DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
BETTY White’s not the only old biddy still getting work. I like her and that, but Cloris Leachman — she’s more my kind of actor. And here they are, the only 80-whatever-year-olds with jobs and they both happened to be on Mary Tyler Moore last century. I can’t remember them on it, I mainly remember the hat going up in the air and the song, and I only remember the song because Urge Overkill sampled it and turned it into a better song decades later.
I do, however, remember Cloris Leachman in The Last Picture Show, the best film Peter Bogdanovich ever made. I love this movie. Lovely black and white photography, Texas, Larry McMurtry book ... Cloris Leachman played a sad housewife who had an affair with a high school boy, won an Oscar. She was terrific. She’s nothing like that in Raising Hope. She’s blowsy here. Walks around in a bra and culottes, I guess you’d call them, sometimes without the bra. If this wasn’t My Name Is Earl territory I’d call them capri pants but not on this occasion. This is a household that has the ironing basket in the living room. And a cigga off the lip over the frying pan. It’s very, very broad. To the point they’re caricatures.
So the son, Jimmy, goes out tonight to get bubble gum icecream and comes back with a baby. That’s more or less it. You’ll see how it transpires. You’ll probably watch it. I did, because I love the cast. Cloris, obviously, who’s Jimmy’s greatgrandmother, and Martha Plimpton his mother, and Garret Dillahunt his father. But they’re giving it all they’ve got then doubling it. It’s like assault.
I didn’t like My Name Is Earl though, and it’s the same guy writing this. Greg Garcia.
There’s vomiting though, from three separate characters, and somebody is electrocuted, and I found that amusing.
The rest of it is made up of the usual baby formula of nappies, bathtime and sleep. But there’s also a very strong Message, which I didn’t need. So in that sense Raising Hope is the same as Modern Family, only, you know, not as fragrant. Raising Hope Channel 10,8pm
Blowsy: Cloris Leachman