“RAISING HOPE” LEAVES VIEWERS ROOTING FOR CHANCES
By Stella Nagle
The pure comedic chaos of the sitcom Raising Hope leaves viewers feeling like a member of this crazy, lovable family.
Airing in 2010, the show follows the life of a young man named Jimmy Chance, played by Lucas Neff, who unexpectedly finds out he is having a daughter, Hope, after her mother is sentenced to death row. Jimmy lives with his parents, Virginia and Burt, and his grandmother, Maw Maw, in Natesville, Virginia. The series follows the untraditional family's daily lives as they navigate the challenges of raising a child.
One of the things that makes Raising Hope stand out is the show's sense of humor. It is full of quirky, offbeat jokes and one-liners that are both hilarious, and even heartfelt at times.
With each character having unique, lovable personalities, the show manages to strike a balance between heartwarming moments and outrageous, over-the-top humor. It does not take itself too seriously, but still manages to have a lot of heart.
While Raising Hope is a funny and classic TV show, the humor does align with other hit sitcoms such as The Office or Seinfeld, making some of the jokes outdated, as the show originally aired in 2010. This, however, doesn’t stop this show from being a good watch at the end of a long day.
Another strength of Raising Hope is its excellent cast. Lucas Neff, Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt, Shannon Woodward, and Cloris Leachman all give fantastic performances, and their familial chemistry on-screen is evident.
The actors are all clearly having fun with their roles, and their enthusiasm is infectious. Jimmy's tough-talking but caring mother Virginia is particularly lovable. Plimpton’s role as Virginia is an absolute standout, and she is consistently one of the funniest and most endearing characters on the show. Her ability to make Jimmy’s love interest feel a part of the family is truly heartwarming.
Raising Hope's ability to perfect such a strong sense of community amongst their small town allows for the recurring characters to feel like real people instead of extras. The show does a great job of fleshing out the supporting cast, from the various members of the Chance family to the other residents of the town.
The show also tackles issues of class and socioeconomic status, as the Chance family often struggles to make ends meet and face discrimination from the wealthy residents of the town. The family’s ability to consistently prove others wrong in their mistaken views allows the audience to continually root for the Chances.
One of the show's only drawbacks is that some of the storylines can feel a bit repetitive. The show often falls back on the same formula of the Chance family getting into a wacky situation and then finding a way to get out of it, and while the show manages to keep things fresh with its humor and character development, some episodes can start to feel a bit formulaic.
The show's humor is not for everyone. Its irreverent tone and offbeat humor might not appeal to viewers who prefer more traditional sitcoms.
Nonetheless, Raising Hope is a delightful and heartwarming sitcom that is well worth watching. Its quirky sense of humor and lovable characters make it a joy to watch, and the show's exploration of class and community adds depth to the series.
While it can sometimes fall into formulaic storytelling, the show always manages to keep things fresh with its humor and character development. If you are looking for a show that will have you both laughing and rooting for this lovable chaotic family, then Raising Hope is definitely worth checking out.