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Featured TV on DVD Review: Cougar Town: Season One

August 15th, 2010

Cougar Town: Season One - Buy from Amazon

Cougar Town is the latest vehicle for a Friends alumnus, this time Courtney Cox. Friends was arguably the biggest Sitcom going when it was on air (Seinfeld could also legitimately make that claim.) However, the careers of the six stars have been spotty since then. Courtney Cox herself was in a previous TV show, Dirt, that never did find its footing. Maybe that was her sophomore slump and this show will thrive.

The Show

Courtney Cox stars as Jules Cobb, a recently divorced woman trying to deal with being newly single and entering her 40s while dealing with a 17-year old son, Travis. Her best friend is Ellie Torres, who is her age, but happily married to Andy and has a new baby, Stan. Her other main cohort is Laurie, her younger assistant from work. (Jules is a real estate agent.) Laurie is younger, more immature, and her relationships are a mess, but Jules is still jealous of her freedom, as she was married in her 20s and thinks she missed out on the experience.

She has plenty of men in her life, starting with her son, Travis. Their relationship is more of friends than a strict mother / son relationship and the crazy stuff Jules does embarrasses him on a near-constant basis. She still has daily contact with her ex, Bobby, a former golf-pro who never hit the big time and who is now living on his boat in a parking lot. Bobby and Andy were best friends before the divorce, but despite Ellie insistence that that friendship is over, Andy still idolizes Bobby. The final guy that's in her life Grayson, is also recently divorced. At the beginning, Grayson is shown to be the epitome of the mid-life crisis guy with a string of one-night stands, but as the season goes on, he quickly is shown to have a lot more depth to his character.

One of the special features on the DVD is a featurette called Taming Cougar Town. The description on the back cover is, "Discover How Cougar Town Has Evolved From Its Initial Comedy Pilot Into Today's More Subtle Sexy ABC Hit." As I was watching the first season, I kept thinking to myself, "Is this the episode where it finally becomes subtle?" The show does evolve from one about a woman trying to re-live her twenties, to one that is more about people in their 40s dealing with relationships with friends, family, exes, etc. And yes, the latter episodes are much better than the earlier episodes, but it never becomes subtle. Worse yet, the earlier episodes really suck the momentum out of the series. I'm not surprised it went from 11 million viewers watching the pilot down to 6 million halfway through the season.

Hopefully season two will continue the show's upward momentum in quality, because watching the early episodes was painful at times. It would be a huge blow should the show return to that. It was too over-the-top, with characters that were little more than one-dimensional stereotypes. This show has an amazing amount of talent, on both sides of the camera. (Cougar Town was created by Bill Lawrence, who also created Scrubs, Spin City, Clone High, etc.) So my expectations were set a little too high. By the end, I wasn't exactly won over, but I have reasonable expectations that season two will be worth watching.

On a side note, the seventh month anniversary is the only one you can't celebrate without being 100% totally crazy. The first month is totally normal. The second month is okay, but a little weirder. Three months is a quarter of a year and four months is a third, so you have good fractions helping. There are five fingers on a hand so celebrating the fifth month is weird but a little acceptable. Six months is half a year, so it is completely normal. Seven months = Crazy. Eight and nine months are also good fractions. Ten months is double-digits. Eleven is 90% crazy. While if you miss the first anniversary, you're dead meat and deservedly so. And once you get past a full year, you no longer celebrate the individual months.

Editor's note: The Numbers is not responsible for any consequences of following Strowbridge's relationship advice. You really should know better.

The Extras

All of the extras are found on disc three of this three-disc set, starting with the aforementioned featurette, Taming Cougar Town. It's too short at less than 5 minutes to be truly indepth, but it isn't fluff either. There are 15 deleted / alternative / extended scenes and a two-minute gag reel. Jimmy Kimmel did a skit parodying this show called Sabre-Tooth Tiger Town and it can be found on this DVD. It's short, but funny. There's a 1-minute music video for "My Sexuality", but it's mostly just clips from the show. In Ask Barb, Carolyn Hennesy shows up as her character, Barb, to give advice to cougars, while Bobby does the same in Stroking It with Bobby Cobb.

There are quite a lot of extras here, but it is a case of quantity over quality, as most of the extras are too short to have any real replay value.

The Verdict

Cougar Town got off to a really slow start, but by the end was starting to show real promise. This does mean Season One is mixed in terms of quality, and the extras are on the light side. That adds up to a rental to get you caught up for Season Two, which will hopefully be a lot better.

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