Cougar Town – Feeling A Whole Lot Better (S01E22) – Episode review

Cougar Town. Let’s face it, it’s like Scrubs in the suburbs. Or the Scruburbs, if you like. The pacing’s just as funny, Christa Miller is playing roughly the same character, and you expect Zach Braff to saunter past at any minute delivering a monologue in his head.

But somewhere along the line, Cougar Town has found its feet as a sitcom. I love the father/son dynamic between Bobby and Travis. I get hot for Busy Philipps, I really do. She looks like she could wrestle lesser men to the ground and eat them. Christa’s great, too. But she’s honed the art of playing “emotionally distant by lovable bitch” for years on Scrubs, so she could do this role in her sleep.

Funnily enough, the character in [[Cougar Town (TV Series)|Cougar Town]] is like the least is Alpha Cougar Jules (aka Courtney Cox). Cox plays this character in a manic fashion that I just don’t like. It follows a decades long penchant for playing highly-strung characters, and even when she’s playing vulnerable it feels fake. Or like the setup for a gag of some sort. Or maybe I maxed out on Courtney Cox while she was still Monica.

In tonight’s episode, Jules and ridiculously named neighbour Grayson Ellis decide to have a “friends with benefits” kind of relationship. Predictably, this results in Jules working out that she wants more. The funniest moments spawned by this plot are in the early stages, when Grayson dives out the window to avoid their friends finding out. And when Jules enlists Ellie for the post-sex cuddling that Grayson won’t do. After that, the whole storyline gets a bit boring and by-the-numbers.

To redeem that storyline, the guys go on a balloon-hunt to make some money. I love how Travis humours his father, no matter how stupid the request. Travis, Bobby and Andy deliver some great visual humour, first when Andy walks smack into a lamppost, and second when Bobby jumps off a roof to catch the balloon. I actually gasped when he disappeared, instantly worked out the “lower roof” bit, but still laughed my arse off at the stupidity of the situation.

Elsewhere, Andy hires a nanny for Ellie, but she ends up having to pretend to go out to work because of her shame at being a bad mother. The highlight of this was Ellie getting caught by a policeman drinking red wine on a bench because she had nowhere else to go. Oh, and Andy’s “robot” performance when he went to tell Laurie off for teasing Ellie.

Cougar Town is turning into a precious little comedy. I really do hope that Grayson and Jules don’t end up together – what’s the point of Cougar Town if the main character isn’t out on the chase? They can’t let Jules get too comfortable in a relationship or the series would lose its fizzle.

Quotes from this episode

  • Travis: Dad, you can’t put all your financial hopes into balloon chasing. You gotta keep buying those lottery tickets….I’m just kidding, don’t do that.
  • Bobby: Remember, the money’s in the red balloon. Hurt people if you have to. We can apologise later.
  • Grayson: What about post-sex cuddling? Ellie: This one needs it. She holds on like an otter trying to break open a clam.
  • Ellie (to Laurie): That’s twice I’ve found you in here. I’m buying bear spray.
  • Andy: Thanks for getting me the mustache, guys. I haven’t had one since 8th Grade.

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