8 things we’ve learned from binge-watching Cougar Town.
A lot of us missed out on sitcom Cougar Town (2009-2015) when it first aired because it seemed to be about Monica from Friends (19942004 – all 10 seasons are available on video-on-demand streaming service ShowMax) playing an older woman who’s humiliated by her failed romantic encounters with younger men. And that’s simply not true… Fortunately, it turned out to be a lot more like series creator-producer Bill Lawrence’s earlier show Scrubs (2001-2010 – all nine seasons are on ShowMax) in that it focusses on kooky adult friendships, good intentions and bad judgement.
Our new crazy best friends are “The Cul De Sac Crew” – divorced mom and estate agent Jules (Courteney Cox), her sweet, stupid pro- golfer ex-husband Bobby (Brian Van Holt), their grownup son Travis (Dan Byrd), Jules’s neighbour and (pretty soon) new boyfriend Grayson (Josh Hopkins), Bobby’s best friend and Jules’s neighbour Andy (Ian Gomez), his vindictive wife Ellie (Christa Miller) who is Jules’s best friend, and Jules’s work assistant Laurie (Busy Philipps). And it’s not just about laughs – it’s educational too! Cougar Town has so much to teach us, like…. Grayson walks in on Ellie fake-murdering Andy in season 3 episode 2 because he let the ice cream melt. “Now when I get so mad that I want to kill him, I just do it,” explains Ellie. They’re still happily married and not dead at the end of season 5. Whew!
You can even change your name, but if your first impression sucks, you’re stuck. Nobody on the production team liked the title, so from season 2 the title sequence tries out alternative names for the series, including “We Pretend Cougar Town Is Called Wine Time”.
In Season 1 episode 23, Jules transforms Grayson’s serious relationship lecture. He starts with “Jules, sometimes in a relationship, you have to do things that you don’t want to do…” and she turns it into a techno dance number that she prances around to while she makes him eat his words.
Make a gun gesture with your hand, point it at someone’s head and demand the truth. But be careful or you could get caught in the crossfire of a truth-gun shootout like the emotional bloodbath in season 2 episode 7.
Adults celebrate with friends by sharing a glass of wine. And Jules has the perfect glass: “Big Joe” holds 1.3 litres (a wine bottle holds 750ml). She replaces it with samesize “Big Carl” in season 2 episode 2.
Season 4 episode 7 reveals how difficult it is to get into the crew – just ask creepy neighbour Tom (Bob Clendenin). But it also shows that Jules has sewn their friendship together like an insane doctor by sheer persistence.
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The Cul De Sac Crew (from left): Andy, Ellie, Grayson, Jules, Laurie, Travis and Bobby.