Hope & Faith (2003–2006)
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Season Reviewed: Season 1+
ABC's TGIF line-up is back and if this show is any indication, it's exactly as we remember it. 'Hope & Faith' is a quintessential "stupid sitcom" with simple, recycled plots, bubble-headed characters and duh-duh humor that brazenly recalls the 'Full House'/'Family Matters' era. And I actually rooted for ABC to bring this idea back- I would much rather deal with this than another reality show.
I understand the niche for this type of simple show. It's Friday night, the kids are excited over the weekend and it's time to just kick back and watch some escapism. So it goes almost without saying that 'Hope' is mind-numbing, but it manages to be even worse than those low expectations. The stories barely make sense from minute to minute and every joke has a blinking neon sign hanging around it. It's also -surprisingly - toward the crude side of generic as we can see the lowered bar of TV standards has even infiltrated TGIF. The show is almost epically stupid from the directing and writing down to the lighting and visceral look. Where we aren't just not laughing, we feel embarrassed for the actors.
The actor I don't feel embarrassed for is Kelly Ripa. Ripa is a gorgeous girl and on 'Hope and Faith' we certainly get to see her with great hair and in a vast wardrobe of attractive outfits. But the series is clearly designed for those who can't get enough of her acting stupid on 'Live with Regis and Kelly' in the morning and want to see her acting stupid in the evening as well. And Ripa hams it up big time here. Meanwhile, we get the sense that everyone else in the cast is trying to tell us they know they can do better. Poor Faith Ford (so good playing a naive ditz on 'Murphy Brown' and now saddled as Ripa's straight man) looks like she's just barely trying to keep up with Ripa in the embarrass-yourself department. Jump the Shark patron saint Ted McGinley is probably the best thing about this show. Most of the time we can find McGinley happily off to the side, away from the blast, filling reactionary shots with a look of amazement at whatever chicanery is going on between the sisters. Elsewhere we find the stock obnoxious kids, also in the periphery as to not divert any power from the gleaming spotlight on Ripa.
This whole affair is the type of obnoxious, bottom-of-the-barrel awfulness that give sitcoms a bad name. It's purpose is to be an escape, but it just might give you a migraine. This was all foretold from the beginning where the show must have set a land-speed record to the bottom by resorting to a food fight in the first episode. A food fight. Of all the sitcom clichés that need to be put a moratorium on, I'd trade them all just to get food fights off the air for good.
* / 4
Parring up a stupid and a boring person doesn't really make great comedy - it's just an easy way out for a lot of boring morales without impact and for a bit of lazy attempts at slapstick comedy. All seen before a long time ago.
America; you've brought some good comedy to the world, but when you make things like this, you really start lacking behind the European countries. Please don't export more of this, just keep it to yourselves.
Hope & Faith: 4/5
TV rating: TV-PG D. There ae some sexual references, but not to bad for little kids. They won't get any of the jokes, though.
Hope and Faith is a funny, light hearted comedy, and Faith Fairfield and Kelly Ripa are hilarious, especially Kelly Ripa!. Its Fantastic and i hope it continues for a long time, because its one of the few actually funny T.V shows around, since the demise of friends. Long Live Hope and Faith
This show relies on 50 years of classic situation comedy devices. Unlike some shows that try to bring in something original on occasion, H&F plays it safe with hackneyed plots that have been used for decades. The show has some brutal acting (Ripa is a gorgeous woman but she has a very grating voice), awful scripts, and poor direction and awful logic. The good thing about the show is that its sheer awfulness makes it a must-see for people who truly cherish bad products. It's truly worth watching this show to see what rehashed plots they trot out, to see what Kellly will be wearing, or seeing Ms. Ford and Mr. McGinley playing thankless roles and playing second fiddle to everyone's favorite baby factory.
They also rely on a lot of guest stars; Clint Black, Regis Philbin, Kathy Lee Gifford(!), Kevin Sorbo, and Roger Clemens are just some of the people who've decided to appear in this embarrassment. Still, the show is doing pretty good for ABC but if this show was on a better network it would have been canceled long ago. If this is the best that ABC can do for a sit-com, ABC will be the Number 4 network for a good long time. Still, if you cherish cheesy, awful-out-of-the box products then check this out because I can't see any non-reality T.V. show being worse than this.
Over 50 episodes of entirely unfunny junk. Some say that it improves after the 1st series, so I gave it a chance. It doesn't improve. It gets worse. It's hard to expect much from a series called 'Hope & Faith' where the lead characters are called... you guessed it, Hope and Faith. Ha Ha Ha ughhhh!!! That gag has been a tired cliché for at least 50 years but it's actually the funniest gag the writers have managed to write / copy. Oh yes. Don't expect any originality whatsoever here. Don't expect any spark or verve from the dead eyed, creosote-faced, bleached teethed, dyed haired (To hide the grey I presume) actors either. Manic energy cannot hide you're lack of talent ladies. Actually, most of the cast wander around with a dazed look on their varnished faces. I can read their minds... I'm picking something up now.... they're thinking "Why has this show been re-commissioned? I can't believe I'm getting paid for this putrid garbage. My career has hit rock bottom. I'll just keep grinning & hope the audience doesn't notice."
Don't watch it under any circumstance. Those 'Live Surgery' TV shows are funnier than this. Slicing the tip of my finger off was funnier than this. Even 'Joey' is a funnier show & I NEVER thought I'd say that.
There have been many U.S. 'family type' sitcoms, but this must rank as one of the most dire in recent history.
Firstly the writing is, if one can call it writing, weak beyond belief - these people aren't writers, they are talentless hacks who couldn't spot a quality gag at 5 yards. Plot lines vary from the merely predictable, to trite and twee and to the plain and simple f***ing lousy!! But sometimes weak writing can be counteracted by a solid cast with a strong comedy sensibility - sadly Hope & Faith has nothing like a good cast.
In all fairness, most of the cast just about acquit themselves as serviceable actors - but just only just about.
The award for most irritating and misjudged comedy performance goes to the appallingly bad, Kelly Ripa - a so-called actress with a grasp of comedy technique that it is so lacking as to be non-existent.
With over-the-top, facial 'mugging' being her main stock in trade, Ripa spirals from one bad scene to another even worse scene without barely time to take a breath - the only thing she seems have in any sort of abundance is energy, for this I cannot fault her.
But energy and over-acting are simply not enough to constitute a good comedy performance - which makes Kelly Ripa no comedy actress.
There is no subtlety in Ripa's attempts at acting, no refinement and virtually no comedy timing on her behalf - surely things that are standard requirements for a quality comedy performance.
If all this sounds like I'm Kelly Ripa-bashing, then yeah, I suppose I am. But Ripa certainly deserves it as she probably the very worst thing about this show, well, maybe Kelly Ripa AND the scriptwriters should take equal blame.
I didn't expect Hope a& Faith to set the sitcom genre alight, but by the very same measure, I didn't expect anything quite as bad as this REALLY is.
I caught this show here in England on a cable channel called ABC1, along with other shows that were as new to British viewers as Hope and Faith , a couple of these shows were: Less Than Perfect and Eight Simple Rules...
Bottom line is this, I was expecting no more, no less from these other shows - I was VERY pleasantly surprised! Both Less Than Perfect and Eight Simple Rules are excellent comedy shows and are vastly superior to the massively inferior Hope & Faith.
I must cite Eight Simple Rules in particular for having a perfect cast, providing top-notch, classy performances, augmented by excellent, witty and razor-sharp writing - if Hope & Faith had only half the quality of ESR, then it wouldn't be quite that bad, problem is Hope & Faith, in comparison to Eight Simple Rules, is left floating dead in the water.
*On a side note, I find it funny that their names are Hope and Faith, two values/qualities that have similar meanings. I also like that one character is named Faith, and the other is played by a Faith.
I can't think of an episode that was even remotely funny. The worst episodes were the ones about the funeral and the court case. The recipe for good comedy is to have talented actors,writers and story lines with some presence in reality. This is something the producers failed to grasp.
Kelly Ripa was annoying, and her character unlikeable. Faith Ford wasn't much better. The constant fighting really made it hard to root for this angry relationship.
It also had on set drama as they fired the oldest daughter played by Nicole Paggi. She was great as the only fun character. For seasons 2 & 3, they replaced her with Megan Fox. Sadly, she may have the looks, but at that stage she couldn't act her way out of a paper sack.
It's nothing new, nothing original, and definitely nothing funny! This is another run of the mill sitcom with the perfect family with the one "stupid" character that gets the family into "crazy" (unrealistic) situations.
If you're bored I wouldn't even say watch this (it's that bad.) My mother is a fan of this show (for reasons I have no idea why!) I'm only 14 and I can see how stupid this is! (I consider myself maturer then the average 14 year old though =P) Though anybody with a half a brain can figure that out.
ABC is the only network right now with the most sitcoms (7 I think it is currently) and they're all crap! All run of the mill, average, forgettable sitcoms...nothing new and surely nothing groundbreaking! What's more pathetic is that ABC shamelessly plugs their other shows on their sitcoms! (I HATE it when networks do that, it's so cheap and shows you another reasons that the writers are desperate and need some filler for the scripts, if you get what I'm saying.) They've done it for Depserate Housewives (on a promo for According To Jim he says something like "it's those dame Desperate Housewives...ever since you've started watching them..." and ABC is again shamelessly promoting their shows, this time tonight on Hope & Faith (with Wife Swap.) ABC could pick up some smart, ground breaking sitcoms yet they choose to pick up crap like this (though I think all of ABC's current sitcoms are terrible.)
This tired sitcom has been on for three years and is no more complicated than an episode of I love Lucy with out the old world charm. For some reason all the good TV has gone off the air and this cud has found its way into prime time so I got a more than unpleasant look at it last Wednesday night. They were Tom Sawyering a fake death which excused the brutish husband into being extra coarse, telling Kelly Ripa to die for real, which is when I noticed the plot and the characters were from A Street Car Named Desire.
So, yes that guy who killed Happy Days and Love boat(Ted might not have made the head shot, but he gets partial credit for the fall of Sports Night.) is Stanley, and Kelly Ripa is Blanche. I wonder if Kelly's oblivious to playing one of the greatest America female parts, or she's ten times smarter than Regis silently laughing at the inside joke? I'm really curious how Tennessee would have reacted seeing such a freaking cartoon? He was an angry drunk right? Of course the only really serious point to take from all this is that Ted McGinley is walking in Brando's shadow.... OMG! Even compare Ted and Marlon's characters names are bizzarro counterparts of one another!
Charley Shanowski Stanley Kowalski
That's a wonky spoonerism. This is no accident, hell, it's probably always been pitched as a homage and I'm just dim.