Assessing Fox's New Tuesday Comedy Block: Raising Hope, New Girl, and Breaking In

There is nothing finer in TV Land than the relaxation that comes with finding a channel and parking on it for the entire evening. Once upon a time, I could actually tell you which channel was Comedy Central or Disney or the entire network alphabet soup without scrolling endlessly through the guide, but now we are in the age of 700+ channels and remote controls that look more complicated than the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, and my ability to rattle off channel numbers like multiplication tables will never be the same.

So it’s a pleasant surprise when funny shows air back-to-back on the same network. The less opportunity I have to get lost wandering in the endless wasteland of networks that aren’t included in my cable package, the better.

With the exception of the utterly terrible I Hate my Teenage Daughter, which you will notice is absent from this list (you’re welcome), Fox has a solid Tuesday-night lineup with Raising Hope at 8pm, New Girl at 9pm, and Breaking In at 9:30pm. We’ll just pretend that some wibbly wobbly timey wimey shenanigans erased the thirty minutes between 8:30pm and 9pm from existence, cool? Cool.

Raising Hope S02E17: “Spanks Butt, No Spanks”

The ever-adorable Hope has grown into a holy terror: drawing on the walls, smashing Virginia’s pig figurines, and finally, almost killing Grandpa Burt by turning on the gas in the kitchen and running off with the knobs. Virginia said her “serial killer mommy would be proud” and reluctantly conceded that the time had come for a spanking. It worked on Jimmy, she claimed. Burt admitted that he had never spanked Jimmy, only let Virginia think that he did, but the fact remained that Hope was out of control and needed to be disciplined. It looked like Raising Hope was going to go there with the spanking, and in a way it did when Burt and Virginia decided to belatedly become active in their own kid’s discipline and spank Jimmy. Yes, their 25-year old son. Apparently seeing her father get bent over Grandpa’s knee was enough to deter Hope, and Raising Hope cleverly got to have its cake and eat it too concerning the spanking debate.

Other highlights:

– Burt was excited when Sabrina discovered beef bouillon cubes in the cabinet: “They’re like meat-flavored hard candy.” No.

– While imploring her husband to spank the younger, rowdier Jimmy, Virginia declared him to be “somewhere between Mary Poppins and Precious.” Oh god.

– Flashbacks to wee Jimmy and grunge aficionado Burt will never be anything but amazing.

New Girl S01E16: “Control”

Jess took part in one of my favorite pastimes: trolling the side of the road for free stuff. Her roommates were about as enthusiastic as mine were back in the day when I called asking for help carrying something awesome up the steps, particularly Schmidt, who destroyed her “new” hutch in one of those displays of rage that lands you in an anger management class. Jess decided to help Schmidt loosen up by taking him to the beach and introducing him to the magic of the drum circle. She accidentally created a new breed of monster when the typically uptight Schmidt shifted to full-blown slacker. Admittedly, I found Slacker Schmidt to be rather likeable, but I understand the need to restore the natural order of things. You never mess with the apartment ecosystem, Jess. Trust me.

Other highlights:

– I like that Jess is claiming her own space in the apartment. IT WAS A CUTE HUTCH, OKAY?

– “Pine is the wood of poor people.” No, particle board is the wood of poor people, and it has served me well.

Breaking In S02E02: “Who’s the Boss”

Man, last week’s premiere was so promising. While the geek references flew and Veronica pranced around in a blindingly shiny bra, I didn’t laugh as hard last night as I did last week, which was a total downer because New Girl and Raising Hope had me in stitches leading up to the 9:30pm slot. Oz and Veronica butted heads over who’s the boss (aha, get it?) at Contra these days. Apparently, even the merger with OPC wasn’t enough to grant Contra economic sanctuary, so when Oz signed the team up for a pro-bono assignment in hopes of wooing paying customers, Veronica balked at the waste of time and resources. It was a team effort to outsmart her, and it failed spectacularly, but all was well in the end when a client benefited from Veronica’s lingerie show and decided to sign with Contra anyway.

Other highlights:

– “Slave Leia hot.” Honestly, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard that phrase used to describe an attractive lady.

– “If you feel like a freak then this office is perfect for you.” Are you taking applications? Can I look forward to seeing your table at an upcoming job fair? I have no real skills that would be of any use to you, but I bake fantastic cupcakes (which you all seem to be rather fond of) and I’m cheeky.

– Looks like a Molly-Cameron-Melanie triangle is in the works to cater to the romantically inclined viewers out there. Meh. Okay. I’ll bite. For now.

What are your thoughts on Fox's new Tuesday-night comedy block? Do you have more patience than I do for I Hate My Teenage Daughter? Do you miss Glee?

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