how you wrap up a review. Either you think it is good or it's not. ATHF, by the way, is genuinely funny. It's short, absurd and cleverly written. No real plot, just something each episode for the characters to react to, but it's good.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 7:32 p.m. CST

    Big Jim- I understand, I probably wasn't very clear

    by Cartagia

    in my original post.<br><br> The story does call for a very young grandmother of the baby. (IE Plimpton), however, with the many people just throwing around "Grandmother" I wanted to make it clear that she is not playing the "Grandmother" character that Herc was talking about.<br><br> I too had no interest in the show until I got a look at the cast.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Plimpton not sexy. More like attainably cute-ish

    by cookepuss

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 8:40 p.m. CST

    It's actually quite good - one of the better new shows

    by ShiftyEyedDog2

    So of course, it will get cancelled while overrated stuff like Modern Family gets praised. The Middle is far better than Modern Family, but gets ignored. And now Raising Hope will get overlooked as well.

  • Sept. 21, 2010, 10:31 p.m. CST

    It made me laugh

    by ArianeB

    That's a stellar compliment for a comedy.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 12:52 a.m. CST

    I liked it, damn funny

    by DrPain

    I might just make Fox my home Tuesday nights.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 1:11 a.m. CST

    that's a wide range of reviews

    by bigbangfan

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 4:19 a.m. CST

    its nice to see plimpton getting regular work

    by brabon300

    when she was young, i thought she was kinda fugly, but as she has grown up, she has a certain something about her<P>is today's slacker comedy, yesterday's rural comedy?

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Dillahunt deserves better

    by The McPoyle Clan

    I can understand the appeal of a steady gig for him, but it should be better than a shitty Fox sitcom.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 8:17 a.m. CST

    What's with the wealthy dig Herc?

    by mjgtexas

    David Simon is in a Manhattan Starbucks as we speak, not hanging out on a West Baltimore street corner.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Raising Hope > Running Wilde

    by TylerScruggs

    After last night... RH was majorly funny, where as RW was amusing at times, but still wasn't very good and was narrator-heavy.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Martha's not "sexy" per se...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...She's not even really attractive. However, she's a plain looking girl that you just know would get freaky. At that can be a plus at times.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 10:24 a.m. CST

    She was really good as the sheriff...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...on that one Fringe episode last season, btw.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 11:10 a.m. CST

    I missed this unfortunetely...

    by HB_Dad

    .... I have no DVR right now. I am hoping this show is like "Malcolm In The Middle" which in my opinion is the funniest non-animated sitcom ever made! The previews kind of remind me of it, especially the later episodes when they added a baby to the show...

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Plimpton was terrible

    by JonQuixote

    Just terrible. Oh look, she broadly mispronounced a semi-complicated word, how funny. Christ. She is no Jaimie Pressley, that much is for sure.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST

    I liked it

    by F-18

    It probably won't be on long, but I'll watch it until it gets cancelled.

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 4:34 p.m. CST

    This show was pretty funny

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    I laughed quite a few times during the pilot. i'll stick around for episode 2, but tuesdays are the worst place for this show, It has a sunday night vide to it to me

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 5:19 p.m. CST

    I'll be honest

    by Cartagia

  • Sept. 22, 2010, 5:19 p.m. CST

    I'll be honest

    by Cartagia

    I laughed my ass off.