I’m not going to lie. Before tuning in I had my doubts about last night’s season premiere of FOX’s Raising Hope, but I’m happy to say that all my worries were for nothing. The quirky comedy was back and better than ever, seemingly leaving last season’s questionable finale in its dust. The best part of the premiere was unquestionably Melanie Griffith’s guest appearance as Sabrina Collins’ (Shannon Woodward) wealthy yet vapid mother, Tamara.
Sabrina’s disdain for her mom is apparent as soon as Tamara is introduced to us. She rolls her eyes and becomes visibly tense when introducing her mother to her working class boyfriend, Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff) for the first time. It’s clear that these two have a long history of conflict. Sabrina describes her mom as a horrid woman who cares little about anything besides herself, her money, and her appearance. And while that makes her a questionable mother figure, it also makes her an extremely entertaining television character.
Griffith’s character is basically a walking Barbie doll with her perfect hair, perfect makeup, and perfect clothes. But we see a different side of her when pictures of she and Sabrina from years earlier surface. These are clearly before a very significant nose job. Pre-surgery Tamara had a nose that resembles that of a cartoon witch. Seriously, I kid you not.
But the appearance of these photos does more than just make you feel sorry for Sabrina’s mom, they lead to a shocking realization from Jimmy as well. Seven years ago before he even met her daughter he hooked up with pre-surgery Tamara right outside the grocery store where he and Sabrina work. Can you say awkward?
I was feeling a little uneasy about this plot twist. And so was Jimmy since he immediately tried to figure out how he could tell his beloved Sabrina (who he’d just proposed to) this story without ending their relationship. And that’s when we finally got to see a human side of Tamara as she begged Jimmy not to tell her daughter what happened between them all those years ago. She tells him how she hopes to have a better relationship with Sabrina and she worries that this will stop that from happening.
It was sweet, but Jimmy couldn’t keep the secret. He told Sabrina and while she seemed to have forgiven him, the jury’s still out on her feelings towards her mom. The episode ended before we saw them interact again.
So here’s to hoping that the rumors are true about Griffith’s role extending beyond one episode. Her character is one that deserves some more screen time, in my opinion anyways. I think watching her try to get close to her daughter will be amusing and watching her further interact with the rest of the show’s cast will undoubtedly be hilarious.