When I was growing up Martha Plimpton was an actress who was everywhere starring in films like Parenthood, The Goonies and Running on Empty. Daughter of Keith Carradine, it seemed like she was destined for stardom. Somehow it didn’t quite go that way. She seemed to disappear in the 90s and did not really surface. That is until recently. After a reoccurring role as a perennial pregnant lawyer on television’s The Good Wife, she then got her own series. I welcome her back with open arms as she is a talented actress with a wide range.
Raising Hope is a comedy about a family (basically a white trash family) with more quirks than you can shake a stick at. Virginia (played by Martha Plimpton) and Burt (played by Garret Dillahunt) had a child when they were very young. Now their son Jimmy (played by Lucas Neff) is 23-years-old and he still lives with mom and dad, which is not so surprising as his parents still live with Virginia’s great grandmother (played by Cloris Leachman). A very dysfunctional family who do care about one another underneath it all.
Episode 1: Pilot: Jimmy quits his job at his father’s landscaping company. He then sets about coming up with his life plan. A one-night stand puts a monkey wrench into his plans.
Episode 2: Dead Tooth: Jimmy’s life and the entire family’s changes after he decides to raise his daughter Hope. Jimmy brings Hope with him landscaping, until the cops show up. Sabrina (played by Shannon Woodward) tells them about her cousin’s (played by Kate Micucci) daycare.
Episode 3: Dream Hoarders: Hope begins to crawl and Jimmy realizes the house is not baby proofed. While Jimmy is at the grocery story Virginia and Burt kinda lose Hope in the greenhouse. Virginia’s hoarding has now become dangerous.
Episode 4: Say Cheese: Sabrina comes over and so the family gives Jimmy the run of the house. They go through an album of family portraits and Sabrina hears the stories that go with them.
Episode 5: Family Secrets: Jimmy plays the video tape left for Hope by her executed mother, Lucy (played by Bijou Phillips). Virginia admits to Jimmy that they lied to him growing up. Jimmy goes to Maw Maw for the truth about the secret of his grandmother.
Episode 6: Happy Halloween: On Hope’s first Halloween, Jimmy finds out that the man in mask who has scared him since childhood was his father. Burt did it for the hugs. Jimmy dresses up as Batman to take Wyatt’s (played by Ryan Doom) place with Sabrina at a Halloween party.
Episode 7: The Sniffers: Burt is upset when Virginia brings home a computer from a family she cleans for. Hope has a cold, but Jimmy can’t find a doctor to take her because he doesn’t have insurance. Burt decides to go for the city contract and steal it out from under Green Thumb Landscaping.
Episode 8: Blue Dots: Virginia’s worried about Hope being the only baby amongst a lot of dogs at daycare. Jimmy goes to a private daycare to see if they can get a scholarship offered to poor families. The family finds out that Burt has been listed as a sex offender for having sex with Virginia when she was 15.
Episode 9: Meet the Grandparents: Something Sabrina says makes Jimmy think that Hope should meet her other set of grandparents. So he invites the Carlisles over for Thanksgiving dinner. Needless to say, it doesn’t go well.
Episode 10: Burt Rocks: Jimmy’s tired of being father to a baby. Burt is rocking again. Jimmy hires Smokey Floyd (played by Jason Lee) to play Grocerypalooza and Burt will play lead guitar.
Episode 11: Toy Story: Burt thinks twice when someone tells him that if Maw Maw dies in 2010 they won’t have to play house taxes. Jimmy is against it when Virginia signs Hope up for the Living Nativity at church. Hope isn’t selected because she is the daughter of a serial killer.
Episode 12: Romeo and Romeo: Sabrina tells Jimmy she’s found him the perfect friend (played by Brandon T Jackson). After he makes a play for Sabrina Jimmy realizes his new friend is not so cool. Burt and Virginia end up with new friends, however.
Episode 13: A Germ of a Story: Jimmy buys a used video camera intending to make home movies for Hope when she’s older. Burt gets carried away taping himself doing stunts. Sabrina’s germ obsession comes out.
Episode 14: What’s Up, Cuz?: Virginia panics when Jimmy tells her cousin Delilah (played by Amy Sedaris) is on her way over for a visit. To keep Maw Maw hidden from Delilah, Jimmy has to take her to the grocery store. Trouble worsens when Delilah wants half of Maw Maw’s estate.
Episode 15: Snip Snip: Virginia is late and she and Burt are very worried. They try to keep it from Jimmy. While at the free clinic taking a pregnancy test, Virginia finds out that Sabrina is there for the same reason.
Episode 16: A Cultish Personality: Cousin Mike (played by Skylar Stone) comes back for a visit with his wife Tanya (played by Mary Lynn Rajskub)…and his brother husbands. On the visit, the brother husbands tell Mike they’re leaving without him. So Mike is back living in a tent in the laundry room.
Episode 17: Mongooses: With all the 2012 hype about it being the end of the world, Jimmy gets nervous. Jimmy wants to make a will to make legal who’s to take care of Hope if he dies. He picks Sabrina, who freaks out a little when she finds out.
Episode 18: Cheaters: Maw Maw is sad, so they send her to daycare at Shelley’s where she meets Mel (played by Jerry Van Dyke). Jimmy waits for a crack in Sabrina and Wyatt’s relationship and then gets them back together.
Episode 19: Sleep Training: Jimmy is now dating Zoe (played by Kaitlyn Black). Burt wants to sleep train Hope. Jimmy is tired of the fact that Burt and Virginia think he’s a wuss.
Episode 20: Everybody Flirts…Sometimes: Jimmy is upset when he catches his dad flirting with a female client. Burt claims to do it for the business. It also upsets Virginia.
Episode 21: Baby Monitor: Howdy’s manager Barney (played by Gregg Binkley) gets the entire team to help him make their entry to the ad campaign. Burt becomes obsessed with listening to the lives of a neighbourhood couple on the baby monitor.
Episode 22: Don’t Vote For This Episode (Extended Episode): Maw Maw and Jimmy share a birthday. They flashback to their birthday five years ago when Maw Maw had all her marbles and kicks them out of the house.
Special Features: Unaired Network Pilot, Adorable Stars: Meet the Hopes, Moments With Mrs. Chance, Taking Chances: Shooting the Season Finale, Gag Reel, Deleted and Extended Scenes