TV Review: ‘Cougar Town’ With Courteney Cox Reeks of Desperation

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CHICAGO – There are major chunks of ABC’s very disappointing “Cougar Town” with Courteney Cox that resemble a stand-up comedian so eager to please that you can see the desperate flop sweat forming on their brow as joke after joke hit the floor with a thud. More pathetically manic than honestly funny, it’s the writing on the weakest part of the network’s entirely new Wednesday night line-up that lets down its talented star. Television Rating: 1.5/5.0
Television Rating: 1.5/5.0

The title of “Cougar Town” subtly refers to the local high school football team but, of course, also references its lead character, a single mother named Jules (Cox) who lives in a town apparently just down the sex-crazed spectrum from Wysteria Lane on “Desperate Housewives”. One of the few remarkable things about “Cougar Town” is the single-minded focus of the premiere - Jules needs to get laid.

Courteney Cox, Busy Philipps.
Courteney Cox, Busy Philipps.
Photo credit: ABC/Michael Desmond

Jules is recently divorced with a smart ass kid (the very funny Dan Byrd of the sadly belated “Aliens in America”) and a moronic ex-husband (Brian Van Holt). But they’re merely window dressing. “Cougar Town” is about the ladies, most notably her best friend (Busy Philipps) and horny neighbor (Christa Miller), who both push Jules into the supposed trend of older women bagging younger men.

Courteney Cox.
Courteney Cox.
Photo credit: ABC/James White

Almost immediately, “Cougar Town” warrants a raised eyebrow. Does anyone on Earth think that Courteney Cox, who looks amazing and plays a likable character who comes off as smart and sweet, would have trouble meeting guys? The writers try to play the concept that Jules isn’t getting out enough, but the fact is that it’s a tough sell to portray Jules as desperate for the company of a man.

But it’s not for lack of trying. Every joke in “Cougar Town” is about Jules’ frustration with her age or sexual frustration. The writing on “Cougar Town” is about as subtle as “Age of Love,” the notorious reality show about older women and younger men. Every joke is predictable and telegraphed and, worst of all, the men steal the show including Byrd and Josh Hopkins as a playboy neighbor.

The problem with “Cougar Town” is simple - the writers started with concept instead of character. The best writing always works from plot and character not from a theme. When every joke has to work its way back to Jules’ getting laid or being frustrated with her age, you sense the desperation to hammer home the theme instead of build a believable, three-dimensional character.

Ultimately, “Cougar Town” is a massive waste of an opportunity. The cast is interesting and the concept isn’t really that bad. Imagine a show that honestly portrays a forty-something divorcee looking for love. “Cougar Town” thinks it’s that show but there’s nothing honest about it. It’s a beautiful star telling sex jokes, not anything normal women can relate to in any way. The show may be about a woman trying to find a stable, satisfying sex life, but I doubt it will be on the air long enough for that to actually happen.

‘Cougar Town,’ which airs on ABC, premieres on September 23rd, 2009 at 8:30PM CST. It stars Courteney Cox, Busy Philipps, Christa Miller, Brian Van Holt, Dan Byrd, and Josh Hopkins. It was created by Bill Lawrence. content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Cougar Town Cast's picture


This would be very funnY!

TV Obsessed's picture

I watched this for Bill

I watched this for Bill Lawrence and Courtney Cox, but the idea of watching a show about cougars just doesn’t appeal to me. There were funny jokes, but I’m not sure if it’s a show I want to watch every week. Full review of the episode.…

Anonymous's picture

This so sucks!

Bottom line…bad writing, bad acting….enough said. Please take this show off of TV.

Jim L.'s picture

Cancel Cougar Town!

The most overrated show on TV. One out of ten jokes is mildly funny, and the cast acts more like second-graders than
adults. No interesting plots, vacuous characters… just plain awful, and it’s so scary that it’s even a mild hit.

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