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TV review: TV Land's 'Hot in Cleveland'

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'Hot in Cleveland'
Three stars
9 p.m. Wednesday on TV Land

This may be a new sitcom, but it feels like a greatest hits album. "Hot in Cleveland" is fortunate enough to have not one, but two reheated "it" girls beloved by the public: Betty White and Valerie Bertinelli. They're joined by punchline pros Jane Leeves ("Frasier") and Wendie Malick ("Just Shoot Me") in a series that feels so familiar that it's essentially a re-cast "Golden Girls."

Bertinelli is a novelty book author who is traveling to Paris to get over a divorce. Her L.A. BFFs are Malick, an actress whose greatest role was battling lyme disease on a soap, and Leeves, the "eyebrow queen of Beverly Hills."

There's an unexpected stopover in Cleveland, and at a bar they have a Midwestern epiphany: Even at 50, they're considered attractive there.

"I feel young and hot," says Leeves. "Like they're undressing me with their eyes -- and not finding Spanx."

"Everyone's eating, and no one's ashamed," marvels Malick.

Bertinelli's character decides to stay in a house that comes with a pot-smoking, foul-mouthed caretaker: Betty White. If you saw her recent hosting stint on "Saturday Night Live," you won't be surprised to hear her refer to the girls as "whores."

"Hot in Cleveland" is formulaic, but has tremendous good will on its side. We love that Bertinelli has triumphed over Eddie Van Halen and pastries. It's comforting to see Malick and Leeves back where they belong, sharper than ever.

And Betty White? Basically, we're just happy she's still alive, and around to answer such pressing questions as "What's the deal with old ladies and track suits?"

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This page contains a single entry by Paige Wiser published on June 15, 2010 4:56 AM.

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