Raising Hope's Season 3 Premiere: Where There's a Will, There's a... Marriage Proposal

Raising Hope S03E01: “Not Indecent, But Not Quite Decent Enough Proposal”

With crazy Lucy out of the picture for good, Jimmy and Sabrina are free to be a couple, but the death of Sabrina’s grandmother in tonight's season premiere inadvertently threw yet another wrench into the works.

The Chance family currently lives in Maw Maw’s funky old house. Maw Maw’s funky old house isn’t the kind of renovated-and-retrofitted antique chic dwelling you typically find in gentrified neighborhoods. It’s more like the kind of used-to-be-swanky dump that will ultimately end up housing the likes of Delta Tau Chi. There is a certain combination of key-jiggling and stomping that will open the front door and a completely different certain combination of stomping and key-jiggling that will open the back door—that actually sounds a lot like my old apartment. Water usage throughout the house is halted when the washing machine is in use. OMG it IS my old apartment.

How convenient, then, that Sabrina’s grandmother, played by Tippi Hedren, keeled over and left Sabrina a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood. There was just one catch: Sabrina couldn’t have the house until she was married. She didn’t seem to mind waiting, but the Chances, well, they saw the opportunity for what it was,and who could blame them? It’s not like Jimmy and Sabrina aren’t the golden couple of Raising Hope. Its not like their eventual union isn’t pretty much a given. So why not just tie the knot now and move into the awesome new house?

Because proposals should be special. That doesn’t mean you need to have candles and a fancy dinner or grand gestures on a jumbotron, but the sentiment behind the asking and and accepting should be sincere on both sides, as Jimmy and Sabrina eventually learned. They both agreed with Burt and Virginia that the decision to get married in order to get Nana’s house made sense, not just because they wanted a nicer place for themselves, but because it would provide a positive environment for Hope—a clean, safe home in a good school district. They also understood that, as cold and rational as that line of thinking made the entire proposal out to be, marrying each other wasn’t something they'd never considered. They love each other and certainly, someday, thought that marriage was something they would eventually participate in. Sabrina summed it up best when she told Virginia that she knew Jimmy wasn’t asking because of the house, he was asking at that particular TIME because of the house. It added a layer of doubt to something that should be a completely honest undertaking.

After Jimmy’s first proposal—which immediately followed Nana’s wake—was met with unenthusiastic acceptance by Sabrina, the couple declared a do-over and Jimmy resolved to give Sabrina the kind of proposal she had always dreamed about. He collaborated with Shelly and Frank to glean details from Sabrina’s past, including diary entries (uh, thanks Frank), and determined that at various times, Sabrina had fantasized about a jumbotron proposal, a skywriting proposal, and a Prince-Charming-on-a-white-horse proposal. However, no one really knew what kind of proposal she was CURRENTLY fixated on.

I thought Jimmy’s solution, to combine all three methods, was actually cute and sweet. The improvised aspect, with Jimmy straddling a toy horse while Frank held up a handmade sky and projected everything onto a homemade jumbotron, showed the sort of thoughtfulness that was absent from the original attempt. I totally “Awww-ed,” okay?

Still, Sabrina had her reservations, and rightfully so. She accepted, faking her enthusiasm under Virginia’s tutelage, and the family settled in for a slideshow of Jimmy and Sabrina moments, brought to them by Frank who would really appreciate it if everyone would pay no attention to his failed subliminal messaging efforts.

And then things got weird.

Melanie Griffith, Tippi Hedren’s real-life daughter, arrived as to play Sabrina’s shallow, neglectful, Barbie-doll mother, Tamara. During the slideshow, pictures of Sabrina’s mother, pre-nose job, joined those of Jimmy during his awkward goth phase from seven years prior. Both photos bore little resemblance to the Tamara and Jimmy of today and they failed to recognize one another at Nana’s wake, but it turned out that once upon a time, Jimmy made out with Sabrina’s mom in the back of his van. Wow, that van gets a lot of action.

Sabrina’s mom begged Jimmy to keep their past between them because she wanted to work on having a better relationship with Sabrina, but Jimmy couldn’t do it and his honesty about his past was the thing that finally made Sabrina accept his proposal and mean it. The third time's the charm, right?

So, Jimmy and Sabrina are engaged for real. I know better than to assume that this is the end of the complications those two will face, though. They’ll get married, I just don’t think it will be as soon as this premiere seemed to imply. What do you think? What do you hope to see this season?


– One-liner of the night goes to Maw Maw: “Don’t forget to wrap my head in tinfoil so the worms don’t get me.”

Cloris Leachman tends to steal the show whenever Maw Maw gets some quality screentime, and “Not Indecent, But Not Quite Decent Enough Proposal” was pretty much an episode of The Maw Maw Show with the dementia-stricken matriarch regaling partygoers with her sordid courting history and stealing the designer gown off of Nana’s corpse mid-wake.

– I’ll be sad to see the funky old house go if the Chance family really does end up in Sabrina’s new pad. Sabrina seemed less-than-thrilled with the idea of shacking up with her future in-laws, though. How do you see that playing out?

– Do you think Tamara REALLY wants a better relationship with Sabrina, or does her change of heart have something to do with the fact that Nana didn’t leave her ANYTHING?

– Nana’s funeral video was amazing.

Raising Hope Season 3 Premiere Photos

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