**** Don't miss my giveaway to win the Season 1 boxset right here ! ****
When I read the plot summary for the pilot episode of Hot In Cleveland, I wasn't entirely sure it would be my cup of tea because it sounded just too American. "This hilarious comedy centres on three fabulous best friends from LA who find their lives changed forever when their plane - headed for Paris - makes an emergency landing in Cleveland. When they discover that they are HOT in Cleveland, they decide to stay ! Starting over, they rent a house that happens to come with one very feisty octagenarian caretaker."
As I put the DVD on, the opening statement of "Hot In Cleveland has been recorded in front of a live studio audience" instantly had me squirming in my seat as that is often a warning that painfully-over-used canned laughter will be omnipresent, but I was actually pleasantly surprised. I've been watching back-to-back episodes for the last two hours and it's growing on me more and more.
It's not hugely original and reminds me of a lot of US soaps I used to watch back in the eighties, such as Rosanne or Friends. That's hardly surprisingly when you look at the people producing and starring in it. The big star is comedy legend Betty White, famous for her role in Golden Girls, who plays the straight-talking OAP caretaker and who reminds me of a ballsier American version of June Whitfield in Absolutely Fabulous ! The trio of man-hunting cougar-friends are also played by sitcom veterans - Valerie Bertinelli (Boston Legal), Jane Leeves (Frasier) and Wendie Malick (Seinfeld) - and it's created by Suzanne Martin who also worked on Frasier and Ellen. With a cast-list like that, it's inevitable that it ends up as a bit of a throwback to numerous other vintage US sitcoms but at least you know what to expect.
There are elements that annoy me - the one-sided characters, unrealistic sets and, above all, extremely irritating ba-ba-ba-ba theme tune - but if you fancy a bit of low-brow, easy viewing with slightly risqué humour and witty comebacks, it's perfect. I never used to watch The Golden Girls but apparently, it's similar so if you're nostalgic for the classic 80's sitcoms with a modern twist, it's well worth a watch.
The great news is, you can win the Season 1 boxset right here on my blog so don't miss your chance !
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £14.99
DVD Release Date: 25 April 2011
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