Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Modern Family & Cougar Town: Thoughts?

I reviewed "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town" in today's column, but I'm wondering what you all thought of one or both of them.

61 comments:

David Clarke said...

I really enjoyed the ten seconds of Modern Family that weren't in the countless ads, and can't wait to be relatively surprised by episode two's jokes, and I really enjoyed the characters. They seemed warm, but with a certain bite. Ed O'Neill was especially interesting.

And as for Cougar Town, it doesn't matter if I become a regular viewer of this show, because I'll never admit to anyone that I watch a show with such a terrible, really terrible name. It was better than any show with that name has any right to be, but it felt kind of desperate to make an impression. I'll watch the second episode based on the first, but either way... that name. I also like the kid from Aliens in America and Kim Kelly.

Jon said...

Really liked Modern Family. It wasn't perfect but, unlike Community, I actually liked the characters and am looking forward to spending more time with them.

Mostly though, it had me the instant the "shooting the son" plotline appeared.

Philip said...

I thought they were both funny. Even funnier, though, was the New York Times review of "Modern Family" in which Sofia Vergara was described as follows: "a tonally perfect sendup of the Hispanic hot-mama stereotype." So all these years of me thinking she was an empty-headed bikini-filling device, she was really executing a dead-on parody of the empty-headed bikini-filling devices who surrounded her on Latin American television? Of course! How could I have been so dense as to miss the satire!

Jeffrey said...

I LOVED Modern Family. It's a real shame that it has to go up against Glee though.

evie said...

Loved Modern Family. Agree, most of the jokes were in commercials, but there were still a few great surprises ("Dad always announces himself so he never has to see us kiss." "Wish my mom had that system.")

It's definitely a keeper.

I didn't watch Cougar because it doesn't sound like thing, and I don't much like Courtney Cox.

Melissa said...

Modern Family pretty much had me when they scheduled shooting the son. "Sorry Luke. It's on the calendar." Too funny!

jerseychick said...

Modern family was great, love Ed in comedic roles
Cougartown also suprised me, thanks for the tip I would have clicked around after Modern without your review

Magnus Anton Lekay said...

I loved Modern Family. It feels like one of those epic comedies that the general public will never appreciate but I hope does well.

Anonymous said...

I really liked them both, but have to admit that CT had me laughing the most. I'm not sure every show can be paced that way, but I really enjoyed it. I forgot that Cox has some comedy chops. Had to go to imdb to recall that the friend next door was Kate O'Brien from Drew Carey, but was psyched to see my friend Kim Kelly employed again.

jcpdiesel21 said...

I enjoyed both of the shows and will definitely be watching both again. I gave a slight edge to Modern Family because it was so fresh and fun, and the entire cast really clicked well together. And I wasn't expecting Cougar Town to be so funny, so that was a pleasant surprise. I dislike the name, but if it brings the laughs, I'll be watching,

Anonymous said...

Modern Family was really good. Luckily, I avoided most of the ads for this, so it was fresh for me. Reading some reviews before I saw it, I cringed at the mentioning of Arrested Development, because thats kind of like the biggest over-hype ever, in a way. But ultimately, it did remind me of AD in some ways (and good ways at that). Being an honorary Bluth, I see [probably unintentional] AD references everywhere, such as "Come on!" and the Latin lady taking about the importance of family. Anyways, I'm really stoked about this show, in the way I was at the start of Party Down (save the pilot) last year.

Cougar Town was very off-putting for me.. It was so desperately one-track, which is bad enough, but when that track is people with a huge age disparity having sex, or not having sex, or talking about having or not having sex, it makes you feel like you ate bad clams after about 12 minutes. But once Cox gave her little speech about how hard it is to be divorced and newly single in your 40s, i realized this is the situation of lottts of tv watchers, on ABC especially; aka, this show will have an audience. Unrelated, I missed Aliens in America and Freaks and Geeks while watching.

Sharon said...

Loved Modern Family, especially the "Circle of Life" moment with Lily - really made me laugh. Cougar Town had a few laughs, but the whole premise (women in their 40's are no longer attractive and their entire self-worth is wrapped up in finding a man) just kind of icks me out - and we're actually supposed to believe that Courtney Cox can't get a date? Riiiight...

Omagus said...

And as for Cougar Town, it doesn't matter if I become a regular viewer of this show, because I'll never admit to anyone that I watch a show with such a terrible, really terrible name. It was better than any show with that name has any right to be

This is spot on. I actually liked the pilot but that name...

And Modern Family was pretty good as well. I'm still not sure if I like the mockumentary style because it invites too many comparisons to The Office and I don't know if it will ever be that good. But I'll keep watching both shows for at least a few weeks.

Elizabeth said...

The pleasant surprise for me was the chemistry between the ladies of Cougar Town. Honestly, I didn't realize I missed Courtney Cox until I was watching. It was nice to see her being funny again. But man, I wish the show had a less unfortunate name. (It also would be great if they weren't on against Glee, which I tend to watch with friends. Thank goodness for my TiVo!)

Anonymous said...

both shows were good, but I though Modern Family was VERY good....only thing I didn't like was the Dad Phil.....seemed like they told him in the script to act as much like Michael Scott as possible....anyone else feel that way??

Russianator said...

Modern Family > Cougar Town.

CT has potential, but needs to find itself, Modern Family has already set the stage for what looks like a very funny show.

Steve said...

Modern Family was great. I have to echo an earlier poster that this could be an epic comedy the general public will never appreciate.

The Lion King song had me laughing harder than any moment in television since the cold open of the Super Bowl episode of The Office.

Cougar Town was good as well. Courtney Cox got to me at the end of Friends, but she meshes well with Bill Lawrence's tone.

Anonymous said...

I liked Modern Family a lot more than I expected. I tuned in for Al Bundy, but the rest of the cast were good too. As a teacher, I loved the over the top shooting the son/calendar moment. It sadly rang a little true.

I'm in my 20s (I assume the target audience of Glee?) but I just can't get into it. Some funny lines, but on the whole, blah.

Will said...

I liked Manny giving a "Say Anything" shoutout.

"I gave her my heart, she gave me a photo of me with a mustache" (or whatever it was)

Matt said...

"Her name is Lily? Won't that be hard for her to say?"

Favorite line of Modern Family by far. CT had it's momenta but it needs a couple weeks. I'll keep watching in hopes that it can turn into something.

Rinaldo said...

I find about 2/3 of Modern Family very funny and satisfying; I really can't get into the Ed O'Neill story line. Maybe that will change in future episodes, now that the cat is out of the bag that they're all one family, and they can all interact in different ways.

A couple of bloggers I otherwise trust had said that Cougar Town deserved a look, so I gave it one. There's some dead wood in it, but it had more of a spark of life than I'd expected, and I'll watch again. To my surprise, the biggest thing it had going for it (for me) is the premise, which is sort of real and hasn't (as far as I can recall) been used to center a sitcom before. There are in fact plenty of 40-year-old divorcées with teenage children out there; and if they try to have a life in a smallish community where everybody knows everyone's business, it can indeed be awkward for the kids.

I don't see anything to be bothered about with an age disparity. She and Matt are about 10 years apart, which is nothing.

MM said...

Modern Family is everything the critics promised. I may have hurt an internal organ over the Lion King gag. However, I do not see a mainstream audience watching this show.

Henry said...

I'm already liking the Dunphys. I mean, they're scheduling time to shoot a kid as punishment. Hilarious!

Henry said...

Interesting twist for Modern Family. I didn't see it coming. I thought they were gonna portray the three families separately and there was no indication anywhere in the pilot that the families were the way they were.

LA said...

LOVED Modern Family, it was terrific. There were many laugh-out-loud moments for me. I hope ABC believes in this show, because I thought it was quite strong. It was as funny as I wanted Community to be.

Cougar Town was actually much better than I expected it to be. I laughed a lot. ABC's got me Wednesday 9-10.

Henry said...

Cougar Town: The gag of the kid who steals her real estate ad and runs off was hilarious.

Tyroc said...

Modern Family was really strong. And very funny in parts. In the head to head for the season's funniest pilot, I have to give the win to Community. But certainly enjoyed this. (The documentary style of it was distracting to me, though. Feels tired.)

Cougar Town was a LOT better than expected. Courtney Cox is still crazy pretty, so its a bit silly to think of her with any dating woes, and the concept is pretty offensive -- but it had its charms. The kid from Aliens in America being the biggest charm and Bill Lawrence's wife being the least. Her presence ruined every scene she was in.

(Much like Patricia Heaton and Helen Hunt do.)

Karen said...

Well, color me in the minority, but I couldn't stand Modern Family. I felt like all the jokes were either stale or telegraphed. And Phil's tender moment at the end was pure saccharine.

I liked Cougar Town far more than I expected. I think my reaction to these two shows had more to do with liking the characters, though, than anything else. Although I did kind of hate the Cougar Town ex-husband, who was a cartoon. But I liked the three women friends, and I liked the son, and I even liked the boy who got picked up. But the characters on Modern Family just seemed like 2-dimensional joke-delivery machines.

Indeed said...

I really liked Modern Family - laughed out loud a lot watching it. I found it much funnier than Community, which is the other comdedy I'd read good things about.
There were just so many great one-liners. I hope Alan starts bogging it!
Didn't see Cougar Town yet, but will give it a watch.

Henry said...

Great lines in Cougar Town:

Travis: "Do you think my mom's hot now? How about now? How about now?"

Travis: "Can you please be a normal mom and stop torturing me?!"

Laurie: "We've got the sign back. Can we please stop sprinting now? I feel like my boobs are trying to kill me." (I think this is the best one)

It's pretty funny, but I think the shelf life of the cougar jokes is pretty limited.

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud during each show, but more during Modern Family.

I loved that the son's punishment shooting was scheduled and put "on the calendar."

In re: shooting the son as punishment-- Ed O'Neill, in the movie 'Dutch,' fired a retaliatory shot at the stepson who'd shot him with a dart gun.

Brian said...

Modern Family: B+

Cougar Town: B-

I think the biggest challenge for Modern Family, based on the pilot, is having its characters come across as real people rather than collections of quirks. In the pilot they're definitely the latter, to the point where the abruptly sentimental ending felt totally false to me. Lots of funny stuff, though, so I'll definitely be tuning in every week. (Community is still better, though.)

I'm being more generous with my grade for Cougar Town, which I think could really go either way. It had some things that I liked--mainly the brisk pace and the relationship between Courtney Cox and her son. I enjoy parent-child relationships on TV that go a little deeper than your basic sitcom antipathy. But I'm not convinced that the concept is sustainable or worth my time. (For one thing, Courtney Cox is simply too attractive for the boo-hoo-I'm-middle-aged routine; real bravery would've been casting a normal-looking actress in the lead.) And I didn't laugh once. But I'll be back at least one more week to see how things are progressing.

DeanS said...

Modern Family was a big winner here! Witty, clever, the characters are very easy to relate to, and the funny lines never stopped. I have never laughed this many times during a TV show ever. Lion King scene outstanding!
I will watch it again to pick up more of the bits I missed while I was laughing, and I need to leave the ads in for recovery time.
Great show!! Home-Run for ABC!!

Anonymous said...

on an aside. I just tried watching both of these on abc.com and can't get anywhere. I remember having problems with the site last year trying to catch up on Better Off Ted. How has ABC not invested in a better online viewer?

Orion7 said...

I enjoyed Modern Family very much, but I expected to. I decided to try Cougar Town, even though the name and the premise turned me off, because of the talents involved. I was surprised by how much I like it. The relationships between the characters are really good, especially between Courtney and her son. Because of that, I’ll keep watching.

Alan Sepinwall said...

How has ABC not invested in a better online viewer?

Most ABC shows (including these two) are now on Hulu, which is a much, much better viewer.

Ingrid said...

I liked Modern Family's goofiness. For now it will stay on my DVR list.

Bobman said...

Damn was Modern Family funny. I don't laugh out loud at TV much, but I did SEVERAL times during that show - the scene where the dad goes on an accidental shooting spree and the "Circle of Life" scene both had me almost hysterical. I really hope that show catches on - with that and "Better Off Ted" ABC could have two of the funniest comedies on TV.

Jerry said...

Modern Family was quite funny, I'll keep watching it. Scheduling the son's shooting was the best part but there were a bunch of good lines in there.

I'm really surprised by all the "Cougar Town was funnier than I expected" comments---I guess it's all the "Scrubs" fans on the blog. I thought it was basically "hey, they're horny old cougars, they're cougars, get it, they like sex, you see, because they're cougars" desperately acted out. It wore thin after 90 seconds---I can't imagine a whole season of it.

Lizbeth said...

Like others said, the pilot for "Modern Family" would have been more enjoyable if we hadn't already seen 90% of the jokes on the commercials.

My one complaint is I hate the damn shaky camera. It's the reason I can't watch "The Office." And I can't believe this doesn't bother other viewers. I find most shows shot this way unwatchable...so I'm hoping they tone it down going forward.

Kathie said...

I liked Modern Family a lot..... some really funny moments.

"mall walkers stay to the left please" and the whole crowd of senior citizens in their jogging suits rush by.........prompting the dad to buy some new clothes. This is a keeper

dez said...

I loved "Modern Family" and haven't seen "Cougar Town" yet. Ed O'Neill is a national treasure. And I loved that Cool Dad wound up shooting the son, the potential boyfriend, and himself accidentally. Too bad he doesn't know what WTF really means :-D

Jeff L said...

With a large, quirky family, repeated tag lines ("come on!"), and the best jokes as one-liners delivered as asides ("Lily? Won't that be hard to say?"), Modern Family borders on being an Arrested Development knock off -- and that's a good thing. Unlike AD, though, these people are likable, so I hope that will keep more people watching.

With Cougar Town, as noted above, the chemistry between the leads goes a long way. I've got a lot of faith in Bill Lawerence, but they need to find some jokes other than "mom's old and hot" pretty soon.

I'll be watching both again next week!

Jen said...

I loved Modern Family (but will skip Cougar Town because I'm not crazy about CC and the name alone is a huge turnoff).

I had been trying to figure out where I recognized Mitchell on MF from, and saw that he originated Leaf Coneybear in the Putnam County Spelling Bee on Broadway. He was hilarious in that and I think the improv element from the show speaks to the mockumentary style of MF.

The gag about shooting the kid was hilarious. "It's on the calendar, sorry buddy!"

AndyW said...

Unlike others here, I (unexpectedly) laughed much harder at "Cougar Town." I can see where "Family" has more material to work with - and a less offensive premise, but Courteney Cox really brought the funny in the CT premiere. I'm thrilled there are two new comedies worth watching.

Word verification: "poxboma"
Great, now even the spam blocker is getting political.

swampy said...

Al Bundy got a Trophy Wife, Bud grew up gay and Kelly married an idiot. I LOVED IT. I almost fell off the couch several times.

The wife LOVED Cougartown and I found it amusing enough not to pick up the Star Ledger or a magazine.

Wednesday just got a good lead in to Top Chef for me.

Hatfield said...

Modern Family was funny, but a few of the jokes felt too easy. The little pot sticker? You can do better.

Still, definitely gonna keep watching.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I had forgotten my favorite joke from Modern Family..."OMG, oh my god, LOL, laugh out loud, WTF, why the face." Made me actually laugh out loud, rare for a sitcom.

I will be watching both but feel MF is the stronger of the two.

domino87 said...

After all the good reviews for Modern Family I thought I would be somewhat disappointed like I was w/ Community, but wow, great show. The whole discussion of when the Dad would be able to shoot the son was great.

Surprisingly I laughed almost as much at Cougar Town as I did for Modern Family. It has a great cast and I'll be tuning in for now at least. So much better then I thought it would be based on the name.

I'm not a fan of Glee, so it's great to have something to watch Wednesday night besides Man Vs Food. Pretty strong season for comedies imo.

Anonymous said...

I like Modern Family, thought some of the characters were great. The "cool dad" and the blond mom were annoying, though. Let your 15 year old daughter hang out on the bed with a senior boy? Yeah, right. I hate when parents on TV are so spineless. I loved the gay couple, especially the chubby one. And the hispanic trophy wife was spot-on. Cougartown was mediocre at best. The low point was when she was going down on the guy on the lounger and her son walks in. Yeah, that's when I turned it off. I'll be surprised it this show makes it.

SoCal said...

Cougartown - Good
Modern Family - Awesome

So many good throwaway lines in Modern and really liked the kid actors. Laughed out loud a bunch.

Cougartown was enjoyable. Courtney Cox is a little too hot to do the whole "woe is me, I'm a middle-aged lonely woman" routine, but she's still funny and Busy Phillips is awesome as usual.

Wednesdays are going to be pretty busy!

RachelP said...

I still have Modern Family on the TiVo and hope to watch it tonight.

I did watch Cougar Town, and liked everything about it except Courtney Cox, who was so broad that I found her hard to watch. She was mugging and flailing and shrieking like an animated scarecrow.

It was nice to see Butchie Yost again, though!

dez said...

Is Butchie back in the game? :-)

One of the things I really liked about MF was the trophy wife openly admiring her husband's wealth and him not being bothered by it (visibly, at least). And that her small town was #1 in Colombia for--how do you say it in English?--"Murders!"

Anonymous said...

Really liked Modern Family. Love the Daria/Sarah Vowell-esque daughter in Julie Bowen's family. Between her and Manny, this show could be one of the few sitcoms with non-hammy kids?

I had zero intention of watching CT when it was first announced, but checked it out on your review (and I like Busy). I was pleasantly surprised - not perfect, but Courteney Cox was good, and much less shouty than she was on Friends. The sole distraction was Christa Miller - why all the surgery?

Anonymous said...

Modern family was OK but just OK. Some scenes were pretty funny. But enough withe shaky camera!!! I got so seasick watching some scenes, I couldn't concentrate!

Cougartown was pretty funny, but I don't see it going over too well in the "Bible belt", so it probably won't last more than one season

Kenrick said...

I thought Modern Family was hilarious. I hadn't seen the previews and only watched per Alan's recommendation.

The Lion King bit had me LOLing.

Like LA said, it was "as funny as I wanted Community to be." Community was funny enough for me to keep watching, but I was slightly letdown.

Paul Outlaw said...

Christa Miller's face may kill Cougar Town for me, but otherwise I thought the pilot was pretty funny. Although having five jokes that revolve around someone being overheard saying something inappropriate is lazy writing.
B-/C+

Modern Family: A+. Ty Burrell kills.

Question Mark said...

Not just the 'Cox is too attractive to be dateless' story, but the opening scene with her checking out the extra skin and flab on herself also fell flat because...well, there aren't that many signs of aging on Courteney Cox, folks. I could see what they were trying to do there, but come on, this isn't exactly Estelle Getty here folks.

Zach said...

Ah come on people where IS the love?

Im rolling at all the folks disparaging Cox for being too pretty. You really think casting a less hot actress in this role would have gotten this far out a show into pilot? Really?

And then the same breath run down Miller for being made up to be what.. distractingly unpretty? Come on, spot the irony. You can do it.


Treasure moment: the dumbstruck joy in Cox's sons face as he said "..you tortured that poor kid for me? Out STANDING!"


Im in love.


Thanks, thanks Alan for the heads up on MF, a show Id never have otherwise given a first look. Lion king moment required a chiron advance warning to the incontinent and those suffering significant hypertension. I nearly had a stroke.

A crusty pox on the guy dissing Christa Miller, reigning grande dame of American ironic comedy. (XO, Christa). Never speak her name in the same breath as P. Heaton in our presence again.

Stacey said...

I really liked Modern Family and have a feeling it will be around for awhile. I am really excited to see some new GOOD comedy shows on TV. Can't wait for the next episode.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe so many of you have a problem with a title like Cougar Town. Give me a break and pull the stick out of your collective arses.