For those who haven’t watched ABC’s Cougar Town, or only caught the first few episodes of the first season, then you have no idea what you’re missing. What started as a series about a 40-something year old woman named Jules (Courteney Cox) seeking to date much younger men, morphed into an adult buddy sitcom in the middle of the first year, and solidified into what the show ends up being by the first season finale. Basically, it’s about a group of adults who dearly love each other drink wine, hang out, play Penny Can, and get into some goofy situations.
Cougar Town The Complete Second Season hits store shelves this Tuesday, August 30th, and it much better exemplifies the series than season one does. Included in this three-disc set are all 22 funny, remarkably consistent season two episodes. In the second year, Jules and Grayson (Josh Hopkins) begin to get serious about their relationship, Travis (Dan Byrd) goes to college, and Bobby (Brian Van Holt) attempts to make something of himself. Laurie (Busy Philipps) searches for love, which Andy (Ian Gomez) and Ellie (Christa Miller) already have. Tom (Bob Clendenin) tries to worm his way into the Cul-De-Sac Crew, as they call themselves, and Barb’s (Carolyn Hennesy) occasional appearances are the only real reminder of the failed start to an otherwise wonderful show.
Oh, and the title, of course. The title card changes every week in season two to poke fun at Cougar Town, which series creators Bill Lawrence (Miller’s husband) and Kevin Biegel freely admit is the one of, if not the, worst show title on television. They are considering changing it, but no official news on that front has been announced as of yet. However, if Cougar Town had not been named that, we would never have gotten such hilarious title cards, so there is a silver lining in it all. If a name change is imminent, might I suggest The Series Formerly Known as Cougar Town?
Season two is bolstered by new guest stars and recurring characters. Smith (Ryan Devlin, Brothers & Sisters) returns to spark Laurie’s feelings once more. Travis’s attentions are torn between high school girlfriend Kylie (Spencer Locke, the Resident Evil movies), who’d like an open relationship, and new grad student love interest Kirsten (Collette Wolfe, Hot Tub Time Machine). Kevin (Lamarcus Tinker, Friday Night Lights) is Travis’s roommate, though Glee has snapped him up this summer, so it’s uncertain how much of season three he might be in. Wayne (CT producer Michael McDonald, MADtv) opens a new wine bar. On a more personal level, Gomez’s real life wife, Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), drops by as Andy’s flirty cousin. Ken Jenkins, who starred in Lawrence’s Scrubs, is Jules’s father, Chick. And Sam Lloyd reprises his Scrubs character of Ted in the two-part, Hawaii-set, season finale. It’s a very talented group.
As far as DVD extras go, there are a half dozen deleted scenes totaling less than three minutes, a two minute blooper reel, and an eight and a half minute featurette listed as (still called) Cougar Town: Season 2, which does a fine job establishing the new tone of the series. One would only need to watch that bonus feature to get what Cougar Town is all about now. Andy’s Dreams is a six webisode series, mostly involving movie parodies, and they are included on the DVD, as well as an introduction and behind the scenes look at the web series. It’s about one episode-length all together, and provides a fun, alternate look inside Andy’s head.
What is missing from the special features are any commentaries at all, and the Actors Vs. Writers Vulture.com web series that was online during the long winter hiatus last year. The Vulture videos were fantastic, and it is really too bad they are not included, as they really helped fill the gap for fans missing their beloved show.
In any case, Cougar Town: The Complete Second Season is well worth the purchase. Be sure to buy it when it comes out on Tuesday, August 30th.