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DVD Review: Cougar Town – Season One

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This ABC television series, set in the fictional Gulfhaven, Florida, progresses from a one-note concept to a strong ensemble show headlined by Courtney Cox as real estate agent Jules Cobb. This entertaining three-disc set contains 24 total episodes (eight on each disc) and plenty of extra features. Jules is a new divorcee who spent 17 years as a wife and mom and is now back on the dating scene.

Jules’ assistant, Laurie, played by Busy Philipps, gets Jules back into the dating world. Jules also has a son Travis, played by Dan Byrd, while Brian Van Holt plays her ex. Jules has a gossipy best friend Ellie who conveniently lives next door and is played by Christa Miller. “Sorry Jules, but you’re not in a relationship yet. It has to last at least nine days before I consider it real. It’s the same rule that I have for hair extensions or foster parents…”

Ellie and Laurie have a rivalry while Jules must contend with her fellow worker named Barb, played by Carolyn Hennesy, who now solely embodies any associated innuendo from the series’ title theme of older women pursuing younger men.

A featurette about Barb is the weakest of the bonus features; it contains 13 minutes of video from the series’ website. This uninspired bonus feature basically sets Hennesy up with one-liners and sexual innuendos from questions that continue that unattractive theme created by the show’s title.

Series co-creator Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Spin City) also writes and directs episodes, many named after Tom Petty songs. Lawrence and co-creator Kevin Biegel provide some helpful insight on numerous bonus features, especially the approximately five-minute “Taming Cougar Town.”

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live: Saber-Tooth Tiger Town” parody featurette featuring Cloris Leachman and Shirley Jones has somewhat more tasteful comedy than Barb’s segment, but both have the same one-note innuendos.

Jules also develops some unique relationships with the men in her life like her neighbor Grayson, another recent divorce played by Josh Hopkins. Other family members, most notably Andy played by Ian Gomez, friends, and colleagues also fold into this appealing foray.

Guest appearances from this season included Barry Bostwick, Beverly D’Angelo, Sheryl Crow, and Lisa Kudrow, Courtney’s former co-star. Jennifer Aniston appears in this year’s season premiere, so maybe David, Matt, and Matthew will cameo upcoming episodes for a Friends reunion of sorts.

The 15 deleted scenes, usually not lasting more than two minutes each, include two from the somewhat awkward, yet important pilot episode, which features Grayson in a unique situation. The bloopers are great and showcases the cast’s progressing collaboration and talents. Other mildly entertaining features include the montage “My Sexuality” music video and the golf-themed “Stroking It with Bobby Cobb”.

Audio tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 and English for the hearing impaired, and French and Spanish subtitles are available. This recently price-reduced DVD set totals 520 minutes of season episodes while the bonus features add some value to a decent comedy series with plenty of future potential lead by Cox’s brave comic performances. Hopefully next season’s set will include some episode commentary tracks from Cox and others.

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