Neigh­bour­hood watch

8 things we’ve learned from binge-watch­ing Cougar Town.

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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.

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