It was only earlier this season I was ranting about Hot in Cleveland going to great lengths to utilize any sitcom gimmick possible, and they've done it again with an animated episode that spoofs such classics as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Wizard of Oz. Now, I thought that the caricatures of the girls were amusing (though not as much as the doppelgangers), but this episode added nothing to the overall story, except remind the viewers how long the comedy has been running, and that Elka's life still has many mysteries. I've come to question the renewal for a sixth season (I hadn't even realized this show has been on the air for four years already!), but highly doubt that it will get a seventh.
Hot in Cleveland "Straight Outta Cleveland" (S05E17): Joy is supposed to seduce a guy to catch him in the act, but she feels awkward doing it with Mitch around, so Melanie volunteers. [... because people aren't going to start recognizing her around town from her radio show?] Except, she's not great at being sexy, as she comes off as a couples' counselor more than a "honey trap." [that's a term I've never heard before!] But the entire situation sends Joy and Mitch to preventative therapy, only to learn that they're snoops who don't trust anyone. Still, they decide that's enough and quit counseling.
Victoria's son, Tony, comes to visit. But, because Victoria has always thought of him as gay, he pretends his business partner is his romantic partner to keep her attention. [I wanted to hear more about his company.] Melanie and Elka learn the truth, and encourage him to tell Victoria, only she keeps upping the ante, causing him to fake an engagement when a big wedding comes with matching Porsches! The final straw is when the guys have to kiss in public, so Tony comes clean. [I didn't really care for the end scene between mother and son... they both just admit they pretend the other doesn't exist??]
Hot in Cleveland "The Animated Episode" (S05E18): It's been four years since the girls landed in Cleveland, and they decide that it's high time they see inside Elka's house. Once they enter, everything is animated, the dog talks, and Steven Tyler is inside the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. [yep, off to a wacky start!] Tyler grants them wishes, and rather than the obvious "world peace," Victoria, Melanie, and Joy all want "eternal youth and beauty." [I wouldn't have thought of world peace as a first wish, either.] They're sent to Paris, and after a Madeline spoof, they find golden tickets and visit the chocolate factory, with Elka as Willy Wonka and Mamie Sue as the Oompa Loompas. Of course, the women misbehave, with Joy using the inflatable room to boost her bust and butt, Melanie trading her brains for a thin bod, and Victoria taking so many youth pills she winds up an infant. [haha as breast size options being Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, and Jessica Rabbit.] They're brought back, unhappy.
The second wish is for men to be hungry for them, which only sets them in a world of zombies. Mamie Sue appears, tries to reason with the zombies, and turns into one herself. The ladies use a "tae bo" gun to kill them all, except Mamie Sue, whom they lock up. [why bother with the gun joke?] The girls go to Elka's secret lab and build perfect mates from body parts hanging around, and after a goof where the men fall for one another, Elka has Robert Redford, Joy has David Beckham, Victoria has George Clooney, and Melanie has Abraham Lincoln. [yes, I'm serious.] Three weeks later, the relationships are falling apart, and the men have created a garage band, so the women allow Mamie Sue to eat the guys. [gross.]
The final wish: that LeBron had never left Cleveland. [but Elka wasn't part of the first wish, so doesn't she still have one?] This makes the whole city more confident, but it also means that "better" people have moved there and the girls are no longer the hottest of the hott. [ha!] They go to see LeBron in a Wizard of Oz spoof, and he agrees to leave for Okinawa to solve the problem. ["isn't feeling good about yourself really just feeling better than others??" - love it.] Things immediately go crazy, and, as one might have guessed, the ladies decide to return to their usual lives once more.