Two attractive 40-ish married women I know were talking to some young men at a bar this summer. One of the guys asked, “Hey, are you guys cougars?” to which they enthusiastically replied, “Yes, we are!” “Absolutely — I graduated from WSU.
Do you go there?” They get how funny this is now that they know “cougar” is the nouveau title for attractive women of a certain age who go cruising for younger men.
Courteney Cox’s new comedy, Cougar Town, doesn’t really go in for examining such questions as whether “cougar” is an insulting or complimentary term. What it does go in for is being funny.
With the help of the series’ creator, Emmy-nominated producer and writer Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Spin City), Cox has created her perfect character, Jules Cobb. (Cox and her husband David Arquette share executive producer credits with Lawrence.) The fi rst episode’s opening sequence shows Jules disdainfully grabbing and fl apping folds of skin. You wouldn’t think self-deprecating body humor would work with someone this perfect looking, but it does.
“I have so many chin whiskers, I look like carny folk,” Jules tells her best friend and neighbor, Ellie (Christa Miller, Drew Carey Show, Scrubs) who’s also obsessed with magnifying mirrors.
Jules is a successful, 40-something real estate broker recently divorced and paying alimony to deadbeat ex-pro golfer Bobby (BrianVan Holt). The estranged couple has raised a mature, well-adjusted and sarcastic 17-year-old, Travis (Dan Byrd), who spouts lines like, “Yes, please, Dad, mow the lawns at my school. That’s exactly what I need.”
Grayson, the handsome and also recently divorced neighbor, also slings caustic one-liners — and even full-sentence insults: “When women get older, it’s icky. When men get older, it’s adorable. It’s actually my favorite double standard.”
Coaxed and accompanied by her 20-something, proudly trashy and often unreliable real estate assistant, Laurie (Busy Phillips, Freaks and Geeks), Jules tries to capture her lost youth in ways much more outrageous (and well-scripted) but very familiar to single women in their 40s. Cougar Town is a sexy, well-written and well-acted romp. n
“That guy’s 30? Eww.”