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Raising Hope

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Friday 9:30 PM Sep 21, 2010 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
156 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jimmy learns that he is a father and decides to keep the baby girl despite the grumbling of his parents.

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  • After a one night stand with a killer, Jimmy and his disfunctional family have to face the consequences when the mother ends up on death row.

    In my opinion, 'Raising Hope' provided the best pilot of the season (yet) with a perfect blend of comedy and something a lot of shows seem to miss now and then... heart.

    We are introduced to Jimmy, a 20-something guy who doesn't really know what to do with his life. That is, until he's burdened with the responsibility of a six month old baby.

    The feeling of the show is really similar to 'My Name Is Earl' (same creator, and nice little throwback by the way) and let's just hope this show won't be axed too soon (or even sooner) like it's predecessor was. Lucas Neff is perfectly cast for the lead role and I'm sure his charming potrayal of Jimmy is one of the many reasons 'RH' will retain a good core audience.

    But the rest of the cast is great as well, with Martha Plimpton and Cloris Leachman up front as the snarky mother and wacky Maw Maw respectively.

    Describing it as a feel-good comedy might not really do it justice, but just like 'Earl', you have to watch it to really understand what's so great about it. The witty dialogue and disfunctional characters provide for the comedy, the combination with the flashbacks makes it heartfelt without getting sappy.

    Admittedly, there's still some room for improvement, particularly when it comes to the development of the other male characters, but if they get the chance to continue, I can see this 'good' pilot ending up as the basis for an 'excellent' show.moreless
  • Wonderful pilot.

    Out of all the pilots this season, this is one of the two that really left me impressed. In their own fashion, this comedy manages to bring something fresh to the world of sitcoms.

    The performances are good, starting from Martha Plimpton, Cloris Leachman to less known actors, playing Sabrina or Jimmy. The jokes were great, from how Virginia and Burt raised their kid when they were little, to Maw Maw being lucid, Jimmy dealing with the baby, Sabrina making jokes at the grocery store etc.

    Really, I stayed surprises as to how good the pilot was, and definitely decided to tune back in.moreless
  • Finding Hope

    I just rewatched the pilot and it was even funnier than the firs time that I saw it. It was so whimsical and twisted at the same time without being pretentious. Jimmy's parents are so great in this episode and the way that they all come together at the end is really sweet and sets the tone for the rest of their family interactions. The character of Lucy and her whole back story is perfection, I love the way she rolls into Jimmy's life and changes everything. I remember really disliking Sabrina in the first episode but I guess she was suppose to be the "straight" man to the rest of the cast. The scene where Jimmy and Hope are sitting in jail watching the mother defines while I love this show because of its twisted, yet cute humor. This is one of my fav new shows and this is where it all beganmoreless
  • Pilot Episode

    Raising Hope is FOX's new live action comedy. and lately FOX has had a hard time with live action sitcoms and more success with animated comedies. But this show showed real promise that it could be FOX's "Modern Family". I have read nothing but rave reviews from the pilot and the plot seemed great. and any new comedy gets a dvr spot with me for a possible watch, but a new comedy with great reviews and an interesting plot gets a dvr spot and a definite shot. So anyways, this show was pretty good. not the best show but it was just a fun way to spend a half hour. I will continue to dvr it and watch when i have time and decide if this is a show i like and a show i will continue to watch on a regular basis.

    Overall 6.4/10moreless
  • Funny, but very strange

    It takes a lot for a television show to make me sit back and think, "Man, that is a weird television show." I'm able to suspend belief for dozens of shows on television right now, whether it's the randomness of 30 Rock or any of the serial dramas that get too wrapped up in their own plot (Heroes, 24, Lost, The Event..), but "Raising Hope" is different. It has the luxury of not only being realistic but being completely insane at the same time. I found it funny, and it makes sense coming from the creator of My Name Is Earl.. but boy, the show really asks us to imagine that this show is taking place in a reality where the protagonist can randomly meet a psychopathic young woman who kills her boyfriends, knock her up, and get stuck with their child after she's set to be executed. Oh yeah, and they actually execute her. This is all in Episode 1. Yeah, it's that kind of show.

    We meet Jimmy Chance in this situation, with a six month old baby and a family who doesn't really want anything to do with it. His mother, who gave birth to him when she was just 15, tells him to get rid of it, and the father, who was also very young, would rather have Jimmy working instead of taking care of the kid. But Jimmy sees the baby as a way to make their family become reunited. So they name the baby Hope.

    The episode has plenty of funny moments, and Cloris Leachman nearly steals the show as their crazy grandmother suffering from Alzheimers's or dementia or something similar to that. Lucas Neff is a likeable enough lead actor and the rest of the cast was chosen well. They all have their moments. I particularly liked how the show is able to become dramatic without seeming too lame. The scene where Jimmy's parents play Hope the same song that they played to Jimmy when he was a baby was very touching and didn't come across as melodramatic as it would've in other shows.

    My only issue with the show is how ridiculous the premise seems in light of how Hope was born. Born to a psychopathic mother who kills her boyfriends? It's funny, but at least My Name is Earl was somewhat realistic. This just seems like a lazy way to throw a baby into the mix right away in the first episode. And who's to say the baby is even his? According to the police, she had a lot of boyfriends.. meaning it could've come from anywhere. Either way, gripes aside, the show seems like a harmless half hour of television with some pretty great lines and some good acting.moreless
Juan Pope

Juan Pope


Guest Star

Ben Begley

Ben Begley


Guest Star

Alycia Cooper

Alycia Cooper


Guest Star

Cloris Leachman

Cloris Leachman

Maw Maw

Recurring Role

Skyler Stone

Skyler Stone

Mike Chance

Recurring Role

Bijou Phillips

Bijou Phillips

Lucy Carlyle

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Baby Hope's prison number on her shirt after Jimmy gets her after her mother is executed, 46664, is the same number as Nelson Mandela's.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Jimmy: Listen, I have a question about this food and it might be a stupid question, but I-I feel I should ask.
      Sabrina: I'm sure it's not stupid.
      Jimmy: Okay. Well, um, the book I have says I should feed her vegetables and I want to do that, but the only vegetable jars I found have pictures of either black babies or Asian babies on them, and I don't know if the pictures are random, you know, or if there's a reason Asian babies instead of white ones should eat these particular string beans?
      Sabrina: That is a really good question. The colors of the babies on the jars don't matter, however it's really important that you do not feed her anything with a picture of a boy on it or else she will grow a penis. And a mustache.
      Jimmy: I said it might be a stupid question.
      Sabrina: Yeah you did. I just... really wasn't prepared for that.

    • Sabrina: Nice car seat.
      Jimmy: Oh yeah, thanks, it's a used one.
      Sabrina: I can see that. Who used it, baby Jesus?

    • Lucy: Virginia, do you mind if I use the bathroom?
      Virginia: Last door on the left, hon. If you're doing big business you've got to flush twice. And don't be running the sink during the second flush - you're gonna have to give it a third go around.

    • Mike: Jimmy! He's the boss, man. You think I like it when he pushes me in the bushes while I'm taking a leak? I don't. The thorns hurt my wiener.

    • Virginia: What are you doing home?
      Jimmy: I quit. There's gotta be more to life than cleaning the same pool over and over.
      Virginia: There isn't.

    • Virginia: We sang a song! Anybody can sing a song. Charles Manson can sing a song.
      Burt: He's actually pretty darn good. Mike has his album.
      Virginia: He is good, but that doesn't mean you want him helping you raise your child.

    • Burt: Jimmy! Do I need to remind you that we both have to work tomorrow? Maybe you can sleepwalk your way through skimming leaves, but I gotta be fresh. I got PHs to balance. That's science!

  • NOTES (3)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Australia: November 17, 2010 on Channel Ten
      United Kingdom: November 18, 2010 on Sky1/Sky1 HD
      Czech Republic: February 1, 2011 on HBO

    • Although featured in the opening credits as one of the starring cast, the FOX press release recognizes Skyler Stone as a recurring character.

    • "Stuck in the Middle with You" by Stealers Wheel plays as Jimmy is taking care of Hope midway through the episode; "Danny's Song" by Me First And The Gimme Gimmes plays at the end of the episode; also, show star Martha Plimpton songs "Danny's Song" to the baby during the episode.


    • The store manager was called Kenny by Jason Lee's character Kenny on another Greg Garcia production, My Name Is Earl.

    • The news reporter on the TV segues from the story about Lucy to a story about "a small time criminal who has completed his list of amendments". This is a reference to My Name is Earl, which was also produced by Greg Garcia and was canceled before Earl checked off all of the items on his list.