Cougar Town is one of my favourite shows, comedy or not. However, the last few episodes have disappointed me, and I can’t really seem to put my finger on what it is. They have been funny, but not hilarious; they have been cute, but not sweet. It’s probably a mistake to judge the show and say it’s the switch to TBS since that was actually what I loved the most about the first two instalments. So, what is it, then?
I don’t think I will be able to answer that question this soon into the season. In fact, I’m not just about to make any rushed judgements about the show this year with only 5 episodes out. However, I will examine what I liked and disliked about yesterday’s instalment in particular and perhaps in a few weeks it’ll help me elaborate those thoughts.
Let’s take on the bad first. The episode was funny. I cannot say I didn’t laugh because the first half of it was pretty much spot on hilarious like Cougar Town usually is. Nevertheless, come the second half (specifically after Jules decides to work with Grayson at the bar and Andy goes on his artvengeance to teach Laurie and Travis a lesson) I got bored. I had to rewind a couple of times because my mind drifted away. I still smiled, but with the exception of a few Ellie bits and, probably, the last few minutes, it wasn’t really that good. The whole thing felt like an OK joke that got stretched for too long. I mean, there were a good set-up and an ok punch line, but I kind of wanted it to end during the middle.
Also, something I didn’t like was Jules. I have been feeling this since a few weeks back, and it’s starting to bother me a lot by now. I know she’s usually quirky and clueless. She’s also a bit self-absorbed and she likes controlling Grayson. All that’s cute about her. We all laugh at it. However, this season she has gotten the slightest bit annoying. Week in and week out she has been an absolutely dreadful wife, she’s always going through some sort of depression, and she really cannot get a hint of how annoying she’s being, especially with Grayson. The poor guy makes his “I want to kill you” face 20 times a day and with good reason. Frankly, sometimes I just wish he would slap her out of it.
It’s most certainly a problem with the writing, since Courteney Cox is as brilliant as always, and most of the other characters and storylines have been great, but she’s the backbone of the show, and so it’s a big deal that this is happening. I know it might only be my opinion. Most likely I’m alone in thinking it, too. Still, something needs to be done here. I feel that if logic is any indicator, Grayson will only take so much of this, and I really don’t want them to split up. Actually, that’s probably it. I have a feeling that if I were him I’d be fighting all the time with her, and I want them to be sweet and work together like they always have. Of course, on the other hand, logic isn’t really that big on Cougar Town.
The last piece of criticism I have is the same one I expressed a few weeks ago. There doesn’t seem to be a backstory to help me get through the not-so-funny episodes. With the exception of Bobby trying to give his life a sense of direction (which has been one of my favourite aspects of the season so far), nothing is really happening. Jules and Grayson are still married, and in spite of how hard it is for the guy, they’re not even arguing that much; Ellie is mostly cranky all the time (but I forgive that cause she gets the prize for funniest character in the show right now); Laurie and Travis seem like they’re never gonna happen; and Andy has been his usual lovable self. This wouldn’t be too bad if, as was the case on episode two, the hilarity of the show shined by itself, but now that that is also flaking, I cringe.
On the opposite side, though, there were good elements last night. The wink at fans with Brad and Emily coming on the show together was pretty cool. Also, like I said, Bobby’s development in realizing he needed to grab his life by the balls and make a path for himself, is perhaps the best thing that’s happened so far. Also, most of the characters keep being hilarious with the exception of Jules at times. All in all, it hasn’t been bad. Like I said before, I’m just spoiled by the show being so consistently good last season, that now my expectations are way too high. However, if I had to be honest, I wouldn’t give it any more than an average score as things are right now. I would say “Runnin’ Down A Dream” was a 7/10 and it wasn’t even the worst one of the year.
So, what do I expect for the future? I’m not too scared because from rumours I hear, the next few episodes seem to have great potential. It’s only been 5 weeks and the first two were incredible. Therefore, I’m sure the show can get back on track. However, if I may be honest, if things keep going the way they have the last couple of weeks, I might have to bump Cougar Town out of my top 5 shows list.
Still, once more, that’s unlikely. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the next few weeks. I’ll come back down the line and see how it has progressed. Now, what do you expect from the future and what have you thought of the past of season 4? Let me know in the comments. Hopefully, you won’t agree with me.
Luiz R. Ruiz – @Not_reallyLuis