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Hot in Cleveland: Season 1
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America’s hottest sitcom is now on DVD! When three best friends from Los Angeles (Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick) unexpectedly find themselves in Cleveland, they are thrilled to discover – THEY’RE HOT. Loving their new home, the women find themselves living under one roof and battling feisty, quick-witted caretaker (Betty White). Join the girls on their Cleveland escapades in this complete season one set. Free Elka!
TV Land's Hot in Cleveland plays like a throwback to a different era. Add four sitcom veterans and a bevy of zingers, and the result was a hit. Like The Golden Girls, which featured Betty White, each of the three younger women represents a different type: Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me) plays vain soap star Victoria, Jane Leeves (Frasier) plays cynical manicurist Joy, and Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time) plays sunny self-help author Melanie. If anything, Malick and Bertinelli are essentially reviving their signature characters, but that just puts them at their best advantage. And instead of one camera (see The Office, etc.), the multi-camera sitcom takes place in front of a live studio audience.
In the pilot, the single Los Angeles trio ends up in Cleveland en route to Paris due to plane trouble (only Joy, who gave a son up for adoption, has never been married). With nothing better going on back home, they decide to stay. As it turns out, their house comes with a caretaker: White's tracksuit-sporting widow Elka. It isn't a very believable scenario, but that isn't the intention. Instead, story lines revolve around the hopes and fears of women over 40.
Throughout the 10 episodes in the first season, their paramours include such familiar faces as John Schneider, Huey Lewis, Tim Conway, and Carl Reiner (Seinfeld's Wayne Knight also tries to seduce Mel, but with less success). Other guest stars include Hal Linden as Victoria's father, Shirley Knight as Mel's mother, and Joe Jonas as her son. The extras offer three featurettes, a blooper reel, Victoria's Japanese commercial for "lady pants," the original version of the first episode, and the pilot of Retired at 35. Hot in Cleveland may be a throwback, but these funny ladies make that seem like a virtue. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Retired at 35 Pilot
How’d They Get So Hot? Wardrobe on the Set
Victoria’s Japanese “Lady Pants” Commercial
Hot in Cleveland Set Tour
Hot in Cleveland Cast: We Love Our Age
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I particularly enjoy Jane Leeves, remembering her from Frazier and appreciating seeing her portray a different character in a different way. But singling her out is almost unfair, since everyone's performance is so accomplished.
Excellent show and wonderful actors.
After channel-surfing into the lead-up to season two, I decided to get the season one DVD. What a treat! My wife and I have watched all but the final episode and we are hooked.
The cast is exceptional and the writing is excellent. Are the situations contrived? Is the humor formulaic? Does Betty White get most of the snappers? Of course. --But it WORKS! I enjoy this show as much as Dick Van Dyke, MTM, Taxi, Cheers, or Frazier.
The only downside to season one is that it has too few episodes.
[In case you're wondering, Cleaveland lost its "a" because it was too long for the local paper's masthead.]