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Hot In Cleveland – Recap & Review – Pilot

photo: tvland
Hot in Cleveland

Original Air Date: Jun 16, 2010

Anne – TwoCents Reviewer

When I heard that Betty White was going to be on a new sitcom; I knew I had to watch it. The show is on Wednesday nights at 10 PM on TVLand. I was a bit wary of a TVLand original measuring up to the star’s talents, but I was happily proven wrong.

The show opened up on a shot of a plane flying over a sunset, which I am assuming was a slight nod to the opening sequence of Golden Girls. A girl can dream. Anybody agree with me? Aboard the plane we meet our main stars. We have Joy, played by Jane Leeves, who calls herself the “eyebrow queen of Hollywood” while name-dropping such clients as Oprah and Ryan Seacrest.

Next, we meet Victoria, a soap opera star played by Wendy Malick. She is the oldest in the group and upset that Susan Lucci robbed her of her Emmy. Susan deserved to finally win her Emmy after 15 tries, don’t you think?!? Victoria is 50, but consistently refers to herself as in her “late 30’s”. Her soap opera has been cancelled and the best she can do now is a role playing Megan Fox’s grandmother. Joy and Victoria are accompanying their best friend, Melanie, to Paris.

Melanie, who is played by Valerie Bertinelli, is an author with two college age children. She recently divorced her husband, Anders. She and her two best friends are taking this trip because she recently wrote a book about 200 things a woman should do before they die. In a
twist that I wasn’t the least surprised at, Melanie runs into Anders on the plane. Anders and his new, much younger girlfriend. Am I alone in realizing that this kind of “twist” occurs a little too often on TV these days? But I digress.

The plane hits turbulence and has to make an emergency landing in Cleveland, Ohio. Our ladies are not at all happy about this. Until they go into a local bar and realize how the men’s heads are turning. After they all order chili fries and “any beer that’s not light”, the bartender points to a table of three men who want the girls to join them. Melanie catches the eye of one of the guys named Hank. Hank looks quite a bit like Bo Duke. Played by John Schneider, the character is a plumber, who is also married, which Melanie doesn’t find out until after she spends the night with him.

Melanie decides that even though things didn’t work out with Hank, she wants to give Cleveland a chance. She rents a house that comes with an elderly caretaker, who smells faintly of pot smoke, named Elka. Finally, we have our Betty White! Elka is from Poland and has led quite a life. She is the character who enters, says the bawdy remark, and leaves. Her first line? “Why are you renting to prostitutes?” The three ladies decide to keep Elka around and the episode ended with the four of them headed out to the bar.

I think this was a promising start for a good show. They claim at the beginning that it’s filmed in front of a live audience, which is not very common these days. Each of our stars has worked on sitcoms before, so their comedic timing was down pact. The premiere did get 4.75 million viewers, which is awesome for a TVLand show. Let’s just hope that the show is given a good chance.

What did you all think of this new show?

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