Michael Slezak
October 22, 2009 AT 03:10 PM EDT

Last night’s Cougar Town episode may not have been the strongest in the sitcom’s brief history, but it did succeed in giving us a sense of Courteney Cox’s Jules as a professional woman whose life isn’t devoted only to drinking, partying, and pursuing younger dudes. Okay, so in actuality we saw Jules pushing some of her crazy workload onto irresponsible Laurie, but still, the little details felt just right — from the explanation that you can’t have too many bowls of wooden fruit when staging an open house to Jules’ insistence that Laurie show up on time to pick her up for their morning appointment. “Calling me at eight from 20 minutes away to say ‘Come out, I’m here’ doesn’t count.” Laurie, with her “fightin’ nails” and her questionable taste in men, is an endless source of trashy good fun, whether she’s accidentally losing her skirt in some roadside bushes or serving as a punch line for Ellie, who commented on Laurie’s lateness by speculating that she was “passed out under some loser who’s naked except for his hat on backwards.”

As for Jules’ May-October romance, while I’m not entirely sure I buy the off-kilter balance of the relationship, I nonetheless got a good laugh out of that kissing-instruction sequence using an apple and a garden-snake metaphor (embedded below), especially when Jules’ teenage son happened to stroll by at exactly the right moment. “This is my friend Josh. He eats weird.” “He does.” Uff da. Also: Three cheers for the return of Barb! (“You remind me of the statue of David. He’s nude!” When it comes to scene-stealing Carolyn Hennesy, it’s all about the delivery.)

Last night, we also got more insight into irascible “paper buddy” Grayson, via his golf outing with Jules’ ex. I can’t get enough of his standard-operating resistance to Jules’ neighborly advances (“I’m currently not looking to get set up on a playdate.”) or his bewilderment over his neighbors’ penchant for over-sharing (“Is this what you people do? Bottom-feed out of the fridge and talk about me beating a grown man at golf?”). Better still, Jules’ spread of “old carrots, some whole wheat waffles, and a brick of pepper jack” kept alive Cougar Town‘s growing obsession with shameful/addictive food and beverages, as did Grayson passing off microwaved Bloody Mary mix as tomato soup in an effort to cheer up Bobby, who saw his golf record get broken and got confused for a Labrador mix all in the same day. Oh, and on two totally unrelated notes, which was more awesome: Jules’ response at Travis horror over her bra flash (“Calm down. These used to feed you.”) or that massive blue ring she was sporting during her final make-out scene with Josh? Weigh in on that debate, and on episode 5 in general, in the comments section below! And if you’re crazy for Cougar Town, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.

Image Credit: Karen Neal/ABC

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