How can I put this? Oh, I know … I fucking love this show!
Funny thing about the internet (and having a blog no one ever reads) … I can drop the F-bomb whenever I feel like it. And, guess what? I really feel like it. Cougar Town is a great goddam show. That’s it. All she wrote. Don’t miss it. Ever.
Back in the glory days of Friends, I always like Courtney Cox more than the rest of the female cast. Jennifer Aniston was, and still is, way too full of herself. And–Julie Bowen aside–I’m not that into blonds. So I thought Courtney was just smoking hot.
I still do. The lady is forty, fantastic, and just funny as hell. Cougar Town is possibly the perfect vehicle for her. It’s about being single and forty and, while still gorgeous, being at that point in your life where everything is starting to getting a little looser, a little saggier, and maybe a little scarier. It’s just real enough to make the outrageous satire totally work. And Courtney, in the lead role of Jules Cobb simply nails the part.
There is nothing I don’t love about this show. The cast is as good as it could possibly be, including a number of familiar faces (if not familiar names). Here “younger co-worker” best friend is played by Busy Phillips. She’s blonde and busty and she gets some of the best lines. Like: “Can we stop sprinting now? I feel like my boobs are trying to kill me!” Christa Miller plays the as old or older neighbor best friend. If you don’t know why she looks so familiar, Christa was a regular on Scrubs and the Drew Carey Show. Appropriately, it is the female cast that really carries the show with all the males as comic foils or fodder.
But a bright spot among the male cast is Dan Byrd as Travis, Jules teenage son. As good as Courtney is as Jules, this guy is maybe even better. How good does a cast have to be to make us forget that Courtney is, well, Courtney? Dan Byrd helps that happen, letting us believe that this beautiful lady really is his mom and really does make his life difficult. He manages it without coming off as spoiled or cruel; he does it with wit, humor, and the occasional, fully justified, angry outburst.
As good as the cast may be, it’s the writing that makes Cougar Town work. This show could be so cliche. In fact, it starts that way. After a wonderful scene of Courtney checking herself out in front of a bathroom mirror, the pilot episode moves to a ball game. That conversion worried me. But not for long. Sure, you know Courtney is going to say something inappropriate and be overheard by exactly the wrong person; that’s hardly a surprise. It’s what she actually says that made me laugh. Throughout the show, there is one incident after another of this sort of thing. Courtney’s reaction each time is just so matter-of-fact. And pretty damn funny.
The real reason that the show works can be summed up in a single word: fearless. Courtney’s performance is completely fearless. She is not above making fun of herself while, at the same time, acknowledging (with a wink and a little flash) that she is still damn hot. In the opening scene, she is pinching folds of her skin and getting disgusted at the result. A few scenes later, she flashes a kid riding by on a bicycle just to prove a point. Luckily, we also get the point. The writers are not afraid of “going there” either. They get there with humor and just the right amount of sexy to make it all believable.
Which is why I believe ABC may have a real hit here. So here’s hoping we get to stay in Cougar Town for a long, long time.
Cougar Town airs Wednesdays on ABC at 9:30/8:30c