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TV Review: The Cleveland Show Tells Both “A Short Story and a Tall Tale”

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This week’s episode of FOX’s The Cleveland Show promised both “A Short Story and a Tall Tale”. Really, you could often apply that description to any episode of the series, or any episode of any of FOX’s Animation Domination shows. However, this being a Seth MacFarlane production, it’s logical to assume that somehow the episode title should be offense, even if it doesn’t appear so at first glance. Having watching the half hour, I can tell you that both the short and tall references are about height, and they lead to one of the most bizarre fight scenes ever shown on television.

To set the scene a little, Cleveland (Mike Henry) and his wife, Donna (Sanaa Lathan), are given tickets to the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Of course, on the way to the game, Cleveland takes every possible easy pot shot at the city itself. While there, Cleveland insults a number of the players, including LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, and others I haven’t heard of because I don’t watch basketball, all voiced by themselves. At least that proves they have a sense of humor about themselves. The players decide to follow Cleveland home and get even for his taunts.

At the same time, Cleveland’s five year old son, Rallo (also Henry), has fallen in with a gang of midgets, believing them to be children. The midgets somehow think Rallo is an adult. If this wasn’t a cartoon, there is certainly no way the plot would work, yet somehow it kind of does. Rallo stands one of them up at the altar, and they also want revenge. Even the gathering of the troops plays on mythical stereotypes. If MacFarlane hadn’t already proven he is an equal opportunity offender by going after every other group first, the short American community may be offended. Heck, they still might be.

Through a comedy or errors, the midgets and NBA players end up fighting each other on Cleveland’s front lawn. Offensive? Incredibly, but then again, so were many of the things leading up the fight. Hilarious? Also, yes, though certainly not in any way that is politically correct. It’s a good thing people watch this show and laugh in the privacy of their own homes, or it would have no viewers.

If you think any of the above sounds funny, then I have a show for you. Watch The Cleveland Show Sunday nights at 9:30 p.m. on FOX. If you don’t find midgets fighting seven foot tall athletes amusing, then stay away. You likely won’t like any other episodes, either.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com