Review of "Cougar Town: The Complete Second Season" From The TV MegaSite
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DVD TV Show Reviews

 Cougar Town: The Complete Second Season

 

  Review by Suzanne 8/29/11

This is a fine show to watch if you just want an enjoyable, light plot, occasional chuckles, and pretty, likable people. But it's still just not that funny, to me. Humor is very subjective, of course, so you might like it a lot more than I do. It is no "Friends", that's for sure.

Courtney Cox plays a real estate agent named Jules, who lives in Florida. She hangs out with her friends, which includes Grayson, the guy across the street that she's sleeping with; her friend Laurie that works with her; her next door neighbor, Ellie, and Ellie's husband Andy; her college-age son; and her redneck ex-husband, Bobby. They make jokes (mostly at each other's expense) and drink a lot.

The show's title really had very little to do with the show. None of these women are old enough to be "cougars", and they are not dating younger men.  When the show started, Jules tried dating, so that's where the name came from. Eventually, she started hooking up with the guy across the street.

I wouldn't change the channel if this show were on my TV, but I probably wouldn't seek it out, either. And I might switch the TV around during the commercial to see if there was something better on.

The bonus features include a behind-the-scenes look at the show and how it has evolved.  There is a collection of shorts from the web (webisodes) and the usual deleted scenes and outtakes that you find on most DVD's. It's not a bad DVD set.

More Info:

Blooper clips and deleted scenes  
Interactive quiz: Cougar Town Extra Cast Comments  Hi Baby Deleted Scene Review

On behalf of Walt Disney Studio's Home Entertainment, we wanted to share
with you never-been-seen interviews with Cougar Town:
The Complete Second Season, available on DVD on August 30th! You can
pre-order your copies at the ABC Store:  http://abctvstore.cafepress.com/abcstore

* Acclaimed actress Courteney Cox talks about comedy, dating and
her life away from the set.

* Busy Phillips, who plays Laurie Keller, dives into her character
and on-set chemistry

AN INTERVIEW WITH BUSY PHILIPPS
FOR THE SEASON TWO DVD RELEASE OF COUGAR TOWN

With the acclaimed series Cougar Town and a string of starring roles in hit shows including ER, Freaks And Geeks and Dawsonís Creek under her belt, Busy Philipps is quickly emerging as an international household name. With the Season Two DVD of Cougar Town about to be released, we chat with Busy Philipps, who plays Laurie Keller.

What do you enjoy the most about working on Cougar Town?
Everyone in the cast of Cougar Town has worked on many television shows and movies prior to this, but Iíve never worked anywhere like this before where the cast gets along so well. We all genuinely enjoy hanging out with each other, which is really fun for me.

Did you have to work on the chemistry in the cast?
I donít think you can work on chemistry -- you either have it or you donít. I think you can do things to get closer as a group, which we do, but weíve already got solid bonds. We hang out all the time on set, we go to lunch together and we hang out on the weekends Ė but thereís really no time in a television environment to do really intense chemistry rehearsals. Itís just one of the rare things when you get a show that works where the people genuinely get along and you can see it. Itís great when that comes through on screen. Sometimes people get along great in real life and then, on camera, it falls completely flat Ė but weíve been very lucky in that we all make each other sparkle a little more brightly when weíre together.

How much input do you have into your character on the show?
Weíre in a very unique situation on Cougar Town because the showís creators, Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel, and the rest of the writing staff have always been incredibly inclusive of the actors. We are allowed to pitch jokes and we help them come up with stuff on set Ė and they love it. Having said that, sometimes we come up with terrible jokes and thatís why theyíre the writers. Bill and Kevin are very open about talking to us about our characters, and as an actor, I really love that. I also love the atmosphere on set and the vibe of being able to goof around. Bill has a couple of sayings, but one of them is, ďWeíve got this scene. Now do one for yourself. This oneís for free.Ē

Is this collaborative spirit the preference for most actors?
Iíve been on shows where you have to stick to the script. Every single word has to be in place, but I find that difficult as an actor. Some actors are comfortable with that kind of situation, but others donít want to be involved in anything like that. Bill has selected a group of actors from a comedy background for Cougar Town and we all want the show to be the best it can be and the funniest it can be, so we all want to be involved. Itís not like we come to work, say our lines, hit our marks and then go home. Weíre having fun working on the jokes and working on a fun comedy, and I think it translates to the screen.

The characters on Cougar Town often act a little childishly on the show. Do you think that reflects a reality -- that 40-year-olds behave like teenagers?
I think that depends on the people you hang out with. There are groups of people that sit around, drink wine and behave like proper adults. But there are also people who like to let loose and have some fun. My husband has this group of football friends that get together every Sunday. They are all aged 38 to 45 and they drink, play games and watch football. They have fun together and it feels very reminiscent of the stuff we do on this show.

Is it fun to find the juvenile spin on an adult situation?
I think you should always maintain a level of fun in your life. Itís hard to be a grownup, itís hard to have kids, itís hard to be married, and itís hard to be in real relationships. You need to be able to laugh with your friends and play silly games and have a glass of wine, just like these characters on the show. Itís great to be able to have a laugh.

It sounds like its all fun and games on the set of Cougar TownÖ
It is! Talking of games, youíll often see us playing ďpenny canĒ on the show. Well, thatís there because we love playing it in real life. Itís super fun. Bill Lawrence is the biggest culprit of loving ďpenny can.Ē Heíll stop a shot to play and heís really good at it. Christa Miller is really good too. She played high school basketball, so sheís a great shot.

Why do you think a show like Cougar Town works all over the world?
It works because many of the themes are universal. The show is about relationships and the comedy that comes from hanging out with people that youíre very close with. Itís something that people can relate to all over the world.

Season One of Cougar Town was very different from Season Two. Back then, it was a dating show and not about friendsí relationships. Do you like the way the show has evolved?
I love it. I think itís great the way the show has moved forward. The change happened very organically and it really works.

How did these changes come about?
When they were casting the show, they were looking for a group of people that would be able to work really well together. When we got to the third or fourth episode of Season One, I remember Bill Lawrence saying to us, ďThis is the show. Itís about friends. Itís not about her looking for younger guys. Itís about you and your relationships together.Ē It wasnít like the producers decided to change the tone of the show; itís just made the show stronger. I think thatís why weíve been able to build this fan base and why people like the show. People can relate to this fun group of friends and they love seeing what they get up to.

Do you feel the title of the show should be changed if itís not about cougars anymore?
The showís name got a lot of attention when we were filming Season One, and it got a lot of people interested in the show. Television is a really tough business; the goal is to keep your show on the air and to get people to watch it. Having the discussion about the title gave more interest in the show and it got people talking. In Season One, we had a lot of bloggers saying, ďIf youíre turned off by the title, you should check it out. Itís not about cougars.Ē And then in Season Two they said, ďWill they change the title? Wonít they change the title?Ē I think it continually garnered interest Ė but changing the title is a very tricky proposition.

Why is that?
It seems really difficult to maintain and retain the audience that youíve already established, especially with the state of DVRs and TiVos with people already having the show programmed. I think they made the right decision to keep the title the way it is Ė and theyíre having a ball with the title sequences. Keep your eyes on them because they are a lot of fun. They are definitely not to be missed.

AN INTERVIEW WITH COURTENEY COX
FOR THE SEASON TWO DVD RELEASE OF COUGAR TOWN

Courteney Cox stars as Jules Cobb in her Golden Globe nominated role as a recently divorced mom facing the humorous challenges, pitfalls and rewards of life's next chapter. With the Season Two DVD of Cougar Town about to be released, we sat down with the acclaimed actress Courteney Cox to talk about comedy, dating and her life away from the setÖ

What do you love the most about working in comedy?
I donít know why, but I feel very comfortable doing comedy. I love it! Maybe itís because Iím a pretty goofy person in real life or the fact that Iím very physical, but I find comedy a lot of fun to work on. Itís the best job in the world.

Were you funny as a child?
I was pretty shy when I was younger, so I didnít try to get any attention through comedy back then. However, I was always a little dry in my sense of humor. I could be very sarcastic at times.

Is your daughter, Coco, much of a comedian?
Oh, thereís no doubt about that. That kid is unstoppable! She's very confident in life, but sheís funny for sure.

What kind of comedy makes you laugh?
The answer to that is simple: Ricky Gervais. He is a comedy genius.

How grueling is the shooting schedule on a show like Cougar Town?
Itís definitely hard work. Some days I go to work at 7:00 in the morning and I will be here until 8:00 at night. Often, it can be 14 or 15 hours of work a day Ė but I love it.

How much has Cougar Town changed since Season One?
Cougar Town started out as a show about a 40-year-old woman dating younger guys. However, we soon realized that getting these young, male guest stars to appear in the show for just one week meant that the audience didnít really invest in the characters. Thatís why we decided to move away from a show about a ďcougarĒ and move into a show about this group of dysfunctional friends. It was always an ensemble show, but we decided to push it more when we realized that was the core of the show. Itís a formula that always works. We did it with Friends, they did it with Cheers, and now weíre doing it with Cougar Town. It was a good decision because the regular characters on the show are far too interesting to take a back seat.

What do you think of the showís title? Is it a little misleading now that the show isnít about ďcougarsĒ?
To be honest, we donít know what to do with the title. Thatís why we make fun of it each week with our opening sequences. The title of the show is already out there, so how do we take it back? Itís not a show about my character being with a younger guy every week Ė but itís the title that everyone knows. Itís difficult to change it once everyone is aware of it.

How would you describe the show?
Season Two is like the new and improved Cougar Town. I think weíre getting better and better with the show, and the critics seem to like it more, which is great.

What went through your mind when you heard about your Golden Globe nomination?
I was so psyched when that nomination came through. It was such a good feeling. You know what? Iím really proud of this show and Iím really proud of what weíre doing. I am happier than ever working on Cougar Town.

Do you like to watch yourself on screen?
I don't mind watching myself on screen. There are times when I see myself and I think, ďOh, I could have made a better choice than that.Ē But most of the time I'm pretty comfortable, especially on this show because Iím involved with all of the cuts and the production.

Jules has a very distinct sense of fashion on the show. Is it very similar to your own personal style away from the set?
Cougar Town takes place in a town called Gulf Haven, Florida. The colors Jules wears are a little brighter and the clothes are a little tighter than I wear away from the set. I wore a pink bra for Jules recently, but thatís something I would never wear at home. She's a little bit more ďout thereĒ than me, which is great because it means I get to have a lot of fun with her.

So what are your favorite colors?
When it comes to clothes and fashion, black and gray are my very favorite colors Ė but that doesnít work for Jules in Florida. She's happy. She's game for everything. That's how we differ. Iím not quite as easy-going. And Iím not quite as bright when it comes to fashion.

What advice do you have for women in Julesí situation? Women who are turning 40 and finding themselves single?
Youíve just got to be willing to put yourself out there. Iím sure itís not easy, but you are not alone. Think positive and get out there.

Why do some women in their 40s date younger guys?
Younger guys can make you feel great about yourself, so why not try it out if youíre single and 40? When a younger man is attracted to you, it means you still have it. I think thatís great. Everything gets harder as you get older. We start picking ourselves apart and seeing the things that maybe no one else sees, but we really see them and they become magnetized in our minds. Itís great if a young guy comes along and sees past that.

Apparently you have one other thing in common with Jules, tooÖ Youíre both into real estate. Is that true?
Yes, thatís very true. I am really into real estate, which is why Jules has the perfect job for me to portray on the show. Iím not sure how that came about, though. [Cougar Town creator] Bill Lawrence spent tons of time with me before he went away and wrote the pilot episode Ė and he really captured my sense of humor, although I donít know if he was trying to capture my passion for homes by making Jules work in real estate. To be honest, I just think there are a lot of real estate brokers in Florida. Whatever worksÖ

Walt Disney Studio's Home Entertainment has announced that nine exciting ABC Studios Series, such as Grey's Anatomy, Cougar Town, Brothers and Sisters, and more, will be available on DVD this fall! Each collectible Complete Season DVD Set is packaged as a multi-disk set that includes every episode in the season, as well as exciting bonus materials including bloopers, outtakes, behind the scenes featurettes and more.

Check out the press release announcement, detailing each series release. You can watch the DVD's uninterrupted by commercials, in the comfort of your own homes!


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Updated 8/31/11  

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