Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hot in Cleveland: A Joke Too Far

Sometimes, a sitcom takes a funny episode too far and ruins the experience. This happened several times with Frasier, for instance, and the hilarity of the first twenty minutes was ruined by an over-the-top gag in the final two. "Cleveland Indians" was this type of episode, with Joy putting on a charade for her (grand)son's potential pediatrician, whose closeted son is in love with Victoria's wedding planner. Add in Elka as Joy's British grandmother, and there is comedic gold in the world. Keep going and make the caterer the doctor's long-lost son from halfway around the world, and you have unbelievable garbage. It's too bad, as the previous episode ("Look Who's Hot Now") did absolutely nothing for the series, acting as a collage of gags, goofs, guest stars, and a series summary, existing mainly to plug Kirstie Alley's new TVLand show. Let's hope stronger installments are coming.

Hot in Cleveland "Cleveland Indians" (S04E20): Joy wants to find a new pediatrician for Wilbur, but the best one isn't taking new clients unless they're Indian. [is that illegal?] So, Joy pretends to be Indian, and does such a good job that the doctor wants to set up her son with Joy. [The doctor has a 40-year-old son? if she gave birth as soon as she finished medical school, she'd be like 65...] Joy invites them both over for dinner (pretending that she made an authentic Indian dinner when she really hired a caterer), and when Victoria's wedding planner hears about it, he demands to be invited or he won't help with the prison nuptials. He claims to want to break into the Indian wedding circuit, but in reality he's been seeing the doctor's son, Ravi, for two years. [before that became obvious, however, it was cute to see Joy and Ravi flirt.]
Elka returns home after a disappointing callback for The Importance of Being Earnest and winds up posing as Joy's British mother. [that was a nice touch that I didn't see coming!] Except, she gets insanely jealous upon learning that the part went to the doctor, and winds up exposing everything. Things start looking up again, however, when the caterer turns out to be the son that the doctor put up for adoption years ago. [okay, if the caterer was born right after the doctor finished her studies, and she hadn't even met Ravi's father yet, this puts the doctor around 70!]
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1 comment:

shabet said...

I thought that this was lending itself back to "The Importance of Being Earnest" where a lost handbag identified one main character as the long-lost nephew of Lady Bracknell, the role Elka and the doctor were vying for.