I feel like I’ve been watching Martha Plimpton my whole life. Probably because I pretty much have. I mean she was in “Goonies” – “Goonies,” people. Then there were her River Phoenix years where unfortunately her relationship sometimes overshadowed her great work in movies like “Running on Empty” and “Parenthood.” Heck, she even gayed it up for us (with Ally Sheedy no less) in “Chantilly Lace.” Granted, I can’t recommend the film – it was one of those forgettable rentals during my Watch All The Lezzie Movies phase. But still, it’s always a nice gesture, regardless. And through the years she just kept popping up again and again. She went from mainstream movies to indie flicks, TV to Broadway. Working steadily and just doing what she does best. She is a master at playing not your average pretty girl. She was the smart girl, the funny girl, the interesting girl, the different girl.
And now, well now she’s found a home playing the hilarious mom (and grandma – don’t worry, a young grandma) on “Raising Hope.” I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy this show. I had less than zero expectations about and only started watching because I was too lazy to turn the channel after “Glee.”. But week after week it just continues to impress and make me smile. What’s great about it, and Martha’s character, isn’t just the zaniness. But while lots of shows can be zany, this one does it with real heart. These characters, who could easily just be tired stereotypes of hapless poor folks, are fleshed out. We really like them, warts and all. They’re endearing and charming and just an all-around hoot. And it’s Martha’s uncanny ability to be both over-the-top and totally relatable that holds the show together. She’s crazy, but in a believable way. Like, you know, family. Which is why having her back on my TV again week after week just feels right, like coming home. Happy Halloween weekend, all.