Skip to main content

HOT IN CLEVELAND: A REVIEW


Airing at 10 pm on Wednesday nights- I think I found my new favorite show, the Sean Hayes-produced Hot in Cleveland. In case you have your head in a rock and missed the massive publicity circuit this week, the show is a traditional half-hour long sitcom that, as billed in the beginning, is taped in front of a "live studio audience." When I heard these words, my heart seriously skipped a beat. We're back to the old school, friends! There's a laugh track! and it's supposed to be real! sigh. TV nerddom moment, commence.

and end.

It's like this generation's answer to the Golden Girls- four LAYDEEZ that you don't normally see being catered to on television (but we're on cable! so anything can happen!) are living together and battling...um, life....together. AND BETTY WHITE IS ON IT. BETTY. WEARING TRACKSUITS.
All our leading women come from respective comedy TV backgrounds. Valerie Bertinelli of - my god, I don't even know WHAT she did anymore, just that she was married to Eddie Van Halen and lost a bunch of weight, Wendie Malick who is such an underrated gem of an actress and made Just Shoot Me watchable with her character Nina, and Jane Leeves of Frasier fame who is doing something again which makes me extraordinarily happy! so, on paper, this looks to be a winning formula. but we all know, winning formulas can (and often) tank when put into practice in real life. Crystal Pepsi, anyone? NEW COKE?
Well, in all fairness, what we have so far is a pilot. And you have to be gentle with pilots because it's hard to do them. really! I've written a few sitcom series for my own personal benefit (weird I know I need a support group) and the first show is always the hardest to write. thus, I try not to be too critical. but really- there wasn't so much to be critical of! Hot in Cleveland is a good show, thus far! The writing's spot-on and the women work up enough chemistry as lifelong friends and then there's just Betty White who is always wonderful, heart you gurrrrl.
The plot goes as follows: three women from Los Angeles are on a flight to Paris, where Bertinelli's character wants to go as she wrote some new-agey love-yourselfy books that are like OH YOU NEED TO DO THIS AND THIS AND OH THAT BEFORE YOU DIE. En route to Paris, the plane encounters problems and makes an emergency stop in.....of all dreadful places....


CLEVELAND.

so the women, on their downtime, decide to go to a nearby bar where (they are surprised to find but I'm not! Jane Leeves will always be gorgeous!) MEN FIND THEM ATTRACTIVE. Long story short: they move to Cleveland. wherein, they rent a house that Betty White comes along with. SEE, NOW I JUST TIED ALL THE STRINGS TOGETHER!

By the way, I feel like I am a local expert on this, hailing from Erie which is two hours east of Cleveland and can tell you this is true. I have been to nicer bars in bigger cities and where I have had some guys be all "hayyyy" in these places, it's when I'm in Erie and Edinboro, where standards are very low, that I'm catnip. so! this is scientifically accurate! Sean Hayes did his research!


Bertinelli's character is the heart of the show; I can't give you much of a read on her other than that she's the one group member that watches Sleepless In Seattle on repeat and is going through a divorce.
she's the one, and I suppose all groups have these, that thinks because a guy takes you home and you wake up in his Cleveland Indians (best baseball team ever!) t-shirt that he is da 1. she's extremely likeable- there just isn't enough depth to her. yet.

Wendie Malick plays the self-absorbed, extremely vain aging actress of the group and is also given the best lines that are not given to Betty White. Some of the lines are dull but she's Wendie Malick. this woman could play Anne Frank and make me laugh.

Jane Leeves is also very good, as the career-obsessed one (always has to be at least one!) she's given some great material (a scene involving French fry grease comes to mind) and mostly functions as a side player for now, but. I'm too much of a Frasier fan. I keep thinking "DAPHNE? DAPHNE?"

you can watch the pilot on the TV Land website- the first episode is extremely rewarding, a little predictable, not anything cutting-edge, but it sure is entertaining and enjoyable. and I can see this group of LAYDEEZ (sry) becoming one of those united clusters in which viewers cling to, i.e. Friends and Golden Girls.

my big fear for a while was that this show would not last long, because sometimes I like a show right off the bat and it's gone within weeks. however, I think, seeing as it drew in TV Land's biggest ratings everrr and that it's on cable and not network TV, this show really stands a chance. be still my heart!

Hot In Cleveland might not make you melt, but it's just getting warmed up. (pun) I give it a B+

and also, show writers: HAVE THEM DO AN ERIE EPISODE. THE LOCALS WOULDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THEMSELVES.

watch it here!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Anchors" - AM Higgins

Here's a nice breezy, almost sensual song from AM Higgins (the solo project of musician Annie Toth) to start your Tuesday off right.  Her debut album "Hymning" will be out November 5th on Victorialand Records. The album was mixed by Casey Foubert, a frequent collaborator of Sufjan Stevens. The album "captures the first years of moving from an American city to rural France." Sounds like "Hymning" will be a welcome escape from the world we live in right now, especially considering that Annie Toth counts poets Mary Oliver and Thomas Merton as influences.

"Mon Soleil" - Ashley Park

If there's anything people take away from my piss-poor legacy, I hope it's what a huge, unabashed fan of "Emily in Paris" I am and will continue to be. People love "90 Day Fiancee," "The Bachelor," and other garbage - allow me "Emily," which is at least harmless, kind of goofy fluff (which does, unfortunately, lean into some stereotypes, as the country of Ukraine knows ). I have already watched Season 2 twice. And honestly my favorite part of this show (despite my crush on Camille Razart and Lily Collins channeling Audrey Hepburn hardcore ) is Ashley Park. This woman has superstar written all over her. She's a bona fide Broadway star, and "Emily in Paris" has served as her pivot into the zeitgeist.  "Emily in Paris" is also showcasing her vocal prowess front and center this season, with her covering BTS, "All By Myself," "Sympathtique," and Marilyn Monroe. But the real standout performance is th

"Happy New Year"- Let's Eat Grandma

There's no way to start the New Year like some extremely upbeat music about the New Year! That's where this new synthpop-heavy single from the British duo Let's Eat Grandma comes into play. It's a delightful song, and it helps increase any excitement about their third album, "Two Ribbons," which will be out this April. I personally am looking forward to hearing more from Let's Eat Grandma, who deserve way more attention than they currently get. Hopefully, 2022 will be a big year for them. Here's one of their older tracks I quite like: