Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Mind the Baby

This evening, I got round to watching Raising Hope, the comedy comedy from Greg Garcia, one of the guys behind My Name is Earl (which was a show that I liked very much). In fact, it's a cross between My Name is Earl and Raising Arizona. And it's funny. I can't fault the jokes and characters and the pace and the script and the direction and the casting. It's the set-up. In particular, it's the baby. The baby makes me worry.

Let me briefly explain. The set-up of the show, done brilliantly in the first ten minutes, is that a poor young guy, who wants a new challenge, sleeps with a girl who is then convicted of double murder and executed (which is funnier that it sounds). Before she is executed, she gives birth to a baby, who is then given to our hero to look after. He is totally unprepared for it, and his family tell him leave the baby at the fire station to be taken in, but he refuses. He's going to raise this baby. On hi own. And his family refuse to help or get drawn in.

And so we have a guy who doesn't know about car-seats, or nappies or anything to do with babies, trying to raise the baby by himself. The guy is great and good and kind and sensitive. And the baby is gorgeous. But the whole set-up puts me on edge. What is at stake in this story? Theoretically, it's a quest for our hero. But his quest depends on the well-being of a baby. And it makes me worry. And when I'm worrying, I'm not laughing.

I'm sure this is because I have a toddler and a baby of my own, and I'm such a wuss, my heart goes out to any little child on the TV. But there's nothing I can do about this instinctive reaction. I'm unable to enjoy this show. I wish it well. God bless it, and all who buy the boxed set. But, unfortunately, I'm out. (which is fine, really. I have about 17 eps of Modern Family on my Sky+ box. But we'll leave that for another post.)


  1. Having a baby ruined loads of TV for me. Anything involving an infant in peril reduced me to helpless, wibbling tears - even the most obviously fake bundle of blankets being manhandled caused meltdown.

  2. I felt the same way about 'The Hangover'. I couldn't laugh for about ten minutes after they left the baby on its own in a police car in the baking heat of the Nevada Desert.

  3. The perhaps slightly worrying thing is, of course, that - if we put aside the whole "it's not real" thing - Hope probably gets far better care, and far more consideration and attention from Jimmy, than many children in the real world do.

    (I've been really rather enjoying the series, BTW.)