When I first turned this show on to see a hillbilly family attempting to be funny I nearly turned it off again, it was only the short running time I had to endure that stopped me.However, I quickly realised that someone over at FOX knew what they were doing.
Over the last couple of years, indie-style movies like Juno, have been making big bucks. Raising Hope is is in the same vein. Jimmy Chance is a 25 year old, emo-ish looking kid, not overly intelligent and a general under achiever. Through a series of bad choices and even worse luck he is lumbered with a baby girl, whose mother has been executed for murder.
Already the show is off to an ambitious start. Quickly Jimmy learns that he isn’t cut out to be a father, but he is also not willing to give up on his daughter. He soon meets the cute but ultimately quirky shop assistant who thinks he’s “weird” and from that point on we know this is going to be an oddball of a romantic comedy.
Overall, the show’s set up turned me off, I have always found shows that try to dredge up humour by laughing at those less fortunate (i.e. the poor hillbilly family that can’t afford to raise a baby girl) to be dull. But Raising Hope is not focused on what this family can’t do, but instead on what it can. The show is about perseverance in the face of adversity and with that slant I found myself warming to it. The show is definitely piggybacking on the success of movies like Juno, trading the canned laughter of guaranteed success for something a little more edgy, a little more “of the now”. Will that pay off? It wouldn’t the first time that FOX has taken a step forward only to find that the audience stood still. Either way, I enjoyed the pilot of Raising Hope and I applaud FOX for their great choices in half hour comedies, in offering us two (Running Wilde) new shows that are very different to what the other networks have to offer.