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“Not” In Cleveland

19 Jun

June 19, 2010

Just as a rebuttal to anyone who thinks that Cleveland rocks, here are some videos from proud Clevelanders:

Is it any surprise that LeBron is leaving?

My Review of Hot In Cleveland

19 Jun

June 19, 2010

TV Land has taken a break from it’s policy of showing classic sitcoms. Old favorites used to dominate the channel, like High School Reunion, The Cougar, and She’s Got the Look, alongside a slate of television-based films, like Roadhouse, Roxanne, and Splash.

The network unveiled it’s newest show, Hot in Cleveland, ironically named after the fact that Cleveland is one of the worst places to live in the world.

A few years back my brother and I visited Cleveland on a summer weekend to see the Mets play an inter-league game against the Indians. From the airport, we took a train which ran alongside a brown river to what looked like a rundown industrial park. That was Cleveland.

What a dump

My first view of Cleveland!

We got off in a large shopping mall which was surprisingly empty at noon on a weekday. We walked outside and found we were in the downtown business district. Again, the whole area was deserted, office buildings seemed closed, coffee shops were barren, and there were at least four bums per block. We walked to our hotel, passing strange public works art sculptures shaped like spiders made out of barbed wire and eventually got to out hotel, which was only a few blocks away from the ballpark.

What were they thinking?

There were other fans there who came for the game, and if you are looking for proof that there is nothing to do in Cleveland, look no further than the hotel parking lot. Five baseball fans were playing catch. They could find nothing better to do in the heart of the city than play catch.

And other than the awesome Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, neither could I.

Hot In Cleveland is the new TV Land show that ignores the utter dump that is Cleveland.

Three old friends board a plane to Paris, bemoaning the fact that they are getting old and no one wants to date them. You really need to suspend your disbelief because one of them is Valerie Bertinelli, and no matter how old she is she still looks like Valerie Bertinelli. That woman will be beautiful at 100. Another one is Jane Leeves, Seinfeld’s virgin, who spends some time in the pilot laying in bed and licking herself. (Yep, just think about that, guys.) The last one is Wendie Malick, so OK, maybe the premise isn’t so far-fetched. Let’s just say her features are, um, sharp.

You can probably guess what happens next. Valerie sees her ex on the plane with his much younger fiancée, she prays for the plane to crash, and it does.

The rest of the show is some bizarre out-of-body, near-death experience.

It has to be. How else to explain that this TV Cleveland is full of men who have never seen a woman before and pull out the chairs for Wendie Malick? Or that one of them is a fat guy who watches daytime TV but still has a shot at Jane Leeves? Of that they find an exquisite Victorian mansion for sale? Of that they don’t choke from the Cleveland smog?

Because she is clearly suffering from post-traumatic stress from the crash, Bertinelli buys a house and plans to live in Cleveland, where the men are so pathetic that they have not yet left Cleveland. Here’s the WACKY GIMMICK ™ : Betty White comes with the house, as the crusty old ancient housekeeper. (Yes, you did see this on Scooby Doo.)

A real Cleveland mansion.

Betty White calls the other women “whores” eight or nine times, makes an oblique reference to something in her past worse than the Nazis, and just wanders the set taking cheap shots at the other characters. It is too easy.

As for the rest of the plot, the guy Valerie meets (and sleeps with) turns out to be married and she dumps him, but since they built a very large set for his boat and he is played by Bo Duke, John Schneider, odds are he’ll be back. The other women move in with her, and since the house is the size of Yonkers, why not? Jeez, can this look anymore like The Golden Girls?

Being set in Cleveland, I can only hope for episodes where the women schlurp down bratwurst, go to a Cavs game, and meet special guest star Bob Uecker.

Hot In Cleveland should do well. After all, TV Land repeats everything fifteen or sixteen times each week, so it is inevitable that we will all soon be mesmerized by the sight of Jane Leeves licking herself. She really needs to do it every episode.

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