Raising Hope, 9pm Tuesdays on Fox
This show has so far retained the sweetness it initially impressed me with, but I just wish that they could manage to expand on more than one joke per episode. This week's episode was very Martha Plimpton -centric, which I thought was great, because she is so much more interesting than the actors who play her son or her son's love interest. I loved how she chastised her son in front of the girl that he likes for being too much of a "Ross." Her crazed determination to stage a perfect family portrait year after year was extremely relatable, and in the end, very touching when she admitted that as a housekeeper, she wants a family portrait to feel like the people whose homes she cleans.
Running Wilde, 9:30pm Tuesdays on Fox
I think this has been the best episode of the series so far. With luck, this show will transcend a weak first season, à la The Office (US) and Parks and Recreation. There was a classic blend of miscommunication and Will Arnett playing a sexual pawn in his own game (see Arrested Development, 30 Rock, and Arrested Development again). It was so clear that Keri Russell would get the preteen boy to fall in love with her, and Will Arnett would get Andy Richter in a mustache to fall in love with him, but a lot of fun to watch those storylines play out. The extended scene of Arnett washing a car Paris Hilton -style pulled the trick where it carries on way past being funny, and then swings back to being funny again. I swear I saw Arnett and Richter scissoring at one point. Once again, Peter Serafinowicz stood out as Fa'ad pretending to be a New York mobster as trained by Alan Alda. Weird and hilarious.
Modern Family, 9pm Wednesdays on ABC
I always like scenes when Claire and Mitchell get to interact with each other, and them teasing each other during a workout was a great brother-sister scene. When they tried to break bad news to each other's partners, Strangers on a Train style, Mitch couldn't bring himself to tell Phil how awful he is at telling jokes, but Claire was able to tell Cam that his too-tight bike shorts are inappropriate. Cam and Mitchell loving each other so much but never being able to be on the same page was great, with a back-and-forth about who is luckier to be with whom that was very believable. It was momentarily upsetting to see how Claire felt the only way to save Phil from himself was to steal his notecards, but perfectly redeemed when his lame humor was perfect for the realtor dinner, and also for Claire. Is there a sweeter married couple on television today (suck it, Jim and Pam)? Also, the shot of her laughing without her eyes was creepy and amazing.