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.

16 Responses to “My Review of Hot In Cleveland”

  1. TexasTrailerParkTrash June 19, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    I’m hoping it will get better as more “wacky” characters get introduced further on in the season. Think Larry, Darryl and Darryl on “Newhart”–they saved that show from oblivion. But, I dunno.

    And that boat set! The guy’s a plumber but the boat interior looked like something Bernie Madoff might have owned.

    I’ve never been to Cleveland, but from your description it sounds…um…lovely.


    • bmj2k June 19, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

      Want further proof that Cleveland does not rock?
      Sitcoms set in NYC actually take place in the heart of NYC- think Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and The City, etc.
      Sitcoms set in Cleveland actually take place in some suburb or outskirt of the city- Drew Carey, Hot in Cleveland.
      If there was any material at all in Cleveland, someone would have used it by now. Urban decay is not funny.


      • Heaven Kane November 25, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

        Have you ever actually been to Cleveland or Talked to the people who live hear. The answer is no. I don’t know where you live but ill bet somewhere in there you have homeless people, hookers, drug dealer or some other shit going down. Now tell me how would you feel if someone visited that part of where you lived and then shaped there whole view of it on the bad, without visiting the nice places and trashed it in a stupid blog. That said it was pretty much a cesspit that sucks and should never be visited i say that person is an ignorant fool. Believe me when i say i was ready to cuss the person who wrote this blog out and you out, but decided that would only be stooping to your level and stopped. Next time you write something think. And have a nice fucking day!:) P.S. I like watching hot in cleveland very much.


        • bmj2k November 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

          Of course I have been to Cleveland- I said that I had and it was all true. Dirty, run down, nothing going on.

          But some research shows me that maybe there are good things about Celevland:


  2. JRD Skinner June 19, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    Ottawa also has a giant spider – or maybe it’s the same giant spider, transplanted?

    I’m a Betty White fan, but her new round of fame is a bit perplexing. Has everyone been watching Match Game reruns or something?

    The only realistic part of this television scenario is that the house in Cleveland comes with an old woman already squatting in it.


    • bmj2k June 19, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

      The best part of Match Game was Brett Somers.


      • JRD Skinner June 19, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

        I’m still a big fan of Charles Nelson Reilly. The man knew neck fashion.


        • bmj2k June 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

          He was a very frequent Tonight Show guest. Why? He lived extremely close to the studio so he could go on at the last minute when a guest cancelled.


  3. Bill July 18, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Fuck you. Cleveland is a beautiful city, that just happeneds to need a face lift. But, it’s old, and like anything old, it’s valuable and should be cherished as a piece of history. I mean, it’s Cleveland for heavens sakes!


    • bmj2k July 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

      Bill, Bill, if only you had said this to LeBron, I’m sure he would have stayed. You made so many well-reasoned points, “Fuck you” being your smartest.

      “Cleveland is a beautiful city, that just happeneds (sic) to need a face lift.” Hmm. I don’t think the Acropolis needs a facelift, nor does Prague. Were Cleveland so beautiful, would it need a facelift? I don’t think so. There is a difference between Sophia Loren and Betty White . Sure, Cleveland is old, but it is no Sophia Loren.

      “And, like anything old, it’s valuable.” Really? Try getting your old velvet Elvis painting on Antiques Road Show. Doesn’t work that way pal. Supply and demand determine value, and judging from the way Cleveland is emptying out, there is no demand for Cleveland.

      “And should be cherished as a piece of history.” OK, I looked it up. Cleveland history: 1969- Your river caught on fire.

      In 2000 Cleveland was the 33rd largest US city. Today? 43rd. Face it Bill- Cleveland is a fail city.

      But seriously Bill, thanks for playing!


  4. Heaven Kane November 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    oh yeah and about nothing being shot in cleveland jerk. Ever heard of “batman”, or how bout “spiderman” or best of all the fucking “avengers.”


    • bmj2k November 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

      Those movies were shot in Cleveland not because it is beautiful or wonderful but because it is CHEAP. Be proud that all those films were shot on location in Cleveland- it is like being proud of drinking store-brand cola instead of Pepsi.


      • bmj2killer October 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

        Your complaints of Cleveland can be identical of at least a couple dozen major cities in America. Such negativity directed specifically to Cleveland can only make me think that someone from Cleveland F-ed your Mom, split, then you were born.


        • bmj2k October 2, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

          Nah, born and raised in Brooklyn. But I have to say that Cleveland is probably not as bad as I said. After all, it beats Detroit. Enjoy your second rate city.



  1. World Wide News Flash - June 24, 2010

    My Review of Hot In Cleveland…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…


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    […] In the States, I’ve been to Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlantic City, San Diego, Boston, Houston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Orlando, and of course my hometown of New York, not to mention […]


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