30 seconds into “Cheaters,” and it’s already streets ahead* of last week’s episode. Any episode of Raising Hope that opens with the always-hilarious Shelley (Kate Micucci) mock-fighting Burt (Garrett Dillahunt) has to be a good one.
As often happens on Raising Hope, this episode featured two main stories, splitting Jimmy from his parents. Jimmy goes on an adventure with Sabrina, in hopes that she will catch her boyfriend cheating, opening the path to a future relationship with Jimmy.
On the flipside, Virginia (Martha Plimpton) and Burt argue over keeping Maw Maw (Cloris Leachman) from mentally cheating with her new senile boyfriend.
The catch is, Maw Maw’s husband has been dead for years now. Yeah, it gets weird.
It might just be me, but scenes when comedy veteran Leachman plays a dribbling senile old woman make me cringe. I find nothing funny about jokes aimed solely at the depressing consequences of age. I like Maw Maw best when she’s lucid, or at least when her semi-lucidity gives her character. When she’s just a senile old woman, Maw Maw is less a character than a prop. There’s already a baby on this show. We don’t need another pointless character. Just wait, next season, they’ll get a dog.
Anyway, in this episode, Virginia and Burt argue over whether it’s moral to allow Maw Maw to think she’s cheating on her husband, even though he is long dead. Eventually, this devolves into a discussion of what would happen if Virginia died before Burt, and vice versa. Then there’s a heartwarming, aww-inducing moment between the couple. Very cute.
The Jimmy/Sabrina coupling is less cute. I don’t see much chemistry between the two, but I guess we’re going to go with it for at least a few more episodes. As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of Will They Or Won’t They, especially when, as in Raising Hope, it’s obvious that, yes, they definitely will. Reason being, there are literally no other possible love interests for Jimmy. Or rather, there were none, until this episode.
This is why I was glad when Jimmy met the “perfect nose girl” at the daycare center. It’s always nice when new characters are introduced, as the world of Raising Hope can sometimes be a little claustrophobic. Always the three leads, the baby, and Maw-Maw, always in that house. It’s good to get out a little, even if it’s just to the daycare or the grocery store. (I was also happy to see the reappearance of Frank, the supermarket creepster.)
*I know, I know. But I like the phrase, and I’m always up for spreading some more Community love.