DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Tuesday -

HAVE you got your­self suf­fi­ciently or­gan­ised so you watch Dead­wood on a Mon­day and Rais­ing Hope on a Tues­day? I’d rec­om­mend it. Just so you can see Gar­ret Dil­lahunt go from that to this.

It’s mas­sively im­pres­sive acting. But not big showy acting, acting you’re aware of. He’s Fran­cis Wolcott on Dead­wood, if the beard threw you, the one who caused all the prob­lems in Joanie Stubbs’s brothel.

And he’s the un­der­em­ployed dad Burt Chance who has time to play hidey-goseek in his py­ja­mas at two in the af­ter­noon on Rais­ing Hope.

They seem com­pletely un­re­lated, as if played by dif­fer­ent peo­ple. Who else is in two things on tele­vi­sion at the mo­ment? Apart from Karl Ste­fanovic . . . Any­one? I think the fact most peo­ple have never heard of Dil­lahunt tells us what a tremen­dous ac­tor he is. He can just slide into the char­ac­ter. He’s not Brad Pitt Stars As Fran­cis Wolcott or what­ever.

Rais­ing Hope’s cast in gen­eral is ex­cel­lent. Cloris Leach­man. Martha Plimp­ton.

I keep say­ing it, plenty of peo­ple are say­ing it, and it’s true— TV is where it’s at. And Rais­ing Hope isn’t even one of the great shows. It’s bet­ter than talk sug­gests, though. Tonight, for in­stance, there’s a plot that’s amus­ing and in fairly poor taste — which I’m sure ap­peals to many of you— in­volv­ing polygamy.

Polygamy of the sort not ex­plored on Big Love, the beau­ti­fully writ­ten show that’s just ended its sea­son on SBS.

Hell no. This is miles trashier than that. Burt’s nephew Mike drops in af­ter a pe­riod of un­ex­plained and pro­longed es­trange­ment from his fa­ther, Burt’s brother Bruce. Mike now lives in a big car­a­van, or trailer, if you pre­fer, with what you could call an ex­tended fam­ily.

It’s prob­a­bly an un­con­ven­tional ar­range­ment but Jimmy, Burt’s son who had the baby girl with the se­rial killer who ended up on death row and, well, dead, can see the ap­peal. Rais­ing Hope Eleven, 8.30pm

Dou­ble act: Gar­ret Dil­lahunt

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