This week, we found the Cul-de-sac crew going up against an entirely different crew — a bike crew! As 30 Rock‘s Liz Lemon would say: “Youths!” They’re basically the worst in Cougar Town land (which is almost redundant when you say it aloud), so much so that I’m wondering if these youths are the same that sharked Jules’ car earlier this season. I could be wrong. Whatever the case may be, I’m all for the crew having arch nemeses in the form of adolescent and teenage boys. When do we get a high school sophomore girl to go head-to-head with Ellie?
When a group of riled up teenagers starting riding their bicycles through the crew’s homes, a king of the cul-de-sac is crowned — and much to Andy’s dismay, Jules gets the title. It’s a clever, funny (and silly, in usual C-Town form) story, but one I feel that we already saw last year. Granted, we never got a King of the Cul-de-sac story before, for sure, but the basics of the story — Jules versus Andy, then having her give in to satisfy whatever Andy’s manly sigh warranted — was done in season 2 when Andy realized Jules didn’t consider him her friend.
When Jules wanted him to not make a small, insignificant thing a big thing: I was just nodding my head. However, I do enjoy the fact that it seems Andy is the only one that makes the cul-de-sac functional… something that didn’t really need an answer, but is most definitely good to keep in mind. I mean, with everyone drinking all the freakin’ time, who the hell is running things?
Even Jules forgot she has her own successful realtor company.
Elsewhere, Bobby experiences love at first sight when he meets Travis’ teacher — and she, at least, experiences lust at first sight. I’m rooting for those two! And although it was more of a subplot of the episode, it was one that could have made use of the heart more than the Andy story wanted so badly to do. As I said in my previous review, I’m a huge fan of Travis’ relationship(s) with his parents. So, when he wants his dad to date his teacher (or at least, isn’t completely opposed to it enough to not let him), it easily became the more heartwarming part of the episode. And Laurie falls in love with some guy on Twitter, and decides sending nude photos and her social security number is the perfect gift. Too far? All I could think was: no, not your social!!! But…
Well, anyway, another half-hour of Cougar Town with so many self-contained gags (blacker than space!, underwear model) and throwaway lines or scenes (Braveheart, is that a movie?) that would previously have been episode-long jokes that I’m drowning in all of it. And while it’s definitely a difficult feat, I have yet to find myself “laughing out loud” this season. Nothing is wrong with that at all, and I definitely laughed this episode, but I just felt the need to mention it. I love spending half an hour with these characters and all of their nuances — who says comedies have to be consistently funny? (Heck, I haven’t laughed at all over at 30 Rock this season.)
The show continues to understand exactly what it is, four episodes into the new season, by being the perfect blend between solid storytelling, self-contained and serial gags (Penny Caaaaan!, Travis’ helmet), and comedy plus heart warmth. The point being: Cougar Town is arguably at its best and yet no one is watching… which saddens me.
Oh, and also, congratulations to Ms. Courtney Cox who directed the half hour and kept the essence of the show very much intact. Very well done!