Wendie Malick is working on “Hot in Cleveland,” but one of her favorite current shows is infused with another city.
“I just adore ‘Treme,'” says the “Just Shoot Me!” alum whose TV Land sitcom premieres Wednesday, June 19. “I think it’s just one of the most fascinating, wonderful series,” she notes of the Sunday-night HBO drama about New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina.
“The music is so fine and the acting so sublime. I have a great fondness for the Gulf Coast. I’ve worked a lot in New Orleans; I was there last November, and I don’t think anyone else has captured so viscerally what it feels like to be there.
“I feel sticky, like I need a shower, after I watch that show,” Malick adds, “but in a great way. It’s like I’ve been on those streets and I’ve absorbed the sounds, the smells and the tastes. And it’s so bittersweet, especially now [with the major oil spill Louisiana is dealing with].”
Though it’s a dramatization, “Treme” is as realistic as Malick chooses to get with her viewing. Familiar for her portrayals of high-strung characters, she maintains, “I prefer fantasy to reality.”
She demonstrates that to a degree with “Hot in Cleveland,” which teams her with fellow TV veterans Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Betty White. Malick plays a self-involved soap star who still mourns having lost her best shot at a Daytime Emmy to — who else? — Susan Lucci.
“It’s really fun to be a little bit bigger than life and, by example, show people how ridiculous they are,” Malick reasons. “We often are so self-involved, we don’t have a clue about certain things. We probably all could use a little more listening and a little less talking.”
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