The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

#6 Cougar Town (11/5)

EW Description: “Courteney Cox’s prime-time comedy has found an excellent groove in season 2 with offbeat humor, new catchphrases (“Slap out of it!”), and copious amounts of red wine.”

I wanted to hate this show when it first started. The original premise of cougars just wasn’t something I could relate to and frankly, it looked atrocious. However, after catching it a couple of times after Modern Family, I decided to give it a shot. I watched the entire first season in about three weeks and haven’t missed an episode yet of the second season. Once the show got rid of the whole cougar premise, it became a wacky show about a group of thirty- and forty-somethings that all have their own quirks.

At the center of the group is Jules (Courteney Cox), a recent divorcee who is trying to start a life on her own. At the beginning of the series, she was a cougar. However, she is now dating an age-appropriate man, the delightful Grayson (Josh Hopkins). Grayson started out as the playboy of the cul-de-sac, but eventually managed to get past all his phobias about relationships to actually give it a shot with Jules. When you put these two neurotics together, the results are pretty hilarious. Jules divorced Bobby (Brian Van Holt) and he now lives on a boat in a parking lot and drives a golf cart around. Bobby is the quintessential manboy. The two have a son, Travis (Dan Byrd) who has just moved out to go to college. Jules has a very codependent relationship with Travis, so this has produced some really hilarious moments this season. For instance, in last week’s episode, Travis brought home his new girlfriend Kirsten. The sheer craziness of Jules’s reaction to someone taking away her baby was wonderful. She was completely losing it in ways I can’t even describe.

Outside of the crazy little family, there are the remaining members of the Cul-de-sac Crew. Laurie (the wonderful Busy Phillips) is Jules’s coworker and is a bit of a ditzy floozy, but in the most lovable of ways. Plus, her friendship with Travis produces some pretty great moments. And then there are Andy and Ellie (Ian Gomez and Christa Miller). Andy’s blind loyalty to Bobby leads him to follow Bobby around like a dog at times, but it’s just so sweet you have to ignore the fact these are two forty-something men who have the maturity of 12-year-olds. Ellie is Jules’s best friend. Fans of Scrubs will remember Miller as Dr. Cox’s wife Jordan and the two characters are very similar. Miller perfectly portrays the sarcastic bitch in whatever she does. She is never afraid to say exactly what she is thinking and her delight at other’s misery is both awful and hilarious.

The show was created by Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) and has come to have the same type of humor as Scrubs did when it was still good. The show manages to take some completely mundane things (watching people throw pennies into a can) and turn them in something absolutely hilarious. The creators recognize that the name is awful. Every episode now features some sort of sarcastic comment preceding the title (The Badly-Named, It’s Okay to Watch a Show Called, etc.). Don’t let the name of the show fool you. It really has nothing to do with cougars and it is quite delightful.

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