Cougar Town: Season 1, Episode 1 "Pilot" Review - Featured

If you didn't already know, new ABC comedy Cougar Town comes from Bill Lawrence, the creator of Scrubs.



Cougar Town is no Scrubs (I am, of course, referring to the earlier days of Scrubs, back when it was...good) - but while many critics have totally panned the show - I don't think it's entirely without potential. The show definitely provided a few good lines and laughs, but at the same time, also had its fair share of gags that were too over-the-top and for me, did not work.


The cougar is the high school mascot. Cougar Town = dual meaning. Cute.


You might think that the biggest danger of a show called "Cougar Town" would be too many cheesy jokes about the already-bordering-on-stale "cougar" craze. But...I actually thought in the pilot that this was not the case. For me, what didn't quite work were some of the show's other relationships. The biggest offender was the one between Courteney Cox's main character - Jules Cobb - and her son Travis (Dan Byrd, who you may remember from Aliens in America and actually did pretty well with what he was given in this pilot).


I get it that Jules is a "cool mom", but moms just don't make jokes to their teenage sons about their "math teacher's new boobs" or their tiny penises as a baby or having a lesbian fling with their best friend or expressing satisfaction that middle-schoolers were masturbating to pictures of them. Not funny. Just unrealistic and really awkward.


Another relationship that I wasn't really feeling was that between Jules and her ex-husband Brian. I thought that his character was just too stupid and too much of a loser (and too...smarmy) for us to ever believe that he and Jules were happily married. As a seemingly smart and successful woman...what could she have possibly seen in this guy? I also didn't find any of his (Brian Van Holt) scenes to be particularly funny (haha, he didn't get oral sex when he and Jules were married - good one).


But...more successful were the scenes between Jules and her neighbor/age appropriate friend Ellie. Christa Miller (who, incidentally, is Bill Lawrence's wife) is really funny in this role, though, it's pretty much identical to the one she plays (played?) on Scrubs as Cox's wife. Also far more entertaining were the scenes between Jules and Laurie (Busy Phillips); loved the opening "game" where they were guessing if women were hanging out with their boyfriends or sons.


Lastly, there's definitely palpable chemistry between Cox Arquette and Josh Hopkins (Addison's source of temptation on Private Practice last season, Swingtown), who plays recently divorced and womanizing neighbor Grayson. Whether the two have a quick awkward fling or become more of a will they/won't they deal remains to be seen.


Random Observation


-Did anybody else notice how in all of the scenes with Cox in front of her house that the neighborhood looked really, really empty? They should have hired a few more extras and put some cars in the driveways...Cougar Town looks like a creepy, uninhabited ghost town (or, more accurately, a really obvious studio lot).


All in all, Cougar Town was not entirely without its charm, so I definitely am willing to give it some more time to improve. It had a very Scrubs-like feel to it in its goofy tone and frantic, ADD-like pacing, which, when done right, can be very endearing. Furthermore, I think people were harsher than they might have been if only because Cougar Town was premiering in conjunction with Modern Family, which is pretty much the smartest, best comedy that ABC has launched in the last 5 years, which is a hard act to follow!


What did you all think of Cougar Town?


Watch Cougar Town Season 1, Episode 1 Pilot Online Now

Comments

2 comments
Default avatar cat
Sep 25, 2009 12:01PM EDT
I'm 25, so I watched the first episode figuring I wouldn't care too much for it, but being the loyal Friends fan that I am I supported Courtney, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! It is actually pretty hilarious, and something I will definitely continue watching. I can't believe she is 45 in real life, and I can only hope I look that great when I reach that age!
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Sep 27, 2009 7:54AM EDT
Were we watching the same show????? It was awful... I love Courtney and really wanted her to have a great hit, but the jokes are lame / predictable and l completely agree that the relationships are unrealistic and inappropriate; the most inappropriate being with her son Travis - as already pointed out. Their relationship is not funny haha, but badly cringing - eek. The ex-husband is very stupid, which is why they are divorced.....I'm sort of guessing when he was trying to make it as a musician he was not home much and once he came back she realised he just wasn't what she wanted......just a guess. I also found the relationship with Grayson inappropriate. There was no indication that she was good friends of his ex-wife or of them as a couple to make it acceptable for her to yell and shout at him in the middle of the street. Only if I am dying of sheer boredom.... who am I fooling.... I'll watch the next one in hope it will be better....it won't, sorry Courtney, and I will stop watching ; - )
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