DVD Review: Cougar Town (The Complete Second Season)



Many people might not think the name of a TV show matters that much, but sometimes it matters a lot. The name of a TV show should tell you what the show is about before you even watch it. But what happens when the name of the show completely gives you the wrong idea? Just ask the cast and crew of Cougar Town, and they will tell you they hate that name. Season 1 was like a tale of two different series. The show started out embracing the whole “cougar” theme, but quickly ditched that in favor of a concept that could be embraced by a wider audience. Those that watched the entire first season of this show know that Cougar Town is actually funny. Let’s see how the second season turns out.

Cougar Town focuses on Jules Cobb (Courteney 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.

The biggest issue with this show is its title. Cougar Town makes you think the show is all about Courteney Cox’s chasing of young single guys. That was the probably the biggest problem of the first half of the first season. The series got better as the season progressed. Fortunately, season two completely sheds away the idea of Cox chasing younger men. She is now in a serious and committed relationship with Grayson. All they do is hang out and drink wine with the other characters on the show and form the cul-de-sac crew.

The cast of the show have also hit their stride. They know who their characters are, and how they fit into the new direction of the show. Courteney Cox is funny, but she is basically the “straight” woman on the show. She is there to mainly set up everyone around her. She still has great chemistry with Busy Phillips and Christa Miller. The funniest characters on the show are still the men; Ian Gomez and Brian Van Holt steal every scene they are in. Josh Hopkins and Courteney Cox also have tremendous chemistry as a couple on-screen. So much so that they even stated dating in real life. Dan Byrd has also stepped up his acting in this season as he now has college issues to deal with. But make no mistake about it, there is very little drama in Cougar Town. One notable guest star from this season is Cox’s former girlFriend, Jennifer Aniston.

Don’t let the name fool you. Cougar Town is not a show that only people over 40 would enjoy. There is still plenty of adult humor in the similar style of Scrubs (both shows were created by Bill Lawrence), which helps elevate the series as a whole and one of the main reasons why this second season is better overall.

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.

Looking at extras, this season only offers four short features.

“(still called) Cougar Town: Season 2” – This featurette looks at how the show has evolved, and how everyone has inside jokes now about the name of the show. Also, more talk about wine and the “penny can”, among other things. Nothing really substantial here.

“Andy’s Deams” – This is all six of the webisodes that aired on ABC.com. There is also a new new introduction by Ian Gomez for each of them as well. There is even some brief behind-the-scenes stuff as well. Definitely worth checking out.

Bloopers – The usual mistakes and gags from filming this season. Too short to be worth anything.

Deleted Scenes – These are scenes that didn’t make the final cut of the season. Not must watch or anything, but still some funny stuff here.

It’s hard for an ABC comedy to last more than one season. So you know that if one is starting its third season soon, it has to be funny. Cougar Town is funny. It’s not necessarily “must-watch” TV, but any time you watch it, you are almost guaranteed to laugh. Just look past the name and enjoy this entertaining relationship comedy. Season two is even better than season one.

ABC Studios Home Entertainment presents Cougar Town: The Complete Second Season. Created by Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel. Starring Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, Busy Philipps, Brian Van Holt, Dan Byrd, Ian Gomez, and Josh Hopkins. Running time: 506 minutes. Rated: Not Rated. Released on DVD: August 30, 2011. Available at Amazon.com

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