Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hot in Cleveland: Melanie Chooses Bad Dates

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

There are times in television comedy where the plotlines are so extremely unrealistic that it works anyway. And, there are times when it doesn't work at all. This first episode is an example of the latter. Two characters who don't always get along being penned up together for three days in a small space should have been hilarious. It wasn't even the funnier of the two semi-boring plots. On the other hand, the second episode was fairly believable in terms of comedy. Too bad the bulk of the jokes could have been condensed down into half an episode. Don't get me wrong, I love Hot in Cleveland. But neither of these episodes were examples of the ensemble's best work. Do you disagree?

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Hot in Cleveland "Two Girls and a Rhino" (S03E07): Victoria is doing a story at the zoo, where two black rhinos are not reproducing as they should. Elka is there, too, as she volunteers at the zoo. [did we know this before?] Joy shows up, bringing Victoria some eye drops. [this write-the-character-into-the-scene seemed a tad forced to me...] The zookeeper realizes that Joy's scent and Elka's scent together excite the male rhino... so, they both must live there until the mating ritual is complete, which is a three-day event. Joy is hard to sell on this idea, and is creeped out at the idea of staying in the zoo (tho Elka loves it!). Elka starts conversing with some primates but Joy is upset because she's hungry. [I didn't understand why they weren't providing food for the ladies...]

Meanwhile, Victoria and Melanie are out at the bar, fishing for guys. They land a triathlete/janitor and a state senator. [interesting combination.] Melanie gloats at the idea of dating a politician, but the next morning she receives a dirty picture on her cell. The senator says that he was hacked, but Melanie wants to be sure, so she sneaks a look at his phone during dinner - no dirty pictures. [something's still odd, though...] However, she drops his phone in soup. [haha!] Later, she's at his house and sees a fancy face product that was in the background of the naughty photo, so she's sure that he's a creep after all. Elsewhere, Victoria finds out that her janitor boyfriend went to Princeton, but she's still pretty shallow about his profession, so it doesn't work out. [I wouldn't have expected anything less from her.]

The end? The rhino is pregnant and will eventually birth "Jelka." The Senator ends up resigning because of all the women coming forward in the sex-text scandal. The janitor wins millions in the lottery. [karma much?]

Hot in Cleveland "God and Football" (S03E08): Melanie takes Elka into a football locker room for her 90th birthday, where she squeezes the kicker's chest. [LoL.] However, while Elka wanders off to see some other attractive men, Melanie gets a ball thrown at her head and winds up in the hospital. The kicker comes to see her, and, although he's not the brightest guy, he asks Melanie to dinner and she accepts. [Melanie has the big dates in two episodes in a row? odd.] The other ladies are also at the hospital, and each becomes involved in something going on. The hospital is looking for AB- blood, which is the type Victoria has, but she will only donate if it's on-camera. [makes sense for the character. A bit rough in real life.] Unfortunately, she finishes before the crew arrives. [I did like the bit about Victoria not wanting cookies with fat in them and not wanting orange juice without vodka in it.] She jumps up when the television crew arrives, which causes her to faint. She envisions she's in heaven, and that Elka is God. She completely believes it when she comes to, and Elka plays it up, having heard her mumble in her unconscious state. Joy and Elka have physicals done, and the results show that Elka is a picture of health but Joy is in a sad state. [I wonder if we're supposed to believe that Joy has led such a more debilitating life than Melanie or Victoria?]

Melanie and the football player are getting quite a bit of publicity, but he decides that he's ready to quit playing football, one game from the end of the season. [is that common?] Melanie convinces him to finish it out, but he ends up being quite injured, and that makes Melanie annoyed... as a non-famous guy, he's pretty dumb. [you'd think she'd learn one of these times!] Joy, trying to give up drinking, smoking, etc. hits on the ex-player, trying to help Melanie break up with him. It doesn't work out, however, and Melanie has to break it to him gently. [Melanie played the whole thing poorly. Why not make sure it's going the way you plan before you barge in shouting things?] He immediately asks out his nurse, who accepts. [whaaaa? jerk.] Victoria is volunteering all over the place, but it soon starts to wear on her. However, fearing God/Elka's wrath, she continues. But, Melanie and Joy get a laugh out of Elka having Victoria convinced that she was God, and we are treated to the line that "you may not be God, but you are certainly divine." [The gag at the end with Joy adding an extra 0 to make her "900" was funny. They shouldn't have shown part of that in the commercials for this episode.]
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