"Raising Hope" Premiere Promises Quirky Comedy
Last season, "Raising Hope" consistently delivered quirky comedy as the dysfunctional Chance family tried their best to raise baby Hope. This season’s premiere didn’t disappoint, as Jimmy, Burt, and Virginia came back in full-force, promising another hilarious season.
If you’re new to the show, or simply forgot what happened last season, Hope’s babysitter Shelley (Kate Micucci) is here to fill you in. The quirky daycare owner with a tendency to turn everything into a song opened the episode with a musical recap of the previous season. She retells the story of how Jimmy (Lucas Neff) met and had a one night stand with Hope’s serial killer mother, Lucy (Bijou Phillips), and now must raise the baby after her mother receives the death penalty. She reintroduces Jimmy’s parents, Virginia (Martha Plimpton) and Burt (Garret Dillahunt), as well as Virginia’s insane grandmother, Maw Maw (Cloris Leachman). Of course, she doesn’t forget Jimmy’s good friend, coworker, and crush Sabrina (Shannon Marie Woodward).
Greyson Chance guest starred as a 13-year-old musical prodigy-version of Jimmy, who discovers the musical talents he never knew he had while watching home videos. Surprisingly, Maw Maw taught Jimmy how to play piano while she still had some mental stability. Jimmy became a teenage heartthrob at a local recital. He has no recollection of any of this, though, and it takes prodding for the story to come out: he was hit in the head with a mini-golf club and forgot everything he had learned about piano.
It is soon revealed that Jimmy was never professionally examined post-injury, and a visit to the doctor leads to the decision to recreate past events in the hopes of Jimmy recovering the lost abilities. Jimmy is all too eager to begin when he realizes Sabrina, too, fell in love with his 13-year-old self.
As expected, comedy ensues.
Jimmy, Burt, and Virginia will apparently stop at nothing to recover his musical talent. In one scene, Jimmy has squeezed himself into a shirt he hasn’t worn since he was 13, and hammers away on the piano. Another scene saw Jimmy’s hands taped to Maw Maw’s, with the hope that the finger movements would invoke muscle memory.
When nothing works, Burt reveals the truth: he had been jealous of Jimmy, and in a semi-unrelated bout of anger, he threw the mini-golf club that hit Jimmy and caused the amnesia. Jimmy and Virginia easily forgive Burt, and the three celebrate their mediocrity with a few six-packs. Hope is restored when Jimmy’s singing abilities return in his drunkenness, and the dimwitted family assumes more alcohol will allow Jimmy to reprise his performance in the recital over ten years earlier.
On the day of the recital, Jimmy and Burt get drunk. Naturally, when Jimmy sits down the piano, he is playing off-key, and singing very out of tune. Virginia realizes their error: Jimmy only sounds good to a drunken ear.
All is not lost, though. Virginia plans on making a video of Jimmy’s singing go viral. It is not the drunken recital video she has put online, but the 13-year-old prodigy-Jimmy. She proudly asserts that it already has seven views. The views are probably all from Sabrina, who we see sitting in front of a computer dreamily watching the younger version of her friend. Perhaps this season, she will finally reciprocate Jimmy’s feelings.
This season is bound to bring the same level of comedy as the first, and the Chance family will undoubtedly find themselves in even stranger situations as Hope continues to grow.
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