Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hot in Cleveland: Gimmicks Like Dogs and Trips

Hot in Cleveland is a comedy, no doubt about that. However, sometimes it seems to take some significant lengths to accomplish that, and many scenes feel forced. Not only does it make certain to keep even the most serious of storylines lighthearted and short, give the girls constant job and relationship changes to keep things interesting, and make additional characters (Mamie Sue, Wilbur, Emmet, etc.) come and go as they please, it's also using animals and unbelievable trips to get laughs. Now, the cruise a few years ago was funny, but as there were no exterior scenes in this New York trip, no mentions of jet lag or travel issues, and hardly a mention of any landmarks outside Radio City, it was hard to believe that the girls were anywhere different but a new set. Try harder, guys.

Hot in Cleveland "Bad George Clooney" (S05E09): The dog seems depressed, so the girls ask a radio personality to come chat with it, only to learn that the dog is picking up on the girls' negativity. [yet another reason not to have a dog.]
Melanie and Victoria have had sad recent events in their lives, and Joy and Elka are constantly sniping at one another. So, everyone tries to fix their problems... Melanie decides to become a bartender, because her life had purpose when she gave advice to her kids. [how incredibly random!] Joy and Elka take to telling one another the opposite of what they're thinking, so their interactions are positive. Victoria tries going out with a "regular guy" at the bar, who turns out to be their married neighbor. [why bring in more ridiculous drama?]

But, none of these answers are working out, and the girl lie when they have their follow-up with the pet whisperer on the radio. So, when the host says that the dog reported improvement, they call her out and she winds up quitting, admitting that she can't talk to animals. [ha!] Because Melanie encouraged her to go do what she really wants, calls start coming in for Melanie, and she's soon offered her own slot at the station... and Victoria agrees to a date with another Average Joe - Melanie's new board operator. Plus, they're able to figure out what was wrong with George Clooney - he just wanted a canine companion.

In a random side story, the neighbor comes over, claiming that the girls' dog got into her house and chewed the cord on her Crockpot. [this was really just to remind the audience who the girls' neighbors were.]

Hot in Cleveland "Bucket: We're Going to New York" (S05E10): Melanie and Elka go to a nude beach, as Melanie wants to check things off her bucket list. This gets the girls chatting about other things they want to do, and Victoria thinks about apologizing to an old roommate, Maddie, about a big audition callback she never told her about. [how malicious!] And, when she thinks the truth might win her some Oscar karma points, she sets up a trip to New York to stay in the woman's apartment and then leave a message with the truth. [seriously??] The girls tag along to fulfill some of their own desires... Elka wants to sell Polish polish that smells like pot, Melanie wants to eat and shop, and Joy wants to re-audition for the Rockettes.

When the group gets to New York, they find out that Maddie isn't actually on a cruise like she's supposed to be, having been dumped. [that sucks.] Maddie and Victoria decide to throw a party for a retiring professor, and plan to perform a scene from a four-hour play they wrote and now may want to stage. [it sounds awful!] Elka and Joy strike out in their ventures, but when they hear investors are going to the party, including one who owns Radio City Music Hall, they perk up. [ha!] Meanwhile, Melanie enjoys some knishes, then gets frisky with a stranger in the elevator.

At the party, things go south as Melanie learns she slept with Maddie's ex-boyfriend, Elka ruins Maddie's Tony award with her polish, and the guy who got Maddie the audition that Victoria didn't tell her about shows up. The secret gets out, and it turns out that Maddie did that same thing to Victoria, so all is well. [but the Tony is still ruined...?]
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