Not often do series that are suddenly cancelled have a chance to wrap up in such a perfect way, but for “Raising Hope” they got that chance.
The series finale of this amazingly underrated show saw the return of Jeffrey Tambor as Virginia’s father. He came back to Natesville to try and make amends and marry his partner, Oliver. The family is tepid until he offers to pay for Hope’s college.
With three days to plan and Arnold’s credit card, Virginia took the rains to plan the wedding of HER dreams.
Meanwhile, Maw Maw, with the hunch that Arnold is up to no good, recruits Frank who is a professional “stocker” to spy on him.
On the wedding planning front, Virginia and Arnold hold auditions for a Kenny Loggins impersonator, while Burt prepares Hope for her college experience, beer pong, fake ID, and all.
The best part of this montage is that it combines the ridiculousness of the writing with the quirkiness of the characters we have learned to love. Everything from dancing Dan trying to be Kenny Loggins to the “Footloose” background music was pitch perfect. Of course, there were the well timed Hope reaction shots.
Virginia is ready to smooth things over with her father after he admits that he has enjoyed his time planning the wedding, until Frank and Maw Maw discover that Arnold does not have a partner nor is getting married.
However, in a twist, it is revealed that Arnold was using the fake wedding to allow Virginia to plan the wedding of her dreams, since she didn’t get it because she was pregnant with Jimmy. Virginia doesn’t buy it until Arnold gives Virginia the Princess Diana dress she dreamt of. Spoiler Alert: it’s as ugly as you think.
At the “royal wedding” ceremony, Burt promises Virginia that he would punch anyone that hurts her. Then, the pope, I mean, pastor, I mean lawyer, pronounced them still man and wife.
Then, in typical “Hope” fashion, Kenny Loggins appeared to perform “Danny’s Song”, which was performed by Virginia and Burt in the pilot to put Hope to sleep. Jimmy admits that this song gave him his first lesson as a parent, that’s where the emotional part starts.
It’s all good until Arnold reveals that he sold his condo in Sedona, which was used as collateral for the college tuition. However, he sold it to pay for the wedding. Burt punches Arnold in the face per his promise.
Jimmy offers Arnold his old room since he had no place to stay and tells his mother, “if you really want him to be a better father, you’re going to have to give him a chance at being a father.”
Kenny Loggins finished his song as the family dances and sings along.
At the end of the series the entire family is seated around the table for breakfast the next morning. Jimmy’s voiceover brings the series’ arc to close. “Not everyone becomes a parent at the perfect time. Some of us do it way too early. Some of us do it way too late. The important thing is when you get the chance you make the most of it.”
Then, Maw Maw walks in to try to stab Arnold, then make out with Jimmy. The ridiculous end to the perfectly ridiculous series, which ensures us that for the Chance family, life goes on.