Thursday, May 8, 2014

RETURNING: Hot in Cleveland: The Girls' Busy Lives

It seems weird to me that this sitcom has already aired 87 episodes... I feel like it only premiered a year and a half ago (the pilot debuted 4 years ago next month!), when in reality they're already doing a second live show, and really getting into tougher topics like cancer while maintaining the light and snobby humor that is unique to this series. Don't know what I mean? Take a look at this:
Can you think of another comedy airing these days telling joked like that? While the overall appeal for the program is dwindling for me (faked deaths, long-lost relatives, and revolving recurring characters aren't my thing), I have to seriously wonder how much longer Betty White can keep going... and if the show will move on without her if it comes to it. Her mobility seems to be getting worse, judging by the staging we're seeing in the first batch of episodes this season, and as much as I adore her, her comedic timing also seems a tad off... it still works for her, but will it bother audiences?

Hot in Cleveland "Stayin' Alive" (S05E01): [Be aware that this is a live episode that chronologically doesn't fit the ongoing stories. and, for some reason, Alex Trebek is popping in and out...] The group heads out to one of Elka's old hideouts, but there are already two criminals on the run there with Mamie - Mr. & Mrs. Robinson. [see the mics at the top of the screen here and there?] Lily grabs all the phones, and the felons announce that they'll be there for a while - a plastic surgeon is coming to alter Chester's appearance. [yeah, I'm shaking my head on this one!] The surgeon is obsessed with Victoria... from her Ladypants commercials! A marriage counselor also shows up, to keep a standing appointment with the troubled couple. [jaw drop on the Rue McClanahan joke! also, LOVED how everyone was trying to convey to the counselor that they're in danger, and Mamie didn't understand how to grow the conversation.] Joy tries to go out the kitchen window while Mamie and Elka make smoke signals with the fireplace, and Victoria winds up at gunpoint when she admits that she's not going to be making more LadyPants commercials. [yeah, this all got a bit ridiculous...] The smoke leads a boy scout their way, but at least Park Ranger Trebek also sees them and comes to save the day. [his puns got to be too much, though.]

Hot in Cleveland "Surprise!" (S05E02): Back to the storyline, the episode uses a polygraph to get viewers caught up on the lives of Victoria, Melanie, and Joy. When Melanie finally tells Alec about her pregnancy, it winds up being in a room full of his friends due to a surprise party. [omg that's awful!] He wants to be supportive, as does his new girlfriend, but it turns out that Melanie actually has a pituitary tumor masking itself as a pregnancy. [I totally didn't know that could happen!] She'll be going through radiation treatment and potentially surgery, and Alec offers to stand by her, though she says she's got her own support group. 

The girls are also trying to track down Emmet using the pair of rare and expensive heels that he was wearing. [he broke out of prison and wore Victoria's clothes to get away.] They wind up tracing him to a community theater in Newark, and Victoria tries to get more information out of an FBI agent by flattering him, though he sees through her. Emmet sends a note inside the shoes, which Melanie buys over eBay. [meh.]

Hot in Cleveland "Dr. Who?" (S05E03): Wilbur has been wait-listed for an exclusive preschool, and he's also entering beauty pageants, courtesy of Victoria. When a slot becomes available and the interview is scheduled, the whole family is supposed to take part, despite the fact that Joy's son will have to rush from the airport to sit in a meeting with the father he's never met, who just arrived. [yep, it's about as awkward as it sounds!] The dynamics in the room are off, and when Wilbur arrives, he's dressed as a prince, so that doesn't really help matters. Victoria stays, playing the kid's aunt, and Joy winds up admitting the truth, which boots them from the school. The truth about Owen meeting Joy comes out to Simon as well. 

Elka goes with Melanie to find a doctor, as she's looking for someone ugly, because that must mean he only dated a little and focused on his studies during medical school. [haha, nice logic!] Ten doctors later, Melanie is obsessed with trying to get a doctor who isn't taking on new patients... so she joins J-date to try meeting him, but that immediately fails. [her Jewish act was amusing, though!] 

Hot in Cleveland "The Undead" (S05E04): Victoria learns that Emmet died in a plane crash, but he actually faked his death and hopes Victoria will do the same so they can live happily ever after in the mountains of another country. [seriously??] She immediately feels she must do it, though her friends disagree. [well, yeah!] Melanie handles the press, but Simon thinks he could become famous by releasing the truth, so Joy threatens to end the relationship if he does. Victoria's children can't make the memorial service, but Victoria sits among the mourners to see what people are saying. [eh, we've seen this before.] Susan Lucci says rude things, steals Victoria's Emmy award, and shocks her longtime rival. [Lucci's speech wouldn't work if the body wasn't found!] Victoria decides that she can't leave, but that's an easy fix because both the press and the service were fake-faked! [I think this was WAY over-the-top!] The whole situation forces Simon to decide to stop working in the tabloids and become a documentarian. [that'll take him away again!]

Hot in Cleveland "Elka Takes a Lover" (S05E05): The girls talk about who they are bringing to the Cleveland Rhapsody Premiere. Joy tries to text a model, Stone, but she winds up texting Melanie's dentist, so now she's stuck with him. [a chronic status updater? am I just too young for the demographic this show is going for?] Joy's hopeful date winds up to be Bob, who has brought his parents (deaf Canadians) to meet her. [what kind of shenanigan are they going for here?] Elka has taken a younger man, Luke, as a lover. Emmy arrives as Victoria's guest, and she's eight months pregnant AND married. [she couldn't make it to her mother's funeral in the previous episode, though?] The father is a teacher, which confuses Victoria, as she's used to actresses getting pregnant by directors or co-stars. [haha.] Emmy plans to name her baby Melon, and quit her series to raise the child. Victoria becomes more and more estranged, but when Emmy goes into labor on the way to the Premiere, Bob delivers the baby in the limo, and Victoria goes to the hospital with Emmy over attending the Premiere. [I bet the audience is supposed to go "awwww!" here, but not me. I was like, "seriously? another kid on this show??] 

Hot in Cleveland "Rusty Banks Rides Again" (S05E06): Victoria has each of her friends track down an Oscar voter who lives in the Cleveland area, with varying results. Elka's charge was a child actor who doesn't vote anymore because he doesn't act anymore. [yay, John Mahoney is back! and I'm laughing that he's an actor who became a waiter instead of the other way around!] Victoria offers to bankroll a dream movie for the guy, hoping to sway him into voting (for her). Joy's is a young lady in therapy who hardly speaks, so it's difficult to persuade her. Victoria infiltrates the situation to get the girl to give up acting and withdraw from being a nominee. [a bit too far, no?] Melanie was obsessed with hers as a teen and winds up being issued a restraining order to keep away from the man. 

Hot in Cleveland "The One With George Clooney" (S05E07): Joy has a relationship end, Victoria is forgetting things, and Melanie is going crazy with all of her doctor's appointments, so the girls decide to adopt a dog. An inspector comes by to see if they're "dog-ready," and the girls don't know how to answer most of his questions. [kinda funny.] He then hits on Melanie, Victoria, and Joy individually, playing to their weaknesses. After sleeping with each, he hits them up for money "for the animal shelter," and it's only hours before the girls realize they've been duped. He stole the shelter's database, but tries to get them to let him go by saying that they've probably all paid more for things that meant less. [what a con artist!] He gets arrested, the girls identify him, and a dog named George Clooney joins the household. [what, exactly, is this going to add to the show?]

Elsewhere, Elka and Mamie Sue learn that they're both dating Rusty, and the age-old conversation about sharing him happens before they decide to make him choose. [jigsaw puzzle innuendo.]  However, he's a mama's boy and wants her to pick for him, leaving the ladies to both leave him.  
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