The Bottom Line
- Entertaining and likable stars in a team of sitcom veterans
- Occasional unexpectedly funny lines
- Simple but appealing premise
- Jokes and storylines mostly stick to outdated sitcom conventions
- One-dimensional characters
- Loud, overbearing laugh track
- Premiere airs June 16, 2010, at 10 p.m. EST on TV Land
- Stars Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves, Betty White
- Created by Suzanne Martin
Guide Review - 'Hot in Cleveland' Premiere
It does help that old pros Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves, who have decades of sitcom experience among them, play the show’s main characters, three middle-aged friends from L.A. who are passing their career and relationship primes and need a new start. They basically get one character trait each, but they play it well, and can deliver lame jokes with enough enthusiasm to almost make them entertaining. The show’s not-so-secret weapon is current pop-culture phenomenon Betty White, who plays the caretaker of the house in Cleveland where the three friends take up residence. White’s dialogue isn’t really any better than the rest of the characters’, but she has a delightfully offhand way of delivering lines, and she isn’t burdened with the responsibility of character development, so all she has to do is show up and say something funny, at which she mostly succeeds.
Although the premise of the show is that these glamorous women, considered over the hill in L.A., get the attention they deserve in the more down-to-earth environment of Cleveland, it doesn’t do much with the setting. We’re solidly in sitcom-land, no matter what city is in the title. The edges are rounded off, the jokes are pre-digested, and everything is as bland as possible. It’s a perfect time-filler between episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond.