A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this sitcom about three middle-aged women who relocate from L.A. to the Midwest relies on quotable one-liners about sex and other cheeky topics -- such as, "I say we kill him and make his underage whore watch." Characters also drink socially, which can sometimes lead to poor decision-making, and use words like "slut," "whore," and "bastard." There's also a joke that suggests that a character in her 80s smokes marijuana.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When their Paris-bound plane makes an emergency pit stop in Ohio, a trio of vacationing Los Angelinos -- longtime friends Melanie (Valerie Bertinelli), Victoria (Wendie Malick) and Joy (Jane Leeves) -- make an unexpected discovery: They're HOT IN CLEVELAND, a place where men actually pursue women their own age. They may have been "old" and "unattractive" in Los Angeles, but in the Midwest, they're the belles of the ball. So in a bid to test out the town, Melanie rents a vintage property for a pittance and inherits the house's feisty live-in caretaker (Betty White).
Is it any good?
In her late '80s, lovable comedienne Betty White is one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood, having buoyed box-office hits like The Proposal with her charms and hosted Saturday Night Live on the strength of a Facebook petition. But she's also the last surviving Golden Girl, making her a bit of a national treasure. So it stands to reason that her presence alone on this well-cast TV Land original series would lend a little street cred to its title.
For adults who grew up with her, it's great to see White cracking jokes about pot and sensible track suits, but she isn't the only one bringing the fire; Bertinelli, Leeves and Malick deliver well-tested chemistry as a trio of longtime friends, and former Frasier writer Suzanne Martin keeps them plied with well-penned one-liners. The set-up itself is a little forced, and the formula's hardly fresh, but it's a sitcom that succeeds in being funny.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's reliance on jokes about sex and sexual topics for a laugh. Why/how does a word like "whore" take on comedic connotations? Do these characters speak the way real women speak?
Who's the show's target audience? How can you tell?
What's the show's message when it comes to age and beauty? Does it shatter any commonly held stereotypes about women in their 40s, 50s ... and 80s?