Optimum Customers: Your Newsday access has been extended until Oct 1st. Enroll now to continue your access.

62° Good Evening
62° Good Evening

Laughing guiltily at 'Cleveland' jokes

THE SHOW "The Cleveland Show"

WHEN | WHERE Sunday at 8:30 p.m. on Fox/5

REASON TO WATCH Seth MacFarlane continues his slash-and-burn conquest of the Fox Sunday schedule with this "Family Guy" spinoff. Get used to this, by the way. Fox has already ordered a full season.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Cleveland Brown's wife, Loretta, has divorced him, and so Cleveland (voiced by Mike Henry) and Cleve Jr. (Kevin Michael Richardson) decide to leave town, though not before Peter Griffin (MacFarlane) has demolished his house. Cleveland is heading to California, where, he hopes, his old batting coach Joe Torre will get him started on a new career as a baseball scout.

On the way west, or kind of south, from Quahog, he stops by his old hometown of Stoolbend, Va., where he reconnects with an old flame, Donna (Sanaa Lathan), who's got a son, Rallo (also voiced by Henry) - a lot like Stewie Griffin of "The Family Guy." Donna lives next door to Tim (MacFarlane), who's a fat bear with a voice inexplicably similar to that of "SNL's" Father Guido Sarducci. And per MacFarlane's wont, there are a lot of unexpected guest voices throughout, including Taraji P. Henson, Arianna Huffington (who plays Tim's wife, Arianna) and Kanye West.

BOTTOM LINE Yeah, sure, I hated myself for laughing. ("Whatsamatter, Gay," I said to myself. "Are you an idiot, or 14 years old, or both?") But, hey. I'm sorry. What can I say? I laughed. Not often, or perhaps not often enough, but there was also enough McFarlane-esque gross-out sophomoric tomfoolery to keep even me reasonably entertained for a half-hour. Plus, good ol' likable Cleveland works well as a leading man.


More Entertainment

Important message for Optimum customers

Your Newsday digital access is changing as of 10/1

You recently received an email from Optimum’s parent company, Altice USA, informing you that Altice will no longer offer free Newsday digital access with Optimum's online service. Through an exclusive trial offer for Optimum customers, Newsday is pleased to extend your digital access at no cost until the end of the year.

I understand, no thanks