R.I.P. ‘Raising Hope’


At least they can’t kill off the mother.

They did that in the pilot.

Sure, “Raising Hope” eventually brought her back from the dead a few times. But there was just something so hilariously wrong about having a naive guy learn he knocked up a serial killer right before she’s executed, it set the comedy apart right from the start.

It also likely doomed it to never achieving a widespread following.

I confess, I stopped watching “Raising Hope” a while back. Much like creator Greg Garcia’s previous sitcom, “My Name Is Earl,” it delivered a genius first season before rapidly petering out. But I returned for the hourlong series finale (9 p.m. Friday, KVVU-TV, Channel 5).

When a scripted series comes to town for a Vegas episode, you at least owe it that. Especially when that series names the episode “Henderson, Nevada-Adjacent, Baby! Henderson, Nevada-Adjacent!”

In the penultimate episode, titled “How I Met Your Mullet,” Virginia (Martha Plimpton) gets a raise at work and shows Burt (Garret Dillahunt) her pay stub. “There’s a comma in this!” Burt exclaims when he sees the total. “We’ve never made comma money!” So Burt retires from his landscaping business and becomes a bounty hunter.

Then, in the finale, Jimmy (Lucas Neff) and Sabrina (Shannon Woodward) inherit her grandmother’s maid (“Downton Abbey’s” Lesley Nicol), and Virginia’s estranged gay dad (Jeffrey Tambor) resurfaces and offers to pay for Hope’s college education if the gang will plan his wedding. That offer leads Burt to start teaching the 4-year-old to play beer pong, have a food fight and get a fake ID.

It’s all fairly routine stuff for the series.

Because “Raising Hope” was canceled a month ago, there was no attempt to tie everything up in a nice bow. There was no time.

But, as we saw with a certain other long-running comedy that came to an end earlier this week, there’s something to be said for not rigidly and ham-fistedly following a plan conceived nearly a decade ago.

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