COUGAR TOWN: SEASON 1
Brian Van Holt
This show was recently added to Hulu and I have a bit of a soft spot for Courtney Cox. It is weird to say that since most people would just assume that love comes from her time on the hit show “FRIENDS”, but I despise that show. I have tried to watch it and it annoys me, which also is funny because independently I love every single actor on the show. I just cannot stomach them all together on “FRIENDS” for some reason. The place I fell in love with Cox was actually in the film “Scream” and then subsequently ever sequel of that franchise. So when I saw this comedy added to the streaming service I said “sign me the hell up right now, mofos!” and it appears they did since I am already finished with the first season of the show!
Based on the title, I was not expecting to enjoy this show. I think this is one of the biggest disservices this show did to itself was that awful title! It does not encompass the actual shows content by the end of the first season. The only character by the end of the first season that seems to fit the title is a recurring character named Barb (played by Carolyn Hennesy). The show originates with the purpose of being a show about a cougar (Courtney Cox) who recently has gotten divorced and is dating much younger men (duh, a cougar). It, however, morphs into this group of friends that drink wine together and chat about love, life, and other stuff. The only cougar in sight is the one I just mentioned. Why didn’t this title change during the first or second season to be more on point with the content? Well, based on wikipedia they actually tried to change the title, but it never seemed to get off the ground for some reason. The title is a hindrance though to wanting to approach the show, so I feel bad for those that may judge it on that title because it is so much more than that.
This show has a certain charm, largely put in place by Cox and Philipps playing off Miller. Yes, I love Christa Miller as Cox’s longest friend as Ellie. She has the best one-liners in the show and I think her character is what helped transfer the show into the better premise of friends drinking together. I also think the chemistry between Cox and Hopkins helped greatly, since their friendship ends up being a primary focus of the entire season. I loved this slow build-up to them wondering if they should be in a relationship over the episodes. If you think that is a spoiler, you haven’t watched the first episode. It was obvious this would be the direction of the show at some point, if it still isn’t obvious after that first episode have you ever watched a sitcom in your entire flippin life? Guess not, fool. Now back to Miller or more her husband in the show, played by Ian Gomez. He is a great addition to this cast and the way he plays off Hopkins and Van Holt makes them appear to actually be friends and that they have known each other for years. It really comes off that Gomez is obsessed (as a friend) with Van Holt’s character “Bobby”, the ex-husband of Jules (Cox character). Bobby is a character that adds conflict elements to the core group (Gomez, Miller, Philipps, Hopkins, and Cox) because of his former relationship with Cox’s character. He, however, does not seem to have an overall point in the show instead of showing that Travis has a dad and to be friends with other character. Overall, he is one of my least favorite characters on the show.
Another character that has definitely caught my attention in this show is Laurie (played by Busy Philipps). She is the youngest of the main group of friends because she works for Cox’s character at her real estate agency. I feel that her youth adds a needed chaos element that the show needs since everyone else is much older. Sometimes her ideas clashes somewhat with the others, which shows a difference between different age brackets. She, however, stays friends with the group throughout the season and we start finding out more about her life. When we discover more about her life, we start to understand Laurie better and why she would be looking for friends. She is looking for people that will love her just for her, even in her bad behaviors. This group does that for her and it makes me love her inclusion in the show, so far.
Another character that makes me go UGH is the character of Travis (Cox’s character’s son), but it isn’t that large of an ugh. It is just that his character right now often takes the focus away from Miller, Cox, or Philipps that I prefer at this point of the series. I also found his storyline of first love, first sex, and firsts to just be elements that I was not interested in, as an older person in her advanced years of life hehe. I am thinking though as the character progresses towards his college years (he is looking for college approvals at the end of the first season) that I will like him more. I will like seeing his college firsts better than I will like seeing his high school ones. I identify a little better with college experiences since I am in college, even if I am an old maid.
Some episodes are one-offs and some seem to fit together in different ways, but this is pretty normal for this type of show. The comedy though is what has kept me returning (I have started season 2, but not that far into it yet). Most comedy series don’t have overarching huge stories and this is pretty much the same in this first season. It seems to be trying to find its footing as a series, which it does well. It never lets the audience feel that it is trying to find itself, but it becomes apparent since the premise shifts so drastically throughout the first season and continues on. This show is pretty hysterical most of the time. I find myself laughing in every single episode. I think that is what has kept me turning in.
“Cougar Town” started on the ABC network, but it continued for its 4th season on TBS instead.
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