Raising Hope Season 3 Review “Making the Band; The Old Girl”

Raising Hope returned tonight with another double dose of entertainment with the two episodes “Making the Band” and “The Old Girl”. The first one was an instant classic that brought back the cast of My Name is Earl for a hilarious birthday celebration, but the second one…wasn’t quite as good.

Now don’t get me wrong; I actually enjoyed both episodes tonight quite a bit! I actually think this was the strongest double dose that we’ve had ever since Ben and Kate got cancelled and Raising Hope had to double up to cover for them. It’s just hard for any episode to follow an episode as immediately memorable as “Making the Band”. When I heard before tonight that the episode would be a reunion of My Name is Earl, I had no idea how deep the reunion would go! The whole cast came back! Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jaime Pressly, Nadine Velazquez and Eddie Steeples all made a return, and we even had a sighting of TV’s Tim Stack!

Not only was it great fun seeing the cast come back together, but even the plot of the episode itself was an homage to Earl. Jason Lee’s character Smokey had to go back to people who he had wronged, so we had a flashback all the way to the season one episode “Burt Rocks” where he ruined Burt’s concert.

Not only was it funny seeing the cast come back, but the episode was really freakin’ funny, too! Not only was the script as smart as a whip, but there were so many great visual gags in the episode. Sabrina joining in the Gangnam Style at the park, Young Jimmy talking to his trash can friend, and Nadine Velazquez jumping at every single opportunity all cracked me up. I was hoping that one of the parents that Sabrina or Jimmy met at Hope’s party would have actually ended up being a normal person, but it looks like there’s no such luck. That’s always been one of the most hilarious dichotomies on Raising Hope for me. Despite how crazy and goofy the Chances are, it really seems like they’re the most normal ones in Natesville!

Our second episode was aptly titled “The Old Girl”, as we see another one of Jimmy’s ex-girlfriends. After having all of the My Name is Earl cast return in the previous episode, we only got one major guest star in the second episode with Hilary Duff playing Rachel. I haven’t seen her on my TV screen in quite a while, so it was nice to see her on a show that I love so much. I’m hoping that Rachel can return soon, but after what she discovered tonight I would be surprised if that actually happened.

I’ve had some problems in past episodes with the young Jimmy flashbacks being a little tough to watch, as it’s more often then not a little depressing, but I thought tonight’s were pretty funny. It was kind of sad seeing Young Jimmy talk to a trash can as his only friend, and see him get rejected by a young girl, but both of these jokes had such great payoffs. Seeing young Jimmy and old Jimmy sing “Ain’t No Sunshine” when they were sad, and then seeing Sabrina do the same thing, was hilarious every time.

It did bother me a little bit that we found out that Burt and Virginia have kept yet another major secret from Jimmy’s past, as it seems like we hear about one of these every single week now. However, if the episodes surrounding these secrets are as funny as these two were, then I guess I can deal with it.

Random Thoughts:

- I hope FOX sells some of the “Pour Some Breast Milk On Me Tour” T-shirts that Barney was wearing.

- It’s always the little visual gags on this show that get me the most, and Burt hiding his legs in the pantry and his head under a drawer when Rachel showed up was hilarious.

- The a capella group in the second episode tonight was the a capella group from my alma mater Cal State Northridge. Go CSUN Acasolas! Way to get some publicity

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