Monday, August 31, 2015

My Little Love Letter to 'Hot in Cleveland'

A few years ago, we realized that cable tv was costing us way too much money each month, especially considering that we mostly watched shows streaming on our computers. We became "cord cutters" and bid adieu to cable altogether, bought a Roku box, and now watch all of our shows via the internet (though still on our television screens). It works really well for us.

Early in the summer, we discovered a gem of a show on Hulu called "Hot in Cleveland". The simple yet brilliant premise (as quoted from Google):
  1. When their plane has trouble while on a flight to Paris, three glamorous LA women find themselves in a completely new and unexpected place. Feeling the need for a girls-only, once-in-a-lifetime trip, Melanie cashes in her airline miles to finance a trip to the city of light for herself and her two best friends, Joy and Victoria, all "of a certain age" and feeling less than desirable. They never make it to Paris, though -- when the stricken plane lands in Cleveland, the women suddenly find they're popular with the men there. Realizing that while they may be lukewarm in LA, they're hot in Cleveland, the women decide to relocate. They immediately fall in love with their rental house. It takes a little longer, however, for them to warm up to the house's longtime caretaker (Betty White).
We watched the last episode of their six season run last night, and I'm feeling a little bit glum this morning, having said goodbye to four incredible characters played by four fabulously talented actresses.

"Melanie" played by the still-too-cute-for-words Valerie Bertinelli:

She talks too much and has her flaws, but she is the glue that holds the foursome together. She is a faithful-to-the-end friend...the kind all of us need on a bad (or great) day.

"Victoria" played by the one and only Wendy Mallick:

She's ambitious to a fault, loves to make dramatic announcements, can't see past the end of her nose, but she's fabulous and hilarious, and you can't help but love her.

"Joy" played by the incomparable Jane Leeves:

She's sweet and kind, but so unlucky in love. Though her name is Joy, she struggles to find it in her life. She's the underdog with the longest legs, and I found myself rooting for her from the get go.

"Elka" played by comic genius Betty White:

After seeing her play sweet, bubble headed "Rose" on Golden Girls for so many years, it was a delight to watch her as the straight-shooting, no-nonsense, foul-mouthed, booze-swilling Elka. Betty White's timing, at 93 years old, is still absolutely impeccable. What a treasure she is!

Together, the four women have an undeniable chemistry. All four of the actresses have acknowledged in interviews how very special this experience has been for them--the kind of acting opportunity that is incredibly rare. Betty White said that they plan to meet up for lunch once a week to write a book together--freely admitting that the book will never be written, but it's a lovely excuse for them to see each other once a week to talk about the book!

The show ended with all four women sitting on their porch swing, where they often sat during the run of the show. It does my heart good to know that their real life friendship goes on, as well. I'll miss laughing at/with these fabulous characters. It was true escapist TV viewing for me, and for my nightly summer laughs, I'm grateful. Thank you, ladies, for making me love you!