DVD Review: First Season of Great FOX Comedy ‘Raising Hope’

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CHICAGO – I fall a bit more in love with “Raising Hope” every week. I went as far as to suggest that the series deserved Emmy nominations for Best Comedy Series, Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series (Martha Plimpton), and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Garrett Dillahunt) — one out of three came true as Plimpton actually made a run at the trophy. This show just kept getting better as the first season progressed. Check it out now on DVD and see what the growing buzz is about.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0
DVD Rating: 4.0/5.0

He starts the first season a bit unsure of his place on the show but Lucas Neff eventually becomes an engaging and likable lead as Jimmy Chance, essentially a straight man surrounded by the quirkier characters at his home and in his personal life. Said characters include his parents — Virginia (Martha Plimpton) and Burt Chance (Garrett Dillahunt) — wacky grandmother (Cloris Leachman), unrequited love (Shannon Woodward), and, oh yeah, his newborn daughter Hope. Plimpton and Dillahunt have been the driving force of the show — the characters/actors who know how to be tough-but-sweet and find the heart in the middle of the blue-collar humor. They have taken characters that were clearly a bit thin on the page and made them completely three-dimensional.

Like creator Greg Garcia’s former show (“My Name is Earl”), “Raising Hope” can sometimes feel like it’s trying too hard to get the laugh, but that sense of desperation fades as you get to the know the characters. As the writers and actors became more comfortable with the tone and groove of their show, it just kept improving. This was easily one of the funniest shows on TV in the Spring of 2011 (and, it should be noted, has started just as strong with season two). Watch it. Please.

Raising Hope: The Complete First Season was released on DVD on September 20th, 2011
Raising Hope: The Complete First Season was released on DVD on September 20th, 2011
Photo credit: Fox

Emmy Award-winning creator Greg Garcia (My Name Is Earl) brings you this hilarious and endearing comedy about the joys - and pains - of parenthood and a dysfunctional family. A one night stand becomes a life-long commitment when twenty-three-year-old Jimmy Chance inadvertently impregnates a wanted felon and decides to raise Hope (aka Princess Beyonce) on his own. Jimmy, together with his family, face play dates, family photo shoots, rock star dreams, vasectomies and more in the uproariously irreverent, critically acclaimed first season of Raising Hope.

Special Features:
o Unaired Network Pilot
o Season Finale - Extended Cut
o Adorable Stars: Meet The Hopes
o Moments With Mrs. Chance
o Taking Chances: Shooting The Season Finale
o Pilot Commentary
o Gag Reel
o Deleted And Extended Scenes

“Raising Hope: The Complete First Season” stars Lucas Neff, Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt, Cloris Leachman, and Shannon Woodward. It was created by Greg Garcia. The DVD was released on September 20th, 2011.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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