Elka was arrested and booked at the end of the season 1 finale for possessing a cellar full of stolen goods that her husband had acquired while working for the mob. Later, we witnessed Betty doing Betty very well, reminding Wendie Malick’s pompous and out-of-touch soap actress character Victoria Chase, “I’m in freaking jail!” Indeed she was.Betty White launched the season 2 premiere of TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland last night very fittingly—in an orange jumpsuit, singing quite the entertaining rendition of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” from her jail cell. White just turned 89, and, as evidenced by her singing here, she has more panache than people one quarter of her age. As you might remember, her character
And what do you know? In the slammer, Betty ran into none other than her old Mary Tyler Moore castmate, star Mary Tyler Moore, who was playing a fellow cellmate in a hilarious nod to the pair’s storied history together. While Betty’s Elka was there for possession of stolen goods, Moore was there for “drunk and disorderly,” she explained. “Or, as I like to call it: Tuesday.” Of course, the show’s writers couldn’t help but have a little fun with the two: “So, let’s not wait another 33 years to do this again, OK, stretch?” White said to Moore as she was carted out of the jail cell. Consider this reunion a success.
Elka’s jail set the tone for the rest of the episode (and, yes, the rest of the season), with her three pals Melanie (Valerie Bertinelli), Joy (Jane Leeves), and Victoria (Wendie Malick) trying their best to come up with ways to bail her out. The best idea that they could come up with was a garage sale, which led Joy—who spent most of the episode trying to talk her out of marrying Rick (Wayne Knight) for a green card so she could stay in the country, but failing—to sell Victoria’s “chill pills” to the mailman. That, of course, just happened to be overheard by Melanie’s (totally hottt) police officer boyfriend Pete (David Starzyk), who sent Joy to prison with Elka. Victoria bellyached after she found out that all of her money had been involved in a Ponzi-esque scheme. “I’ve been Madoff-ed!” she yelled. And Melanie spent most of the episode mad at police officer Pete for sending both Elka and Joy to prison. As you might have guessed, it all came together nicely in the end—with the cast gingerly sitting around their favorite booth in their favorite bar together. Awww, sweet. Life is fun in a sitcom. Are things ever not eventually happy in Cleveland? I seriously hope it’s never otherwise.
Of course, one of the best parts of Hot in Cleveland is the show’s genius one-liners. Shall I share my favorites? Well, don’t mind if I do. If you’ve got any I’m missing, leave ’em in the comments below.
“Oh, you’re right, they do look like hookers.” —Mary Tyler Moore, to Elka, she she meets Elka’s three, younger pals in jail
“That’s not how you punish a man—you talk more!” —Elka, after Melanie says she’s punishing Pete by not talking to him
“I am Victoria Chase. I’m rich—and famous!…Half my identity is gone!” —Victoria, after she realizes she’s got no money anymore
“People are shaping their own brows? Do we live in a third-world country?” —Victoria, after Joy says that people aren’t getting as many eyebrow shapings with the economy the way it is
“Oh, I’ve got bars—no offense.” —Victoria, to the jail-bound Elka, about her cell phone
“Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God! My business manager has been indicted on tax fraud. All of my assets are frozen. I’ve been Madoff-ed!” —Victoria, after she realizes she’s got no money anymore
“I can’t be poor. I’m flying private on Thursday for botox.” —Victoria, wining about having no money anymore
“You’re got to front up and bug down, b—-! It’s prison slang.” —Elka, telling the girls to toughen up
“The joint changes you. I also know how to kill somebody with a toothbrush.” —Elka, about her time in prison
“That’s what makes it so chic. It screams ‘I have people to carry my things!’” —Victoria, trying to sell a tiny purse she thinks is work $4,000
“Hi, I’m Rick, and this is Joy, my fiancé. I notice your expression just changed. You were surprised to hear we were a couple. I don’t want to put words into your mouth, but several explanations must have popped into your head. He must have money. Or he’s extraordinarily gifted in bed. Or he’s so incredibly wonderful that she was able to overlook his non-conformist body type. Did any of these thoughts occur to you?” —Rick, while talking to a stranger at the gals’ garage sale to try to prove to her that people will see right through their sham marriage, if it happens
“Your mouth is saying, ‘Hell no,’ but you eyes are saying merely, ‘no.’” —Rick, after Joy refuses his marriage proposal
“Don’t call a woman ‘ma’am’—we hate it. Call us ‘Miss’ until the day we die.” —Melanie, to Pete’s officer-in-training, who calls her “ma’am”
“Well, we know who the bitch is going to be.” —Elka, to Joy, when she joins her in jail
“Two of my pals just got out of prison. God, I sound like white trash already. By this time tomorrow, I’ll be listening to Skynard and wearing a tube top.” —Victoria, in the continued fallout from her cash being gone
“Who do you have to shag to get a drink around here?” —Elka, at bar after being sprung from jail
“Blame it on Coolio.” —Elka, referencing the great summer she had with Rick back in 1997
What’d you think of the season premiere, folks? Is Betty and Co. still making you laugh? Do you remember some great lines that I forgot here? Are you as stoked about this new season of Hot in Cleveland as you were about the first? Who’s your favorite character (besides Betty, of course)? Lemme know all your thoughts below.
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky
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