Thanks to iffy scheduling decisions on the part of ABC, we were treated to not one, but two episodes of Cougar Town tonight. (Next week, it appears there is no new episodes thanks to the “stars” who dance.) It doesn’t matter the reasons, I’m taking this turn of events as a celebration that Cougar Town was renewed… by TBS. Thanks, TBS. I forgive you for some of that other stuff you air!
I’m just going to give a couple brief reviews of the two episodes, but I’ll tackle them one at a time. Why? Because if I try to combine them I’ll get confused. I’m a smart person, honest. But 5am wake up calls plus the necessary glass of wine with the show doesn’t equal A+ brain functions. You understand, rights?
First episode: “Square One”
Welcome to Cougarton Abbey
(Another Community shout out. The amount that these shows love each other and cross over despite being on competing networks is fantastic.)
While the sight gag C-storyline was kind of cute (who could keep a white shirt clean longer – Jules or Bobby? Bobby won, BTW), I honestly was too wrapped up in the excellent other storylines to care too much about that one.
First, there was Jules and Grayson. Despite not wanting to move in together until closer to the wedding, the hurricane from last week destroyed Grayson’s house so he was forced to move in with Jules. At first they figured it would be a breeze, but of course, it quickly declined into the realization that both of them were still carrying a lot of baggage from their unsuccessful first marriages.
When Jules made up a small white lie to cover up forgetting to flush the toilet, Grayson was worried that she would eventually become like his ex-wife, who as soon as they got married suddenly changed her tune about everything. She no longer wanted the life and family Grayson did. She wasn’t interested in the things he was interested in anymore. He didn’t want to be blindsided by Jules. Jules tries to fix it by laying all of her crap out for Grayson, even the truly upsetting stuff – like her hair issues – over dinner. But before she can do that, Grayson shows up for dinner 20 minutes late and reminded her of all the times Bobby was late for dinner, or just never came home at all, because he was off sleeping around with what I’m sure were very intelligent waitresses at the IHOP. Thanks to the increasingly thoughtful Bobby, Jules finally comes around and they work it out.
The other story was my faaavorite because Travis is my faaaavorite. Ellie and Laurie get into an argument over who is the sexiest, and Travis, unable to keep himself out of it, decides the only way to settle the issue is to have them both write out a list of everyone they ever slept with (it’s quite an extensive list – they high five that out) and see if there are any crossovers. There is one, who declares Ellie the winner. Thing of it is, despite her initial excitement, she gets upset when she overhears Andy talk about how she isn’t that sexy in the bedroom anymore. Ellie gets sad that it’s expected and Laurie realizes one day she is going to want to get married and not want to put on “the show” anymore. Travis, being the one character on the show that borders anywhere near sanity and logic, suggests that they don’t put on a show (unless it is Laurie, with him) and just give the guy a moment that lets him know they care. That kid… it’s almost like he wasn’t raised by a pack of alcoholic nutsos! But despite how great it was, the story was also heartbreaking as we watched Travis continue to pine for his One True Love – Laurie. Le Sigh…
Second Episode: “It’ll All Work Out”
Welcome to Cougar Town
Are we still on TV?
YES! YES YOU ARE! And for a whole other season, at least! WOOOO.
Speaking of that dilemma, this episode is about Jules having Thanksgiving to make up for everyone missing it in the fall. Why did they miss it? Well…. Because of ABC. I’ll let the characters explain.
Jules: This pictures skip from Labor Day to New Year’s. How did we miss Thanksgiving?
Laurie: Remember? Our schedules got all mixed up. We went away… and none of us really knew when we were coming back.
Jules: Guess what? Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving.
Laurie: Or we celebrate Thanksgiving in the Fall.
Jules: What if we’re not around next Fall? What if a new group comes in and replaces us? Everybody’s gonna be like, “What happened to the Cul de Sac Crew? I miss them. Who are these new people? They’re not so good.”
Well played, guys. Well played.
But just because it was Fakesgiving and not Thanksgiving (a term Jules was loathe to find out everyone agreed was happening) doesn’t mean there wasn’t going to be the normal family drama of that particular holiday. For the Jules and Grayson it was the fact that he had written vows (a song, natch) but she hadn’t gotten there yet. But since she said she had, he demanded to hear them. Never failing in tasking her son with inappropriate chores, Jules asked Travis (with some help from Laurie and Bobby – even more inappropriate!) to write them. Let’s just say it didn’t go well. Most suggestions put on the table involved beer and/or having sex with Matt Damon. I don’t know, sounds like some solid wedding vows to me! In the end, they listened to Jules talk about how much she loves Big Carl and used that. Fitting.
Speaking of Big Carl – the best wine glass ever lost his life in this episode. RIP. Moment of silence. And he didn’t die of natural causes (not sure what that would be for a wine glass, but go with it…). He was…. MURDERED. Dun dun duuuuunnnn. And that’s where the other family drama comes in. Little Stan is the devil. He tags potted plants in the square and Grayson’s garage. And he is never disciplined by Ellie. So when Ellie tricks Jules into letting Stan be the ring bearer, much to Jules and Grayson’s dismay, things start to get a little tense between the friends. Even more so when Stan comes in the house and throws Big Carl in the air, and he smashes into the floor and breaks into a million pieces. Jules. Freaks. Out. And then she calls Ellie a bad mother. The simultaneous cringing reaction from Travis, Grayson and Laurie was echoed across all of America, I assume. Yikes.
But, as this show is wont to do, the awful moment leads to a heartfelt one between friends. Jules apologizes and Ellie admits she isn’t a great mother and needs to learn to discipline Stan. Which she will do with some help from Jules. It’s lovely. But I still expect Stan to do something awful at the wedding!
As for Big Carl… he was given the proper burial he so deserved and we were introduced to Big Lou. May he live longer than his predecessors.
In two weeks – the final two episodes of the season, but thankfully not the series. (Thanks again, TBS!)
Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae