The second season of Hot in Cleveland, the TV Land sitcom about three rather shallow Los Angeles transplants living in Cleveland is now available on DVD. Yes, the show is formulaic, but overcomes that, thanks to the cast’s ability to deliver one-liners. Veteran TV actors Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves have wonderful comic timing, even when the jokes aren’t perfect.
Things begin where the first season left off with Elka (Betty White) in jail, suspected of hiding stolen property. During her stint behind bars, Elka runs into an old friend (Mary Tyler Moore) while Melanie (Bertinelli), Joy (Leeves) and Victoria (Malick) raise money for her bail. Elka’s lawyer suggests she attempt to be declared incompetent to avoid trial. As you can imagine, those attempts backfired, but Elka was eventually cleared of all charges.
Meanwhile, Melanie can’t forgive her cop boyfriend Pete (David Starzyk) for arresting Elka. Eventually, the two kiss and make up, but Melanie finds herself questioning the relationship when Pete’s mother (Bonnie Franklin) makes it clear she’s not good enough for her son. Further problems arise when Melanie realizes that Pete’s brother Hank (John Schneider) is the married guy she had a fling with a year earlier.
Joy has major immigration issues. It seems INS intends to deport her back to England, so she has to find a way to green card. Luckily for her (or maybe not), neighbor Rick (Wayne Knight) has an idea; why don’t the two of them get married? Rick still plans to be a “player,” so it would be an unusual arrangement to say the least. Though Joy eventually accepts the offer, the whole thing blows up after a series of convoluted, yet funny events. Joy is eventually given her green card thanks to a last minute deal by the governor’s wife (This is a show that often requires viewers to suspend belief).
With her financial advisor arrested on embezzlement charges, Victoria finds herself broke, and her assets frozen. In an effort to get out of debt, she comes up with various schemes. One of the most notable is her attempt to date a very elderly, wheelchair bound billionaire who dies on their first night out. To make matters worse, things aren’t going particularly well in her career. At an audition, Victoria learns that the part requires her to play Melanie Griffith’s mother! Fortunately, she managed to land a role job on All My Children alongside rival actress Susan Lucci, but of course, more shenanigans ensue.
The video and audio quality on the set is similar to the previous set. The widescreen presentation is just about as good as a show shot in 480i can offer. The audio is loud and clear, and can be heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound or Dolby Digital. Every episode contains closed-captioning in English.
The first special feature is “Hot in Cleveland Auto-Tuned” (0:49). This is just clips from the episode where they were playing with the auto-tune microphone. It’s funny, but doesn’t offer much. Next we have “Extended Betty Benderover Blooper” (1:27). This is hilarious, but why not have an entire blooper reel? Then we have two very short “On the Set of Hot in Cleveland” featurettes (1:09 and 0:45). Nothing really happens, though. Then we have “Cast Visits Cleveland” (1:06, 0:40, 1:27, 0:33, 0:33). we have interviews with Steve Taylor (Cleveland Zoo) and Howard Kramer (Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum). And finally we have interviews with the entire cast (2:18, 1:22, and 1:52).
There is one more special feature, but it is really more of a promotional thing for the truly awful TV Land original sitcom The Exes. You can see the entire pilot episode (21:10) on this set.
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