When I first heard the name of Courteney Cox’s new show Cougar Town, I was a little underwhelmed. But I liked the concept and the actress, so gave it a try. The first season proved to be very good. Cox had created another funny, neurotic character in Jules, a 40-ish divorced woman trying to cope with being a single mom, dating, and raising her teenage son. She was also surrounded with a great cast of sidekicks.
Christa Miller (The Drew Carey Show, Scrubs) plays best friend Ellie Torres (husband Bill Lawrence created the show with Kevin Biegel). Busy Philipps (ER, Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles) plays friend and wacky coworker Laurie, and Dan Byrd (Heroes) is her sardonic teenage son Travis. Josh Hopkins (Brothers & Sisters, Private Practice) portrays former feuding neighbor and now boyfriend Grayson, and Ian Gomez (The Drew Carey Show, Jake in Progress) plays Ellie’s husband Andy. Jules’s ex husband (and Travis’s dad) is played by Brian Van Holt (Threshold).
The actors all have a great rapport, and their characters’ behavior is just exaggerated enough to be very funny. Their Florida cul-de-sac may have an abundance of over-the-top antics and smart-ass dialogue — but it all works. And they all manage to drink a lot of wine.
Cougar Town: The Complete Second Season has proved to be even funnier than the first season. The cast is truly an ensemble, and the viewer can tell how much fun they are all having with their characters and each other. Each episode stands alone, but there are also plot threads that run through the season—Jules adjusting to Travis growing up and moving out, Jules’s and Grayson’s evolving and deepening relationship, Laurie (maybe) wanting to find a serious beau. As zany as Jules and her friends can be, the show also deals with the loneliness and difficulty of making a real connection after someone has reached “a certain age.”
Each half-hour episode is chock-full of witty one-liners and Cougar Town: The Complete Second Season is as funny as ever. You’ll want to grab a “Big Carl” industrial-size glass of wine and hang out all day with the cul-de-sac gang.
The 22 episodes are included on three discs:
1 – “All Mixed Up” – Jennifer Aniston guest stars as Jules’s wacky long-time therapist. Aniston is very funny and should consider getting back into the television game full-time. Travis is getting ready to go to college (to Laurie), “When I’m gone it’s just gonna be you and the old people.”
2 – “Let Yourself Go” – Travis is off to college and Jules and her friends are trying to relate (and Jules trying to cope with her son moving away). Travis, “You’re kinda smothering me.” Jules, “With love. It doesn’t count.”
3 – “Makin’ Some Noise” – Jules needs something to distract her with Travis at college, so Grayson diverts the attention from him by having Jules organize a neighborhood watch. Laurie, “Go see him, dork university is like almost twenty minutes away.”
4 – “The Damage You’ve Done” – As Grayson and Jules try to take their relationship to another level, they tell each other about past relationships, with a big reveal — Grayson and Laurie tells Jules that they slept together. Jules, “I can be mean Grayson. Look — Travis’s favorite poster (She rips it). Oh gosh, I think I’m going to throw up.”
5 – “Keeping Me Alive” – Jules no longer has to pay Bobby alimony, but then decides to hire him. Jules, “Some of us overdid it at the pre-no-more-alimony-party party, so I made these margaritas with crushed up aspirin.” Andy, “They should market this to drunks! Or us.”
6 – “You Don’t Know How It Feels” – Jules’s father comes to town for a visit during Halloween. Laurie, (at the Halloween party, pretending to be Ellie) “Jules, I can say you look beautiful, because you’re the only one I’m nice to.”
7 – “Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It)” – Jules is turning 42 and declares there should be a birthday gift contest. Andy wonders whether he is really friends with Jules, who tries to reassure him that they would be friends even if he wasn’t Ellie’s husband. Ellie, “Once you go Andy all the rest is blandy.”
8 – “Little Girls Blues” – Travis’s new girlfriend Kirsten is an “older woman” (23). Jules is not thrilled. Travis asks his dad for some advice on women. Bobby, “If you need me, Grayson’s door is always open.”
9 – “When the Time Comes” – Jules says “I love you” and waits for Grayson’s response. Will Thanksgiving dinner provide the perfect setting? Grayson, “Jules. What I was going to say before you poisoned me is that I am so lucky to have found you.”
10 – “The Same Old You” – Everyone thinks Bobby should try to play in the PGA — except maybe Bobby. Ellie does a background check on Grayson, trying to dig up some interesting dirt. Ellie, “Stop trying to make this into an 80s movie montage.”
11 – “No Reason to Cry” – Jules thinks two doves are the perfect symbol of her relationship with Grayson — until they inadvertently kill one of them. Cul-de-sac neighbor Tom wants to be part of the “gang.” Tom, “Hey guys what’s up? Did someone have a pillow fight outside here?”
12 – “A Thing About You” – Laurie is Jules’s houseguest and driving her crazy. Ellie makes friends with an equally snarky person at the local wine bar — but he may even be too snarky for her. Jules, to Ellie, “Stop right there! Girlfriends don’t talk about each other behind their backs. (Laughs).”
13 – “Lost Children” – The gang talks about friendship and Jules invents a new hide-and-seek game. Jules, to Ellie, “It’s daylight. Why aren’t you over at my house yet?”
14 – “Cry To Me” – Grayson and Jules and the gang celebrate Valentine’s Day — in very different ways. Jules, “I love Valentine’s Day. I don’t care if I get flowers or deer skin.”
15 – “Walls” – Ellie tries to control Jules’s controlling ways with Travis. Jules, “I’m not gonna stand here and be judged by someone who doesn’t even have a nineteen year old, and most of all, who thinks there’s a ghost in her pickup truck.” Ellie, “Then…who keeps moving my sunglasses Jules? Who?”
16 – “Baby’s a Rock `N’ Roller” – Jules babysits Baby Stan for Ellie and finds that it’s harder to wrangle kids in your 40s than in your 20s. Grayson seems a lot less put off by the idea of having small children around, which freaks Jules out even more. Ellie, “It is a gorgeous night and I have no kid waiting at home. Shiraz me.”
17 – “You’re Gonna Get It” – Jules thinks she has jinxed Bobby in a golf tournament. the rest of the gang are shocked by Laurie being so great at a bar trivia game. Ellie, “It chews gum while it eats buffalo wings. How did it beat us?”
18 – “Lonesome Sundown” – Travis is about to ask Kirsten a big question. The gang form a “council” to judge each other’s behavior. Laurie, “Wait, why do we have to have coffee over here?” Jules, “‘Cause wherever I am is where we have coffee.”
19 – “Damaged By Love” – Travis has a broken heart and Andy’s sister-in-law (Nia Vardalos, real-life wife of Ian Gomez) is all over him — and Ellie is not happy about it. Laurie, “If someone was up on my man like that. I would lace up my ass-kicking boots.”
20 – “Free Fallin’” – Travis drops out of college and Jules tries not to enable his depression. Ellie, “What do you want him to do? Live here until he’s 60 so you two can spend every second of your lives together?” Jules, “Oh my God that would be amazing.”
21 – “Something Good Coming – Part 1” – Travis takes off for Hawaii and Jules and the gang go after him – and on a group vacation. Jules, “This is the first time on this trip it’s been just the ladies.” Ellie, “It’s an embarrassment of bitches.”
22 – “Something Good Coming – Part 2” – Will Jules be able to convice Travis to come home? And will Grayson stay with her if she doesn’t want another kid? Bobby, “I don’t get this timezone crap. How can it be one time here and then another time at home? This isn’t Star Trek.” Ellie, “I wonder what you’re doing in Florida right now?”
Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish. And if that isn’t enough cul-de-sac hijinks for you, the three-disc set also includes extras:
“(Still Called) Cougar Town: Season 2″ – Interviews with the show creators, mostly goofing on what a horrible name for a show Cougar Town is.
“Andy’s Dreams” – Ian Gomez introduces six webisodes, all featuring fantasy dream sequences.
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