Thursday, June 17, 2010

“Hot in Cleveland”: Typical Sitcom Fare

The sitcom is not a television genre that I like, with game shows and reality shows being at the bottom of my list. I only watched the premiere of TV Land’s “Hot In Cleveland” because I’ve lived in the Cleveland area all my life and I wanted to be sure this show was not going to trash talk the city. (OK, I also watched to see Betty White.) Since it is a sitcom my expectations were not very high, but the show did deliver a few chuckles. And it also was surprisingly respectful of Cleveland.

The series stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick, and is about three attractive single women from LA who are on their way to Paris for a vacation when their plane makes an emergency stop in Cleveland. During their stop they visit a local bar and are shocked to realize that the local men find them attractive, the women aren’t afraid to eat, and that real estate prices are very low. When Melanie (Bertinelli) thinks she’s found love, she leases a house, which comes with a cantankerous caretaker Elka (Betty White) and they decide to stick around. Sadly, the guy she hooks up with – a plumber who has a boat – turns out to be married.

The show is a typical sitcom – laughter cranked up in the appropriate places and dialog that requires no acting, rolling off the actors’ tongues just as if they are reading off the script. It’s nothing new. It does get some things accurate about the Cleveland area; for example, one can get beautiful, huge houses in the area for a reasonable amount and people do enjoy their food. It also gets some things wrong; for example, while we enjoy food, many DO watch what they eat, and since this is a big sports town, men don’t pay attention to women in a bar if there is some sort of sports playing on TV. But, like any sitcom, it relies on stereotypes, which may fit or not fit depending on the person viewing the show.

Betty White clearly has the best lines in the show, and the show should be grateful she’s on it. Without her, the show would be just another bad cookie-cutter sitcom.

The show is not Emmy winning material; in fact, it’s probably more suited for a high school production. Despite the show’s downsides, being a Clevelander, I feel compelled to continue to watch, even if it is to make sure they don’t diss my fair city. But, it’s a quick half hour and a nice time filler if you can’t find anything more challenging to watch, and you just make get a laugh or two that may make it worth your time.

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

No comments: