Welcome to the my first review — and the first review on this site — of Cougar Town. This is weird because Cougar Town quickly (and haphazardly) became my favorite comedy somewhere between season two and its season three premiere. Sorry, 30 Rock, but it happens. I still love you, however. Anyway, for some reason I hardly ever review some of my favorite shows. I think photo recaps take over my life. So, please bear with me.
This episode basically revolved around Jules’ role in Travis’ life now that he’s “almost 20 years old” and living… basically fifteen minutes away. Nevertheless, there were the minor plots as per usual: Grayson craving Jules’ attention who is more preoccupied with wedding stuff; the guys create a fun game that’s basically hitting each other with a ball; no one knowing anything about poor Tom; the love of strange dogs; and Andy’s huge feet. But as I mentioned, it was basically a Jules and Travis-centric episode, which we’ve received much of, but it doesn’t matter because I’m very much a fan of it.
I think most pairings on this show get plenty of mileage comedically. But, aside from loving Travis and Jules’ relationship as mother and son since it’s one of my favorite mother-and-son TV pairings, they also bring much heart to this show unlike any other dynamic. (Remember when the show tried to convince us of Jules and Andy as friends and it was just unintentionally awkward instead of heartwarming?) It’s something the Travis character can only really do since he’s the least cartoonish of all.
That said, he does delve into it often, as exampled in the “What what” scene during this episode.
Well, regardless, parenthood and motherhood is something I believe the show executes pretty well… at least coming from someone with Travis’ perspective on things. Courtney Cox and Dan Byrd just work well off each other and so that final scene in which Jules told him she’d never stop worrying about him because that’s just how it works was quite relatable and human, a huge feat for this show but also something they seem to be striving for in every episode this season.
Because of this, I don’t know if this season thus far has actually been funny. But that’s not really an issue. This season has been working really well — dynamics, chemistry, running gags, storytelling — in a way that I don’t need laughs to claim it as a good episode, or even a great one. But they sure as hell are trying to make me laugh, as shown by all the aforementioned subplots.
I appreciate another cul-de-sac game that wasn’t Penny Can. I appreciated even more that Ellie and Laurie decided to pair up together and be teammates (a really good comedic pairing and one with the most unexpected heart). But overall I found the abundance of running gags taking away from the central story. Once scene was Travis in a hospital, then Grayson feeling unloved, then Jules tricking him to hit him with a ball, and then Travis leaving the hospital. It was fun, sure, but emphasis on Jules’ being overprotective in the former half of the episode could have given that final scene much more impact, something I would have most definitely been okay sacrificing a gag for.
But I can’t complain. So far, this show has truly found its own this season. It knows who these characters are and has been using their wine-soaked dynamic for more positively sided stories rather than just berating each other (something the show could easily become, basically Seinfeld versus Parks and Recreation) which I guess I commend, but don’t care either way. Just an afterthought.
What did you think of the episode? Have you been enjoying this season?