'Hot in Cleveland' just got me hot under the collarJuly 24, 2012 - 7:00am
Comedy shows are not my forte but I chanced upon Hot in Cleveland on Sky Living on Wednesday and saw a few old faces, so I stay tuned.
On the screen were John Mahoney of Frasier (and in Galway for the past week or so, performing in The Outgoing Tide for the Galway Arts Festival) playing the part of a waiter, so I guessed it was a guest role.
Then there was Jane Leeves, who played Daphne in the same sit-com, which I did love and in fact was one of the few of that type of show that I did watch.
The show, which is on its second series, is about four single women living together in one house, the oldest of them being Betty White, aged 90, who used to star in The Golden Girls, another old favourite of mine. The more I think about it, I used to watch a few good comedy shows but not so much now, though the BBC’s Outnumbered and Modern Family are two of the best of what’s on offer now.
But back to Hot in Cleveland. As I had never watched this before I didn’t understand the connection between the women or the premise of the show, though in this genre the most important thing is the one-liners in a loose, usually silly plot performed and filmed in front of a real audience. Afterwards, though, canned laughter is added if the audience are a dead duck.
Many years ago, I sat in an audience in a studio in Los Angeles for the recording of a comedy pilot. A friend of a friend was a cameraman who, as a child, had a part in the Western Shenandoah.
Anyway, it was very stilted. In front of you are a number of sets, at least four if my memory serves me right, and scenes are filmed as live but there were some stops and retakes so it’s not fine entertaining as such.
That particular pilot never reached our shores and the only thing I remember about it was the last scene where a couple danced to The Tennessee Waltz.
So, since then, I cast a cold eye on these sit-coms, much preferring the English made comedies which appear more natural and realistic.
The plot of Hot in Cleveland in last week’s episode was horrendous.
Each of the women find a blind date for one another going by the women’s wish list for a man.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.