Family shudders when Hope hits out
Raising Hope raises hopes to new heights in its return from a baseball-imposed break, with a typically tongue-in-cheek episode that finds the toddler Hope in trouble because she slugged a boy at day care. The Chance family — father Jimmy (Lucas Neff) and his mom Virginia (Martha Plimpton) — are concerned, and rightly so.
As followers of the deranged but surprisingly sweet-tempered Raising
Hope know, Hope’s birth mother was a serial killer, jailed, and eventually executed, for killing multiple boyfriends.
Jimmy, age 23, still living at home with his parents and with few prospects, became a father after an illadvised one-night stand with a young woman who seemed, at the time, to be gentle and sweet — the perfect mother.
Raising Hope was created by the same writerproducer who created My
Name Is Earl, and it shares that classic comedy’s affection for the 99 per cent, working- and middle-class families struggling to get by, even when life won’t throw them a break.
The Chance family own their own home — for now, anyway — and tonight’s episode kicks off with them camping out in their front yard while their house is sprayed for termites. Fearful that Hope may be picking up bad lessons from their constant squabbling, and fearful, too, of how she might turn out if she isn’t raised in a safe and friendly environment, they vow to stop arguing.
That works out about as well as you might expect from a TV comedy that relies on confrontation for laughs. The difference between Raising Hope and other, lesser comedies of its type is that it’s clever without being mean, and gentle without being sticky sweet. Unafraid of being over-thetop, but not so over-the-top that it’s unbelievable, Raising Hope plays like the antiModern Family, but in a good way. Pairing the two, back-to-back, would be divine inspiration, but that’ll have to wait.
9:30 p.m., Citytv, FOX Three to see
The baseball playoffs are over for another season, and TV is returning to seminormality, or what passes for normal in a world of overnight cancellations and constant schedule changes. That means Glee is back with new episodes, starting with tonight’s hour, in which a new foreign exchange student from Ireland, Rory Flanagan, is admitted to Mckinley and crashes at Brittany’s (Heather Morris) place.
Casting note: Rory is played by Damian Mcginty, co-winner of the reality-tv show The Glee Project. Mcginty comes by that accent honestly, by the way: He was born and raised in Derry City, Northern Ireland, is the youngest member of the Irish folk group Celtic Thunder, and, ironically, had trouble landing a work visa for the U.S. to compete in The Glee Project. Life imitates art again.
8 p.m., Global, FOX
Anyone who knows the name Ingrid Betancourt — and anyone who doesn’t, for that matter — will find much to appreciate in The War We Are Living, tonight’s fourth instalment of the five-part PBS docuseries Women, War and Peace.
The War We Are Living focuses on the underreported story of the ongoing conflict in Colombia, and shows how a gold strike along the country’s Pacific coast has sparked a confrontation between armed militias, death squads and area residents fed up with the violence and constant land seizures. Alfre Woodard narrates.
10 p.m., PBS
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of three former and currently serving U.S. foreign secretaries interviewed in next week’s concluding hour of Women, War and Peace, but Rice is likely to be in a more relaxed and jocular mood when she sits down tonight as Jon Stewart’s guest on The Daily Show. 11 p.m., Comedy Network;
12:05 a.m., CTV