Raising Hope Season 4: A Look Back And A Look Ahead
Greg Garcia may have moved on to an overall deal with CBS, but his previous project, Raising Hope hasnít gone anywhere. Sure, the series has been given a weirdly strategic November release date, long after most fall shows earned a premiere; however, an early look at the first few episodes tells us Raising Hope has not lost its touch for oddly specific pop culture humor.
A lot of big changes occurred for the cast last season. Namely, I expect most fans believed Raising Hope would milk the ďwill they or wonít theyĒ potential of Jimmy and Sabrina for years and years before finally deciding whether or not they had any true potential together. This didnít turn out to be the case. While Hope almost became a TV star, Burt and Virginia got up to random schemes and Maw Maw found her way into and out of an elderly care institution, Jimmy and Sabrina settled a few things about their relationship, getting engaged and then married in a few short episodes.
The pace at which the series moved the plot forward would have felt weird and out of place on most shows, but Raising Hope usually has a few event episodes every so often. After all, Season 2 closed with a crazy two-parter that featured Nancy Grace and delved into the truth about Jimmyís relationship with the serial killer Lucy Carlisle that ended with our lead gaining custody of Hope. Then, Season 3 featured the wedding and honeymoon episodes featuring Jimmy, Sabrina, and co. Iím not sure that Season 4 could top either of those momentous occasions, but in the first few episodes, the series doesnít try.
Fox has put together a short segment in which we hear from the cast members. Thereís a lot about the cast members discussing how they canít believe the series has been running so long. (They do know itís only Season 4, right?). Regardless, actress Martha Plimpton hits on a pretty key point that does come to focus early on in Season 4.
In the video, Plimpton discusses how we know a lot about Jimmy and Maw Maw. We know some about Burtís background and a lot more than we probably need to know about Sabrinaís unlikeable family. What we donít get to hear all that much about is Virginiaís family. However, all of that changes at the beginning of the season, when a mysterious figure known as Dťjŗ vu Man pops into the picture. All you need to know is that heís tied to Virginiaís past, though she doesnít know it, and he is played by none other than Jeffrey Tambor of Arrested Development fame.
The thing I really enjoy about Raising Hopeóespecially during this seasonís introductory episodeóis that fans can drop in whenever they would like without missing too much. While itís helpful to watch each episode to get in on the most self-referential jokes, Raising Hope has always nodded at pop culture and current events while still telling a story that is hinged on simple lessons about family. Itís witty and itís extremely weird, but I find the comedy more compelling because of it. Plus, if you arenít familiar with the background of the series, the opening scene in Season 4 features one of side character Shelleyís signature songs that tell the tale of how Jimmy Chance knocked up a serial killer and was later left to raise the baby on his own.
In the meantime, hereís a scene from an early Season 4 episode, in which Burt and Virginia argue over a barter system theyíve created. It might not be as good as the real thing, but on the bright side, you can start seeing full episodes of this underrated and wonderful series beginning on Friday November 15 at 9 PM EST on FOX.
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