HDTV Heads-Up: July 30-August 5

TV3 will replace Modern Family with another HD comedy, Raising Hope, from July 31.

It was created by My Name is Earl’s Greg Garcia and stars Lucas Neff as a 23-year-old solo dad with a dysfunctional extended family.

The offbeat series was well reviewed in the US, where the Chicago Sun-Times likened it to a mix of Malcolm in the Middle, The Middle and Raising Arizona “that’s just funnier and sweeter than anything else on TV”.

Echoed the Wall Street Journal: “The show’s astringent tone, its excursions into low comedy — scenes like the one where everybody trying to diaper the baby ends up throwing up on her, and similarly stomach-churning fun — all work to counter the sentimentality of themes like this one.

“They work only in part here, and in this case that’s all to the good. The show is meant to be a comedy, and it is — a smart and witty one — but there’s no missing, either, under all that grotesquerie, its hardcore sweetness.”

Less impressed was Time: “There are at least the slivers of promise that the show could get better … Maybe 20% of the first episode shows a sweet-heartedness that rises above the easy white-trash humour.”

Also notable for the week of July 30-August 5 are the HD free-to-air premieres of the movies The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (TV2, 8.30pm Saturday) and 12 Rounds (TV3, 8.30pm Monday), and the season finale of Hawaii Five-0 (TV3, 11.30pm Monday).

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