Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Funny Stuff: Raising Hope(1/29 &2/5)

So Ben and Kate is cancelled, so Raising Hope gets two hour episodes, yay!  Let’s start with…

Modern Wedding

Jimmy and Sabrina are finally getting married!  And since her family is psycho, Sabrina’s mother has sent the camera crew from Modern Family to tape the whole thing so she doesn’t have to attend.  Of course.  So we get documentation of the lead up to the wedding, complete with Talking Heads and everything.  The parody of Modern Family was spot on, and actually funny to boot, something MF can’t claim at all.

SO, the main plot of the episode is the wedding, of course, but it really isn’t focused on Jimmy and Sabrina at all.

Burt and Virginia are focused on getting them a great gift, but seeing as they have no money, they decide to ‘help’ instead.  They print the invitations, but put the wrong address.  They go to fix a license snafu, and find out that Lucy is still alive.  WHAT!!  Lucy’s dad has kept her squirreled away in a locked bedroom, but when she escapes to ruin the wedding, Burt and Lucy’s dad try to catch her, and are eventually successful, and completely undetected by anyone in the wedding party.  That is, until they watch the playback from the MF camera crew.  Ruh-ro.

Oh, and they have the reception before the wedding, due to Virginia having to convince the priest to officiate, since Maw Maw ruined his life 50 years prior.  And then Virginia walks Sabrina down the aisle, and the ceremony is cute, and awww.

This was such a fun episode.  The parody was great, the comedy was continuous, and the character development was fun.

I got a few funny lines for you as well:

Middle-eastern shop owner, regarding the feds continuously opening his mail:“How many American flags must I hang for you people to leave me alone!”
Virginia and Burt, regarding Lucy dying: “Is there a word that combine tragic and happiness?”  “Schadenfreude.” “Now you’re just making words up.”
Lucy’s dad, on where he got the shock collar: “I got it from a patient of mine who’s a masochist…had to threaten to not kick his ass to get it.”

Yo Zappa Do, Parts 1&2

In this episode, Hope’s favorite show stars the creepy kid from last season that is Barney’s ex-wife’s son, and the entire family decides to head to California to see a taping, much to the chagrin of Jimmy and Sabrina.  And why, you may ask?  Cause this trip was to be their honeymoon, of course!

Before they head out, though, Ricardo, Sabrina’s mother’s ex(the baseball player) is out on the streets after completely letting himself go.  Burt and Virginia have him help them set up a scrapbooking room, and he asks to stay at their house.  Unfortunately, he stinks it up with ethnic cooking, and they take him with on the honeymoon trip, though they do manage to lose him on a street that has a name vaguely similar to a famous Hollywood street.

Anyway, they are at the taping, and it is fully meta up in here.  After the baby star of the show refuses to blow raspberries, Hope fills in for her, and they break for the two-parter before the rest of the Yo Zappa Do was finished, and Burt was very worried.  And it was fan-freaking-tastic.  The parody and self-referential humor on this show is starting to rival lesser Community episodes, and it is great.

The next episode, we’re back in the studio, and the live audience is providing a laugh track for the Chance’s dialogue and more meta-ness ensues.    Oh, and Jimmy gets the chance to be an extra on the kid’s show.   Virginia decides to whore out Hope while she has the chance(with clothes!  Get your mind out of the gutter), since child stars only shine for a short time: “They could star in a Spielberg movie and still end up the nutty mom on some sitcom!” Unfortunately for Hope, she upstages Trevor, and he was not impressed, and got them kicked off the show, sending the family back to Natesville.

But before that happens, Burt is out on the studio lot, and takes care of an unruly plant. The studio head is duly impressed, and asks for a proposal to landscape the courtyard by the parking structure.   He does a fantastic job, but when heads from the networks come by and give criticisms that are terrible, Burt flips out, and runs away, giving pretty good commentary on producer intervention in the process.

Oh, and Maw Maw wants to throw her husband’s ashes in the face of the woman he cheated on her with, but she is dead.  Whoops.  So she sleeps with her husband instead.  Odd storyline.

And then everyone heads back in Natesville, living their lives at normal.

This was such a fantastic two-parter, I was rolling the entire time.  The meta and humor were glorious, all while keeping the characters true to themselves and generally being awesome.
I got several funny lines for you too:

Burt, when the family walks in on Jimmy and Sabrina’s role-play: “Jimmy, my instructions were kiss, get undressed and then do it, NOT do it dressed like Kiss!”
The studio head, on something Burt said: “That’s funny!  Not strong enough to end a scene on…but funny!”
Virginia, when Sabrina tells her what she’s dressing Hope up as: “Oh, you had to play the race car!”
Burt, when he tells off the network heads:*Kick* “That’s for cancelling My Name is Earl!”

Sex, Clowns, and Videotape

After the gloriousness that was the previous half hour, this was a bit of a letdown, but still pretty good.
In the main story of this episode, Burt and Virginia are trying to locate a clown toy they used to scare Jimmy.  They need it since they hid their sex tape inside it, but Maw Maw donated it to a rummage sale.   When they go to the storage unit place, they see it in another unit that is up for auction, and so they go to bid on it.  Of course, Frank got wind of the tape, and is fighting over the unit, but they eventually get it, only to find out that the sex tape isn’t inside.  When they go to sell all the crap they got from the storage unit, they decide to give the people back their pictures, at least.  When they get to the house, turns out the people were creepers who watched their sex tape.  And apparently, it completely saved their marriage.  Creepy.   They even used it as a teaching tool for their kids, after a massive edit.  In the end, they sell it to the couple for $800 to get Virginia’s pig figurines back(don’t ask).

And in our b-plot, Jimmy sleepwalks, and Sabrina tries to snap him out of it.  First with a sleep apnea machine, and then with exercising.  When none of those work, they give up for the day, but not before collecting a bunch of stuff from his parent’s house.  That night, Jimmy sleepwalks, but he just puts a bunch of his stuff up in their house.  Turns out he was just trying to get home.  He and Sabrina decided to put some of his stuff up, and it’s super cute.

This was a fun episode, but the jokes weren’t quite as strong as in Yo Zappa Do.

I did get a couple of lines, though:

Virginia, regarding Burt’s inability to kill a fly: “Flies carry deadly diseases, why do you think there’s a no-fly zone at the white house?”
Sabrina, as she and Jimmy walk by his parent’s house: “Either your parents are having a yard sale, or your house finally threw up.”

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