From left to right: Victoria, Melanie, Joy and Elka
Hot in Cleveland is an American sitcom on TV Land starring Valerie Bertinelli (Melanie Moretti), Jane Leeves (Rejoyla "Joy" Scroggs), and Wendie Malick (Victoria Chase) as three past-their-prime entertainment industry veterans from Los Angeles. One day, their lives are changed when their Paris-bound plane makes an emergency landing in Cleveland, Ohio. Here, the group finds a welcoming community that is less shallow, youth-obsessed and weight-conscious than LA. Melanie falls in love with the place and leases a home with sassy caretaker Elka Ostrovsky, played by Betty White. It's essentially Golden Girls with a slightly younger cast. The series, which is TV Land's first original scripted series, premiered on June 16, 2010, and was the channel's highest rated telecast in the cable network's fourteen-year history.The show is written by Suzanne Martin (Frasier, Ellen) and is executive produced by Sean Hayes (yes, that one) and Todd Milliner for Hazy Mills Productions. The series is taped in front of a live studio audience at CBS' Studio City in Los Angeles using a multi-camera format. The show was renewed for a fifth season.
This series provides examples of:
Accidental Marriage: In the season two finale, Joy and Victoria wake up to discover that they got married the other night. It isn't until the end that they discover they married each other.
Adam Westing: Susan Lucci seems to be getting a big kick out of playing an exaggerated version of herself as a mean, vindictive, spiteful rival and frenemy to Victoria.
Artistic License - Geology: In the season one finale, Melanie tells Joy to take her cellphone with her on her booty call, because "if this tornado gets any worse, I want to be able to get ahold of you!" That's not how tornados work - it is how a hurricane works, however!
Possibly justified in that the girls haven't lived in Cleveland long and most likely don't have much experience with Midwestern weather.
Ascended Extra: Elka was only supposed to appear in the pilot, but was so well-received by early viewers, she was made into a core cast member.
Author Appeal: Betty White's decades-long support of animal rights has crept into Elka more and more.
In a very odd coincidence that can be considered creepy. Elka and Sophia followed very similar paths. Elka was originally a much smaller part, but Betty White's Popularity Power convinced the producers to expand her character. Interestingly, Elka's Golden Girls Expy Sophia follows a similar path. Originally conceived as a Drop-In Character, Sophia responded so well with fans, the writers wrote out their original fourth character (Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy's gay cook, Coco) and wrote Sophia in.
Let's keep this going. Victoria could be the show's Blanche, rather self-centered and vain. Joy is the second-in-command Deadpan Snarker, similar to Dorothy. Melanie is the hardest to compare, although she does tend to be a rather sweet and naive Rose-type at times. At one point, Jane Leeves actually said the show could be called The Silver Girls.
One reviewer called Victoria the new Dorothy and Joy the new Blanche, but both women share qualities of each of those Golden Girls. Victoria has Blanche's vanity and self-centered nature while Joy has Blanche's sex life, and both women display ample amounts of Dorothy's snark. Elka tends to pick on Joy the most, rather like Sophia singled out Dorothy more often than not (though Blanche was not immune either). Either comparison works.
I Want Grandkids: Joy's mother reminds her about never having children every time they speak. Turns into Be Careful What You Wish For when Owen shows up... and then shows up later with a son. Joy's mum is less than pleased initially about the situation since both were born out of wedlock and she was also never told of them until the very last moment.
Japandering: Victoria dreamed of the day that she build enough success, respect, and credibility as an actor to piss it all away for a boatload of cash. She didn't, however, expect it to be for "Lady Pants."
Parents as People: Even though their children are grown & college aged, this is prominent with Victoria's character in her children's childhoods. She has even forgotten how many kids she has on multiple occassions.
Victoria: - It was like that for both of my pregnancies
Melanie: Victoria, you have 3 kids....
Victoria: *surprised look on her face*
Granted, she could've had a multiple birth but it's always stated in a way that points to the otherwise.
Reality Is Unrealistic: Victoria entered and LOST a look-a-like contest, as herself. She was supposed to be a drag queen look-a-like, but she still lost (to a Susan Lucci look-a-like.)
Rich Bitch: Victoria can be considered an example, except her finances, or lack thereof are a recurring problem for her.
Show Within a Show: Edge of Tomorrow, a recently cancelled daytime drama where Victoria played the role of Honor St. Raven. A glimpse of the show (its last episode, actually) is seen in season 3, revealing that it ended in a cliffhanger.