Courteney Cox became a household name when she was among the ensemble cast of Friends. That series became one of the most watched and popular sitcoms of all time. Since then, the stars of hit comedy have not had a lot of success in television. Matt LeBlanc’s spin-off, Joey, fizzled; so did Lisa Kudrow’s The Comback and Cox’s Dirt. David Schwimmer decided to give directing a shot (Run, Fatboy, Run) in between his voice stints on Madagascar and its sequels. Of the cast, only Jennifer Aniston has been the most visible post Friends. Though with Cougar Town, it looks like Courteney Cox may have broken that losing streak involving the Friends cast and TV shows. Don’t let the name fool you, though. Cougar Town was created by the creator of Scrubs, Bill Lawrence. This show might actually be decent.
The series focuses on Jules Cobb (Cox), a 40-year-old divorcee who is a single mother raising her teenage son Travis (Dan Byrd), and successfully owns her own real estate business. Having been divorced for eight months, Jules now wants to have fun and enjoy life like a single woman would. She quickly learns that entering the dating scene at age 40 is not too easy, especially if you go after younger men and get called a “cougar” as a result. Fortunately for Jules, she has a support system that includes her next door neighbor and best friend Ellie Torres (Christa Miller), who is married to Andy (Ian Gomez), but also is the voice of reason for Jules. In addition, Laurie (Busy Phillips), Jules’ young and promiscuous assistant, is there to drag Jules along with her wherever she goes, which helps Jules meet younger men. Then, there is Jules’ ex-husband Bobby (Brian Van Holt), who loves to party, drink beer, play golf, and lives on a boat parked in a driveway. But Bobby still cares for Jules and wants the best for her. Finally, Grayson Ellis (Josh Hopkins) is a 40-something bar owner that lives across the street from Jules. He dates younger women with no label attached to him, which irritates Jules, but you get the feeling that their flirty relationship might lead to something more.
When you look at the title of this series, you would expect it to simply be about older women lusting after younger men. That would certainly limit the appeal and audience of the show from the start. Once you start to watch the show, you will see that it is not all about older women dating younger men. The central storyline of the show is still a 40-something women aging and having to date while raising a teenage son. But Cougar Town is really more about relationships, friendships, and the dating world in general at an older and more wiser age. This show is also quite funny with lots of adult humor, but you shouldn’t expect anything less from a series created by Bill Lawrence. Sometimes it seems to be trying too hard to be funny, though.
The heart and soul of this series, and the main reason why it will last is the outstanding cast. Every cast member fits their role perfectly. Courteney Cox is perfect in the starring role as she both funny and likable enough to care about her character’s life. She also has great chemistry with Busy Phillips and Christa Miller. But those three are TV veterans, so you shouldn’t expect anything less. The men on the show might evem overshadow the women, though. Ian Gomez, Brian Van Holt, Josh Hopkins, and Dan Byrd are extremely funny. They definitely provide the most comic relief on the show, especially if you are not an older woman yourself. It doesn’t hurt that there are some great guest stars this premiere season including Scott Foley, Nick Zano, Lisa Kudrow, Beverly D’Angelo, Sheryl Crow, and Barry Bostwick.
The comedy is not always laugh-out-loud funny at first, but some moments that happen during this series featuring some of the secondary male characters are hilarious. If you give this show more than one or two episodes, you will probably stick around for the entire season, regardless of whether you are 18 or 60 or anything in between. Older women might enjoy Cougar Town the most, but fans of Scrubs will find plenty to like as well, even if they aren’t a “cougar” themselves.
Episode 1 – Pilot
We meet Jules, a woman who in her twenties took on marriage and a baby instead of experiencing the dating scene. Now in her forties, she finds herself as a divorcee and eager to live the dating scene that she missed.
Episode 2 – Into the Great Wide Open
Jules tries to party hard like a twenty-something and ends up looking like a total fool, when even her best friend Ellie, told her not to do it.
Episode 3 – Don’t Do Me Like That
Jules family and friends crash the 10th date with her new boyfriend, Josh. Ellie and Laurie help Jules realize that it’s ok to be selfish once in a while, when Jules has a disastrous experience in bed with Josh. Meanwhile, Jules left Travis with his dad Bobby, who has to be responsible and deal with his son.
Episode 4 – I Won’t Back Down
Jules accidentally tells Grayson he’s hot, she tries to get him to admit she is sexy too. Jules uncovers Grayson’s weakness. Meanwhile, Ellie feels unattractive after the birth of Stan.
Episode 5 – You Wreck Me
Jules hates the day when her ex-husband, Bobby, and Grayson become friends over a golf lesson that she organized to help boost Bobby’s self esteem. Meanwhile, Laurie surprises everyone even herself when she takes on a new client to prove her worth to Jules.
Episode 6 – A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me)
Josh tells Jules he’s in love with her, and Jules decide it’s time to break things off with him. Unfortunately Jules is not good in ending relationships, but her friends Laurie and Ellie walk her through it. Meanwhile, the guys Bobby, Grayson and Andy hit the links with money and pride on the line.
Episode 7 – Don’t Come Around Here No More
Jules hesitantly goes out on a date with an older man just to be away from her usual companions: her friends, her ex-husband, and her son. Grayson makes a bet with Jules that she can’t go through a day without anyone by her side.
Episode 8 – Two Gunslingers
Mad because her two best friends don’t get along, Jules tries to have fun at her birthday. She finally convinces Ellie and Laurie to go with her on a wild birthday weekend, and they accept. But Jules encounters her nemesis with her flirtatious husband.
Episode 9 – Here Comes My Girl
Jules plan for a romantic dinner for two backfires for Thanksgiving. Travis shows off his girlfriend Kylie to everyone. Jules gives Travis and Kylie advice on birth control. Bobby and Grayson bond over a common interest.
Episode 10 – Mystery Man
Scott Foley guest stars as Jeff, a very wealthy potential home buyer who is interested in one of Jules overpriced homes. Meanwhile, Ellie with reserves leaves the baby with Andy for a day to prove that she trusts in him.
Episode 11 – Rhino Skin
Dr. Amy Evans is the meanest but the best dermatologist in town, therefore Jules and Ellie do anything to get an appointment with her despite the harsh ridicule. But when Jules finds out that Dr. Evans is dating Bobby, and Jules is determined to stand up to her and protect him. Meanwhile, Travis starts working for Barb but turns out that is more that what he bargained for.
Episode 12 – Scare Easy
When the relationship between Jules and her boyfriend start to heat up, Jules starts to get scared. Meanwhile, Laurie seeks diversion sex with an unsuspecting friend and Andy spills the beans about his big secret.
Episode 13 – Stop Dragging My Heart Around
After her breakup with Jeff, Jules turns to Bobby for some cheering up. But when a bottle of wine leads to a passionate kiss, will they agree it was only a casual meaningless kiss? Meanwhile, Laurie discovers a thing that both Jules and Grayson have in common, while Travis plans with Kylie don’t go as planned.
Episode 14 – All the Wrong Reasons
A hot tennis instructor gets between Ellie and Jules, while Laurie turns to Travis for advice, and Andy and Grayson try to cheer up Bobby after a fresh heartbreak over Jules.
Episode 15 – When a Kid Goes Bad
Everyone makes plans for Valentine’s Day, expect Jules and Grayson who debate the merits of this holiday. Meanwhile, Bobby and Jules are not so sure to let Travis go to a party where he will undoubtedly be drinking, Ellie tries to triumph as alpha dog over Grayson, and Laurie meets Smith’s dad.
Episode 16 – What Are You Doin’ In My Life?
Laurie needs a co-signer to buy her first condo and her absent mother is no help at all. Meanwhile, Bobby is mugged by a woman and Travis comes to Barb’s help after her latest cosmetic surgery procedure.
Episode 17 – Counting on You
Jules tries to prove to Grayson that men and women can be just friends without any sexual tension. Meanwhile, with Jules encouragement, Andy buys a motorcycle from Laurie, without telling Ellie, and Travis goes with Bobby on a man-trip for some “noodling”, only to be mortified by the discovery of what noodling actually means.
Episode 18 – Turn This Car Around
Sheryl Crow guest stars as Sara, a confident wine representative, who sets her sights on Grayson, but is he strong enough to be with her? Meanwhile, Ellie tells Jules that she cannot change something about her because of her age and Jules tries to prove her wrong by not drinking for a month. While Bobby’s new dog is Andy’s competition.
Episode 19 – Everything Man
Grayson introduces Sara to Jules and company. Jules likes Sara from the start and when Grayson is overly attentive with her, Jules warns him to back off before Sara runs away. Meanwhile, Jules new main house attraction is her perfect new bathroom with a “talking toilet”. Grayson finally finds inspiration with the help of Sara for his new song.
Episode 20 – Wake Up Time
Jules is thrilled to console Travis after his first break-up, but when she discovers the reason for the break-up, she comes to an unwelcome truth about herself. Meanwhile, Sara watches Jules and tries to decide whether she is a threat to hers and Grayson relationship. She turns to Ellie for advice, while Andy looks for any resemblance between his son Stan and himself.
Episode 21 – Letting You Go
Jules struggles with the news that Travis was accepted to two of his college choices and now he must decide between California and a school 20 minutes from home. Grayson is there for Jules in this times. Meanwhile, Smith returns from law school and Laurie considers her feelings for him, while Andy wants to do whatever he wants in his house and not be commanded by Ellie’s rules.
Episode 22 – Feel a Whole Lot Better
Jules and Grayson consider being FWB “friends with benefits”. Meanwhile, Andy hires a nanny to help Ellie, and Travis benefits from Bobby’s new plan.
Episode 23 – Breakdown
Jules encourages Travis to submit a graduation speech. When she reads the speech without Travis’ permission and with Grayson’s warning, she’s crushed when she is not mentioned in it. Meanwhile, Ellie does something nice for Laurie, and Bobby tries to be supportive of Travis on his big day and not embarrass him.
Episode 24 – Finding Out
Jules and Grayson make a plan to tell Bobby that they are officially dating, and Travis sees a truly angry woman when the forgets his seven-month anniversary with Kylie.
The video is given in widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is enhanced for 16X9 TVs. Transfer is great with minimal distortion. Really about what you come to expect from a new series released on DVD these days. No major problems at all.
The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. There are subtitles available in English, Spanish and French as well. The dialogue comes out crisp and clear. No major problems here either.
“Taming Cougar Town” Featurette –
This runs 5 minutes and it shows you how this series evolved from its initial comedy first episode to what it is today. There is various
interviews with the creators on how the series began and behind-the-scenes footage for the series included here. Pretty interesting to learn.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live: Saber-Tooth Tiger Town” Featurette –
This runs 2 minutes and it’s spoof of the show from Jimmy Kimmel. He talks about his spin-off called “Saber-Tooth Tiger Town” featuring Cloris Leachman and Shirley Jones playing senior women going after younger men.
“Ask Barb” Featurette –
This runs 18 minutes. In it, Carolyn Hennesy, who plays Barbara “Barb” Coman in character, answers questions in regards to being a cougar.
“Stroking it with Bobby Cobb” Featurette –
This runs 4 minutes. In it, Brian Van Holt, who plays Bobby Cobb in character, plays golf and talks crazy stuff while doing so.
There is 2 minutes worth of the usual mistakes and gags from filming this season. Too short to be worth anything.
Deleted Scenes –
There are 15 scenes that didn’t make the final cut of the season.
“My Sexuality” Music Video –
This runs 1 minute and it features clips from the series to the music of “My Sexuality”.
You could easily pass over Cougar Town as just another ABC comedy that wouldn’t last for a second season. But this past year was a good one for ABC as far as comedies went. Just look past the title of this series and give this show a chance for a few episodes. It definitely has its funny moments, even if it’s not the best comedy on TV today. It’s still an entertaining relationship comedy.
ABC Studios Home Entertainment presents Cougar Town: The Complete First Season. Created by Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel. Starring Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, Busy Philips, Brian Van Holt, Dan Byrd, Ian Gomez, and Josh Hopkins. Running time: 552 minutes. Rated: Not Rated. Released on DVD: August 17, 2010.
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