After weeks of saying “I’m always surprised how much I like Cougar Town,” I suppose I shouldn’t be. I just have to get over the guilt of enjoying a show with the word “Cougar” in the title and acknowledge that I went to it before Glee on my DVR last night. The show really isn’t about Jules boffing younger men anymore — though last night she did want to be the bicycle seat underneath a jeans model in her spin class. It’s about the decisions that face women (and men) in their forties: For Jules, that means choosing whether or not to open herself up to being hurt again by dating someone with whom she actually has a connection. Enter Jeff (guest star Scott Foley, who’s only, like, eight years younger than Courteney Cox in real life), a wealthy real estate client of Jules’ who’d be Grayson if Grayson had the nerve to tell Jules he likes her. (Jeff and Jules were going to break up with young what’s-her-name waiting in his car “together” so that Jeff could take Jules out to dinner. He likes mocking Jules more than anything.) I hope we explore Jeff’s Graysonness during Foley’s stint. He’ll be back for two more episodes, beginning on Jan. 6, when Cougar Town returns. It’s pretty great casting: Not only does it force women who watched Foley on Felicity to realize they relate more to Jules than to Laurie, but also that good-guy history (and killer smile) allows you to forgive Jules for falling for a man who refers to Laurie as “Blah-Blah.”
Though I also got a kick out of the baby cage Andy constructed when Ellie tasked him with watching their son, Stan, alone (the bottle taped to the wall was genius), it’s the budding friendship between Grayson and Bobby that interests me most. I fully believe that these two men could both have feelings for Jules, suppress them, and be buddies. I didn’t realize how popular the character of Bobby was until I was out to dinner with friends who all said he was their favorite. It’s that goofy grin, the flip-flops, the way he walks into punch lines and never seems to be upset about it. (To Grayson, who wouldn’t share what was bothering him: “When I was married, you wanna know what Jules always said to me?” Grayson: “Please stop sleeping with other women?”) He was determined to get Grayson to talk to him. When a round of “tough shares” didn’t work (we found out that Andy had a nose job and Bobby got rejected from a sperm bank — “It might be because on your boat, you use your microwave as a stool,” Grayson offered), Bobby went to Grayson’s bar. “Why won’t you listen to me?” Grayson asked. “I feel like if I told you that this coffee pot was scalding hot, you’d still touch it right away. You know, you obviously know I want to be left alone [turns back on Bobby, who immediately touches the pot] but you just plow through every signal I give you.” Bobby: “You lied, man, this ain’t hot.” Grin.
Finally, Grayson showed up at Bobby’s boat and told him that his ex-wife had given birth to her baby, a son she named Tristan. Again, I totally bought how that scene played out between them. Bobby acknowledged what a heavy situation it was, knowing how much Grayson had wanted a kid… and then they both admitted that they were uncomfortable but happy that they’d talked. They could have played the toast to “Tristan” being a stupid name for laughs, but they kept just enough melancholy in the moment to keep it real.
Who’s your favorite Cougar Town character? What do you hope happens between Jules and Jeff? And what was your favorite quip last night? More options:
• Jules: “Barb, you look like a bobsledder.” Barb: “Well, I have sledded down a few Bobs.”
• Ellie to Andy after spin class: “Hey, you need to move, because if this area is gonna work again, it needs to sit.”
• Travis to Andy, who had Stan on a shoestring leash attached to his ankle: “Lunch time, reel him in.”
Photo credit: Mitch Haddad/ABC