By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated September 20, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT
Ray Mickshaw/Fox

Raising Hope

  • TV Show

It seems like just yesterday (*actually, it was late last year/early this year) that all the critics were rallying behind a little show called Parks and Recreation. The show, after garnering a depressing average viewership of 4.6 million in its second season, was in much need of this support going into its third season, which started in January of this year. So critics rallied around it, praising its sharp humor and outstanding cast. (Some magazine called it the Smartest Comedy on TV.) Why? Because this show was worth it, and nothing pains the media-types more than seeing a worthy show go out before its time. (We tried, Lone Star. We tried.)

Now, less than one year later, I think the work that’s gone into getting more people to watch Parks has been well worth it. Not only did the show experience some growth and snag an Emmy nom (go Amy!), but more people than ever I come across know the name. To me, that’s success. This year, I have a feeling efforts have shifted toward bringing attention to another fantastic and underloved show: Raising Hope.

This theory (and yes, that’s all it is) is supported mostly by what I’ve seen on Twitter from both my media fans and the fans of Raising Hope. Those who have watched it, love it. Those who don’t love it, usually (usually) have never watched it. And those who love it, want others to love it, too. Wow, this is seeming familiar…

I think this is the year for Raising Hope. Well, I certainly hope it is. I want this to be the year where the efforts of some result of the viewership of many. Because, like Parks, this show deserves it. If you need proof, watch the season 2 premiere, which aired tonight.

The story was simple: Jimmy (for the newbies, that’s the father of title character Hope) discovered via home video that he was once a wildly talented teenager (played by YouTube sensation and Gaga fan Grayson Chance). Until one day, a flying mini-golf putter knocked him unconscious, causing him to lose all musical ability. The family then proceeded to try to find ways to help Jimmy reclaim his talent. Spoiler alert: Nothing worked. Except beer…sort of. The beer only made them drunk enough to make Jimmy seem talented. The lovely thing? I don’t need beer to see the talent on Raising Hope.

Need more proof of why this was my favorite new comedy of last year? Here are some of last night’s best lines:

Burt: You think Michael would’ve been a star if it hadn’t been for Joe Jackson’s abuse?!

“Mr. Jingles”: If I wanted an A-flat minor I would have had you go play with your girlfriend’s chest.

Virginia: You had ambrosia.

Burt: Anemia.

Virginia: Anemia!

[Note: They both meant “amnesia.”]

Virginia: You could have been an international star — like David Hasslehoff…or Hello Kitty!

Virginia: [To Jimmy] The you on that tape had talent and charisma…but that’s gone now.

Virginia: We gave you bed rest…and we prayed.

“Mr. Jingles”: That’s the worst “Chopsticks” I ever heard. That could make three billion Chinese switch to forks.

Burt: I’ll never forget that day: September 11, 2001, the day I threw that putter.

So tell me, PopWatchers: Have you watched Raising Hope? Did the season premiere have you in stitches, too? And are you, like me, hoping it’s the show we all rally around this season? And if you haven’t watched, I’m genuinely curious why you haven’t. So please share!

*Thanks to those who pointed out that it was, in fact, late last year/early this year that we geared up for the third season of Parks. Not last fall. How could I forget!? I was among those who missed it dearly!

Read more:

‘Raising Hope’ season 2 opens with an adorable song recapping season 1 — VIDEO

‘Raising Hope’: Baby Hope goes bananas in the new promo — VIDEO

Episode Recaps

Greg Garcia teases ‘Raising Hope’ season 2! Plus, does baby Hope have job security?

Raising Hope

  • TV Show
  • In Season