Hot In Cleveland – Good Luck Faking The Goiter (S01E09) – Episode review

Good Luck Faking The Goiter had to be one of the busiest Hot In Cleveland episodes yet, with virtually all of the team having a decent part to play.

Melanie’s son comes to visit, but he’s clearly preoccupied with his cell phone, Victoria gets nominated for an award and ends up faking a terminal illness to improve her chances. And elsewhere, Joy starts seeing a host of psychiatrists, but seems to not quite grasp the concept of baring her soul to them.

Only Betty White seems to take a bit of a back seat in this episode. Her character Elka pops up a few times for comic effect, but she doesn’t have much else to do except deliver her usual sardonic one-liners.

What’s interesting about this episode is that it feels like Hot In Cleveland is finally finding its feet. The various storylines were more together than previous episodes. My biggest issue however, is that the acting was surprisingly wooden right across the board. We’ve got some incredible sitcom and soap actresses on this show, but their mannerisms (particularly Valerie Bertinelli) are just unconvincing – I could almost hear stage directions being yelled at the cast. I just wonder if the “filmed before a live studio audience” isn’t affecting the quality of the cast’s work.

Still, a guest turn from Joe Jonas was a success, particularly when he was in scenes with Elka and Joy (Jane Leeves) – firstly debating whether Justin Bieber is a boy or a girl with Elka, and receiving some amateur psychology with Joy (and then admitting to a crush on her mother’s older friend).

Victoria’s (Wendie Malick) award ceremony rivalry with a dead actress yielded some great results. Watching her twitch and spasm as she pretended that she had some obscure disease was a treat, especially since she was trying to get the sponsorship of a support group. Of course, as new symptoms stacked up, she was forced to come clean – only to discover that the group representatives were every bit as corrupt as she was!

If the cast can dial down the very obvious “playing it for laughs” acting, Hot In Cleveland might be a better show. And I know it’s a sitcom and of course the actresses are playing for laughs – but they just seem a tad robotic at the moment, like they’re simply reciting their lines instead of acting them.

Quotes from this episode

  • Victoria: “Waiter! I realize it’s only 8 O’clock in the morning, but we’re celebrating and I would like some champagne in my orange juice.” Waiter: “You mean the usual?”
  • Victoria: “Kids can be so ungrateful. I mean, you get them the best nannies money can buy and they blackmail you with threats to write a mommy dearest.”
  • Elka comments on how distant Melanie’s son is: “I hope it’s your daughter that’s gonna decide which home to put you in.”
  • Victoria: “You mustn’t blame yourself. Now I did absolutely everything I could for both my kids.” Joy: “You’ve got three kids.”
  • Victoria: “Where’s Elka? She said this thing had no symptoms and I’m out there limping around like Dr. House.”
  • Joy: “On the plus side, he’s not getting married. And you raised a son with enough character to break up with the wrong girl even though she has a truly spectacular set of knockers.”

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