The Cleveland Show Season 4 Review “California Dreamin’ (All the Cleves are Brown)”

On the second of two episodes of “The Cleveland Show” that aired Sunday night, the gang decided to move to California so that Cleveland could pursue his dreams of being a baseball scout- a la Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”– in the amusingly-titled “California Dreamin’ (All the Cleves are Brown).” Not everyone was thrilled about the move, mentioning how they had dreams of their own they’d like to pursue if things were different, such as Rallo’s wry observation: “Yeah, right, my dream is to have a fat man lie on top of my mom all night.” Chided Cleveland: “What I do when your mother sleeps is my business!” (I also liked that when Donna told Cleveland that his dream was coming true, he automatically went to: “I’m going back to the ‘Family Guy’ again?” LOL.)

It didn’t take long for the gang to assimilate themselves, though, with each finding their niche in Hollywood. First, they secured a place to live at the Hollywood Apartments, “as seen in pornos.” Then Roberta enrolled in a high school like something out of the CW, with some spot-on observations about the various types that pop up on any given teen show. My favorite was the teacher who’d secured an abortion for one of his knocked-up students. Whoops! Needless to say in no time, Roberta was getting invited to her first “all girl teen make-out party.” Good times!

Rallo secured a job as a paparazzo, even though he thought it was something else at first: “Like on the pizza?” He got into the business after snapping a shot of Jillian Michaels, who he thought was just some random hobo: “Whoa! A dude peeing on Chuck Berry’s star? Ha-ha, karma!” I liked how he got progressively seedier as time went on, with his hair turning into a sort of skuzzy mullet and bags developing underneath his eyes.

Cleveland Junior became enamored of the superheroes that worked the streets, not realizing they were just sad, out-of-shape actors in costumes. Donning a costume of his own, he encouraged them to actually be superheroes themselves, which they took to before taking a flying leap off a building under the delusion that they actually were superheroes, resulting in the untimely deaths of four people! (This was the second episode in a row where a member of the Cleveland clan directly led someone to their doom, after poor Kevin’s fate in the previous episode, during the ill-conceived “Hurt Locker”-game.)

Last but not least, Donna became a children’s entertainer called “Old MacDonna,” and was so successful she had her own company in record time, complete with actors being trained to “be” the character as well. Alas, the success went straight to her head, leading Cleveland to lament to their neighbor: “She’s turned into some kind of Katherine Heigl-esque monster!” “Oh, she can’t be that bad,” shot back Gina (Krysten Ritter, late of “Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23”). Allowed Cleveland: “You’re right. Donna has comedic timing.” Ouch!

Meanwhile, Cleveland’s dream job wasn’t going as he hoped it would, for him, or the coach: “I hoped our new scout would be a talking pair of breasts.” Cleveland put on a brave face, in spite of his limited success: “I’ve been scoutin’ so many guys today; you’d think I was in West Hollywood!” It was not his forte, though, and he eventually decided that Stoolbend was where he was meant to be all along.

My favorite bits involved the aforementioned Gina, of whom Cleveland said: “Good luck succeeding in something that every mildly-attractive former cheerleader thinks they have a shot at.” Said poor Gina, without a trace of sarcasm: “That’s the nicest thing that anyone in Los Angeles has ever said to anyone.” (She may be right, sad to say.)

Later, she took Cleveland to a part of town that actually resembled Stoolbend, much to his excitement, as he noted the many similarities, including “a disproportionate number of Asians, just like we fear in Stoolbend!” In the end, even Gina found her niche, only it turned out it was behind the camera, not in front of it, when she put together a fake Gus’ bar to fool Donna into wanting to come back to their real home.

All of the gang was played by actors, save Cleveland- including Gina, who was played by Reese Witherspoon! (Not really, given that they mocked her in the episode.) Tim and Arianna were played by actual bears from the San Diego Zoo, which had to be put down after the ruse was over and they went back to being “real” bears, amusingly enough. I also got a kick out of the Tom Hanks bit, who was another of the hired actors, playing Lester: “I like World War II.” Said Cleveland: “Yeah, we noticed.”

So, some pretty good stuff all around, including a lot of jokes at the expense of LA, as one would expect. The “Moneyball” bits admittedly didn’t really go anywhere- much like the “Hangover” bits on the previous show- but the rest was funny enough that you forgave it. Overall, I’d have to say I liked this one slightly better than the other episode that night, the review of which can be found here.

What did you think of “The Cleveland Show”? Was this one episode too many? Or do you like the whole double dose of the show they’ve been doing on-and-off this season? Which was your favorite of the two? Let me know in the comments!