(S01E05) Much better. Much better.
Those are the words that kept popping into my head as I watched this episode. Courteney Cox dialed it down a notch. The characters melded together a bit more. We explored the lives of the guys a little bit, seeing a side of each we haven't seen yet. And finally, the show wasn't about Jules Cobb pointing out how she's 40 all the time; it was more about how her experience comes out in her relationships with the young'uns, whether it's her boy toy Josh or her assistant Laurie.
And, it was funny. Especially when there was an apple involved.
The one neurotic moment we saw from Jules this week is that she's not into much "public-style kissing," as she put it. But that was balanced very well by how she tried to teach Josh to kiss correctly, right there in the outdoor cafe across from her agency. She didn't care who saw her and Josh use that apple to practice, even Travis. Sure, she tried to cover things up with her son, but she didn't seem that embarrassed, did she?
Anyway, the moment at the end where she kissed Josh in front of Laurie, Ellie, and everyone else seemed a bit wrap-up-ish, but it was funny, if only because she asked Josh to get some more apples when he went back to the bar. Looks like he's not utilizing the "little snake" method of kissing enough, and the kid's got a lot more to learn...
The more we see Jules take the power position in her relationships, using the knowledge she's gained over the years, the better we're going to feel about her character. She knows she doesn't want to be a predator like Barb, but she knows she has something to offer a young'un. This way, we'll only see her neuroses in small doses, which is the place where Cox is at her comedic best; in control one minute, vulnerable the next.
The better plot involved Bobby, though. He's been very one-note so far, even last week as he tried to figure out ways to bond with Travis. But seeing him interact with Grayson on the golf course, and how much Grayson beating his course record meant to him, made me connect with him for the first time. If Bobby is going to be a main player on the show, he can't be like "The Todd" on Scrubs, who is mostly caricature and a little character. He's just on-screen too much for that. It was also nice to see Grayson not only like Bobby but help him feel better about losing the record.
Andy's hero worship of Bobby is pretty funny. I mean, the guy doesn't play golf; he just goes golfing to spot Bobby's shots and "beverage" him. It's funny because in many ways Andy's the more successful guy, but he'd rather be living on the "Jealous Much?" and having the free life that Bobby has. Maybe because his wife is Ellie... not sure.
Ellie's still a character I can't wrap my head around. The only reasons I can think of why she dislikes Laurie so much is that a) She's jealous that Laurie's living the wild young life she used to have and b) Jules likes her so much. I guess that's enough for now, but it can't really last. We saw a little more in Laurie this week, mostly via a responsible side coming through the party girl in her (though why she thought she could fight a woman who just got back from serving in Afghanistan is beyond me). Though I'm not quite sure how Jules sees young self in Laurie just yet.
But, this was a good start to what I hope is a run of episodes that are funny and flesh out the characters a bit more.