February 15, 2012

Quick Thoughts: COUGAR TOWN, "Ain't Love Strange"

While I'm glad that Cougar Town is finally back, the Season 3 premiere was not as strong as I was expecting it to be. When it comes to 30 minute comedies, my criteria is pretty simple: make me laugh. Sure, it's nice to have some character moments and plot, but with sitcoms that jokes are what count. "Ain't Love Strange" was light on the laughs.

Since day one I've had a problem with the female characters on this show, and it doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon. As much as I try, I cannot muster any care for Jules, so the fact that so much of this episode was focused on her and her relationship with Grayson was not a good start. Sure, they had some sweet moments that made up for the weaker ones, but she's so grating that I'm not interested in her happiness, but I do like Grayson so I'm torn.

Ellie and Andy's struggle with their son was another storyline that missed its mark because once again I don't know what I should care about them as parents since this show has pretty much ignored that fact for so long now. Last season, the kid was only used as a prop for silly sight gags, and now we're supposed to take them seriously as parents? I don't think so. As for Laurie's involvement, I like Busy Phillips but her character can be a chore to watch but can also be brilliant, and I didn't think she was well used this time around.

The only bright spot for me was the C-plot about Bobby and Travis. Towards the end of Season 2, the only reason I kept watching Cougar Town was the boys, so any time spent on just them is time well spent in my book. The father/son moments between these two are the right combination of sweet and zany, and adding a green screen only made things better. They were also responsible for the best moment of the night: when Travis put his arm around Bobby after Grayson's proposal. I'll say it again, just give me a Mantherville spin-off and I'll be happy.

I don't want it sound like I'm no longer a fan of this show because I am, but that doesn't mean that I don't struggle with certain aspects. No matter how hard the writers try, I'm not going to find Jules, Ellie and Laurie funny, but it's an ensemble so I'm in as long as we get some healthy doses of the guys, and I'm sure we will.


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