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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Mary Ann you are the best! Loved the Doctor Who reference at the beginning of the article. lol
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New Girl is awesome and I love it! Raising Hope is very funny too!
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I like Breaking In. It's not laugh out loud hilarious, but there is something about it gets me. I hope it gets another season, although that is doubtful. But I shan't lose hope!
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Always enjoy Raising Hope and New Girl. However, this isn't Breaking In anymore. It's some new show masquerading as Breaking In. It's more like the "Megan Mullally Unleashed and Obnoxious British Girl Show" (featuring the formerly-known-as Breaking In players). I really liked this show last season. I liked it for Bret Harrison, Odette Annabel, Christian Slater, Alphonso McAuley and Michael Rosenbaum. I liked it for the pranks, the relationships, the boss-employee dynamics, the cool jobs they pulled. Where is the show that so pleasantly surprised me?
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I can only say I watch New Girl, and that's only occasionally...I watched season one of Breaking In. It was alriiiight, but nothing I'm going to jump into. Plus your summary doesn't make it sound too interesting anymore.
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I love all 3 of these shows, they are very funny. Though I never could get past the first episode of I Hate My Teenage Daughter, that show was horrendous.



Ugh, Glee is so ridiculous. It's like that show's strategy is to make us feel lucky that they aired a new episode at all, does it like air monthly now or something?
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"...Teenage Daughter" is in that same vein of "'Til Death" kind of schlock that Fox just refuses to rid itself of. It's an utter mystery to me how shows like those still get the green light. I find myself actually feeling sorry (and embarrassed) for the actors who must certainly know how bad their shows are.



I hated "New Girl" from its first episode, mostly due to the intensely annoying nature of Jess. Sorry, but there's no such thing as adorkability. However, the writing has gotten better recently and they've definitely toned down Jess' wide-eyed idiocy and turned up her humor a bit. The banter between the men is now often good and I've been surprised at the occasional moments when I've chuckled. Even so, I'm truly amazed that this has apparently become Fox's breakout comedy hit of the season. It's pretty much their only non-animated comedy that gets anything more than the briefest of advertisements. Bizarre.



IMO, "Raising Hope" is the funniest portion of the block. I admit to having a soft spot for low-brow-yet-good-hearted families. The show is sort of a poor[er] man's "Malcolm in the Middle." Rarely does an episode air that doesn't make me laugh out loud at least once. Also, kudos to the writers for /finally/ putting Jimmy and Sabrina together rather than dragging that out ad infinitum. And for all the hateful bad guy parts that Garret Dillahunt has played over the years (e.g., "Life", "Burn Notice", etc.), I find him to be one of the best parts of this show. I'm happy to finally see him play a character that I genuinely like. Martha Plimpton also seems perfectly cast as Virginia. She actually somehow looks a lot better as a low-income maid than she does all made up. (Some of her red carpet photos from awards shows have been truly scary.) She does the blue collar thing to perfection here.



There's been some speculation that "RH" may be in danger of not seeing a third season. I really hope that's not the case. It's one of Fox's best comedies.



No offense intended to those who disagree wildly with my own opinions. As with all things, your mileage may vary.

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I completely agree. I really don't see the appeal of New Girl. It's not bad, but it's not really funny either. Raising Hope however, is brilliant and heartwarming. Though I felt really bad for the raccoon...



And I feel like I should watch Breaking In. I'll download a few episodes and see what I think. Maybe I'll get it on DVD.
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I love Hope so much, every line is delivered perfectly by everyone. Burt is my absolute fav. Ok, I accidentally watched Teenage Daughter. Yes, it was bad, but I found the divorced dad to be a bit funny. New Girl became a show I am glad I got caught up on, finally. Those characters all have such great and flawed traits. Winston is super smart, but super weird. Breaking In... It wasn't horrible, Brett Harrison is always fun to watch. The show is too forcing on the audience it seems. Other than that, glad I don't have to watch the last 3 minutes of Glee waiting for Hope to start.
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Raising hope was good. Skipped Teenage Daughter for obvious reasons, watching Cougar Town. New Girl was dumb. Just dumb. Schmidt could be a decent character on another show but no.



Breaking In is on the cusp. It can't be the Meghan Mullaly show. And it shouldn't, she should float in and out to cause a catalyst for everyone else, especially Oz. The British girl is a good decision, because other than Odette and the weird girl it was kind of a sausage fest in the office. And it adds fun. But Mullaly's character is grating.
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It's always frustrating when a network has a block of good shows, especially comedies, and there's that one show that ruins it. Here it's I Hate My Teenage Daughter. On NBC, it was Outsourced, Whitney and now Up All Night (sorry, I wanted to like it but the Maya Rudolph character just killed it for me). If NBC could ever have the comedy block that includes Community (it's back tomorrow!), Parks and Rec, The Office, and 30 Rock, for me it would be perfect. Having four shows that includes one disappointing one is like trying to ask out an attractive woman who is hanging out with her three friends. Two of her also attractive friends are telling her to go for it and the third friend, the ugly pessimistic one, is the one who is telling her no.
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Well at 8:30 you should just go watch the awesome cougar town
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