Raising Hope Season 3 Review “What Happens at Howdy’s Doesn’t Stay at Howdy’s”

Well gather ’round the TV and get your boner scones, everybody! It’s time for the bachelor and bachelorette parties for our Raising Hope cast in tonight’s crazy episode “What Happens at Howdy’s Doesn’t Stay at Howdy’s”.

Right after seeing Ben and Leslie celebrate their respective bachelor and bachelorette parties on Parks and Recreation last week in a very hilarious and heartwarming episode, tonight’s installment of Raising Hope paled in comparison for me. This episode was an admitted sendup of the super popular Hangover films, as we see Jimmy’s bachelor party quickly go crazily over the top just like in The Hangover, but now at the end of the night there’s a twist! Jimmy has been tricked into marrying Frank!

Tonight’s episode was a little too much for me. I get that the bachelor party itself was supposed to be a little crazy and over the top, but none of it was really all that funny. Jimmy’s old friend Glenn being the pizza delivery man/stripper was funny, and Burt is always good for a few solid one-liners, but none of it really felt like the kind of comedy we usually see on this show. I felt like I was watching something completely different.

The one bright spot on the episode for me was the great scenes between Jimmy and Frank living together. It reminded me a lot of the season 2 episode “The Men of New Natesville”, where we first found out that Frank keeps miniatures for everybody in Natesville. Todd Giebenhain is kind of a funny lookin’ dude, so he’s usually played for his creepy lines and deadpan delivery as Frank, but he’s really a fine actor when he wants to be. It’s hard not to feel a little bit of sympathy for such a tragic character. Sure, tricking Jimmy to marry him is a little over the line, but he’s doing it to maintain a friendship with Jimmy that he obviously holds in very high importance. It’s a conflict that many single guys face when their buddies get married, as they feel that they’re being stolen away from them forever. It’s great that Raising Hope can make you laugh while having such great emotional beats and character development, I just wish there was a little more to laugh at in tonight’s episode.

Random Thoughts:

– Was this the first time we’ve seen the mature content warning before the episode? Suggestive Dialogue, Language, Sexual Situations, and Violence?! Man!

– I loved the ongoing joke about Burt not having seen The Hangover, especially since the episode was so clearly an overt sendup of the film.

– The Raising Hope producers really must have gone over budget tonight! There was a lot of recurring characters back tonight, including Dancing Dan, Wally Phipps, Tyler the Gas Man, and Shelley to name a few.