Hot in Cleveland shouldn't have been tucked away at 10 p.m. to make its premiere: This playfully naughty throwback starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Betty White is the kind of thing a network would program at 8 p.m. nowadays. That is, if networks had any use for women stars over the age of 40. Which was the point of this show, debuting on the home of fond dreams, cable's TV Land, after a slew of Everybody Loves Raymond reruns.
If you bought the premise - three Los Angeles gals stranded in Cleveland find that they like the place, because they can eat junk food without guilt and there's not a working-class lug in sight who knows the meaning of manscapingÂ - then you bought this show.
The jokes were wan, but the performances were plucky. If Bertinelli seemed stifled as the show's good-girl, Malick made the most of her florid aging soap-star persona, and Leeves left Frasier's Daphne behind as a man-hungry woman who yelped yearningly, I haven't felt like a piece of meat in so long!Â
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