Seth MacFarlane’s The Cleveland Show just started its third season, and remains one of the funniest shows on FOX. It also may be the most profane, as the uncensored The Cleveland Show: The Complete Season Two DVD set bears witness. Along with MacFarlane’s Family Guy, and American Dad, The Cleveland Show is a staple of FOX’s Sunday night animation block. Like everything else MacFarlane does, The Cleveland Show hilariously pushes the boundaries of good taste.
The season’s opening episode is a case in point. “Harder, Better, Faster, Browner,” guest-stars Kanye West as Kenny West, and is prime Cleveland. In it we find our hero reminiscing about a basketball game against a kid named Barry Obama in childhood. When he realizes that the kid grew up to become President Obama, he begins to wonder what he has done with his own life. Through a series of events, Cleveland tries to “get back” at Obama for doing so well in life. At the end we find the President’s helicopter touching down on Clevelands’ lawn, where Obama challenges and beats him at a game of basketball.
Another season two highlight has to be “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Roberta?” This one guest stars Wilmer Valderrama and cast members from Glee. We find Donna getting fed up with Cleveland’s criticism of her parenting skills with daughter Roberta, and she takes off for the weekend, leaving them to fend for themselves. As usual in The Cleveland Show, a series of surreal events transpire, all leading up to Cleveland rescuing his daughter from a car wreck. Roberta momentarily favors her father after this, but soon comes around when Donna returns. The episode even has a nod to Jerry Springer at the end with “Cleveland’s Final Thought.”
The second season of The Cleveland Show saw a number of guest stars, including Mike Judge (as Hank Hill), Justin Timberlake, Will.I.am, Hall & Oates, Snoop Dogg, Tony Hawk, and Billy Dee Williams (as Lando Calrissian) among others. As for writing talent, the biggest contributor has to be the legendary Carl Reiner for “Your Show Of Shows.”
The season ends with a great one called “Hot Cocoa Bang Bang” in which the gang heads to Comic-Con, where Cleveland hopes to sell his comic book, Waderman. The riotous twist comes when Donna discovers that there is to be a screening of a Blaxpoitation flick she starred in back in her younger days, and will do anything to get it cancelled. Just as it looks as if everything is going to blow up, the whole convention is sidetracked by a huge FOX Network display.
The Cleveland Show is vintage Seth MacFarlane, combing ridiculous storylines with hilarious asides, and as noted, plenty of profanity. Season Two is as funny, if not funnier than the first season, and is recommended.