Thursday, February 04, 2010

Cougar Town, "All the Wrong Reasons": The truth hurts

A quick, late-in-the-day review of last night's "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I go to an underpass to buy fish and sports coats...

After a start of the season where the male characters were clearly generating more laughs than the female ones, "Cougar Town" had achieved some comedy gender equality in more recent episodes. Unfortunately, "All the Wrong Reasons" felt more like one of those earlier outings. Busy Philipps will never not be funny (particularly as Laurie took us closer than ever to meeting the horror show that is Dale), but the Jules and Ellie storyline was pretty flat and predictable.

(Though even there, in fairness, I had a good laugh at Jules stopping to pick up the garbage can that Ellie tipped over during their foot chase.)

The guy stuff, unsurprisingly, still worked, even if they re-used the photo montage gag(*) - and the larger joke about the price you pay for partying in your 40s like you're still in your 20s - from "Into the Great Wide Open" (which was itself kind of cribbed from "The Hangover"). The guys still have great chemistry, and it was funny to watch Bobby and Andy horrifying Grayson with their keg-pumping routine, Andy waking up in can jail and Grayson discovering "Seacrest Out" written on his torso.

(*) As happened last time, the tall black cop in the photo montage was played by Bill Lawrence's longtime producing partner Randall Winston, who has lent his name to a character or institution on every one of Lawrence's shows. In this case, we meet Jules and Ellie's elderly neighbors, the Winstons.

"Cougar Town" has been on such a good streak of late that I'm not too concerned by an episode that feels like a regression. Every show gets a mulligan now and again.

What did everybody else think?

17 comments:

claire said...

Agree 100% Loved the guys this week but felt Jules and Ellie were a little "blah".

Laurie is hilarious. Travis is a sweetheart too - he's so natural!

Here's hoping next week will be a return to pace!

LA said...

I laughed and laughed during the boys' photo montage! Lawrence found gold in the chemistry of those three. Laurie and Travis were hilarious, too.

Christian said...

The other police man in the photo show was Co-Creator Kevin Biegel by the way.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know the name of the song they played during the final montage (lyrics were something like "Hope to see you on my way down")?

Bob Loblaw said...

Just in time for the Super Bowl, I bought a HD TV and a HD cable box. Last night was the first time I watched this show because I was just mesmerized after seeing Modern Family in glorious HD. I've got one question, what's going on with Christa Miller's face? Is it a character trait that she talks like she's always gritting her teeth? Is she playing an always angry shrew wife?

filmcricket said...

Her face is frozen from too much plastic surgery and Botox. It's too bad, she was a really good-looking woman once.

Katty said...

I find her face to be really distracting at times whenever she's in a scene.

Ariella said...

I disagree! I love this episode. I especially loved the Jules/Ellie parts. Their relationship is very real (I could see this exact scenario happening with one of my friends) and it's always nice to see Ellie have feelings, instead of always being the ball-busting shrew. Laughed out loud a ton - one of my favorites so far!

Karen said...

It's hard to imagine the women ever topping the guys, who are an extraordinary trio; I particularly liked the scene where Andy finally told Bobby he had to stop his bender.

But Travis and Laurie are turning into my new favorite pairing on the show. They were hilarious in Dale's closet, as well as the scene about entering Travis' room.

Jules and Ellie can rarely rise up to that level.

There was so much else that was good going on, though, that it didn't bother me. And Jules' and Ellie's fight did feel very real to me.

I really liked this episode.

Bob Loblaw said...

Thanks for answering my question filmcricket. I always think of Christa Miller as "the babe" in the Drew Carey Show so it never even occurred to me that it was plastic surgery gone wrong. I actually thought it was some sort of character tic.

Anyway, what a shame. She really didn't need it.

Anonymous said...

I love all three of ABC's Wednesday comedy block, but this is my favorite, because of the great male cast and their chemistry. Still waiting for the women to catch up.

dez said...

Jules & Ellie's fight made me like Jules less because she really was being a selfish pill.

The Three Amigos scored again with their subplot. Just loved it.

JanieJones said...

I thought it was funny, especially with the trio of guys.
The actor who plays Travis is a good companion to whomever he is playing off of-Laurie and Travis in Dale's closet was amusing.

Also agree with Dez, Jules was being a selfish brat which makes the show a bit less appealing for me.

Anonymous said...

I thought the montage was hil...wait for it...arious! Grayson in particular has the "drunk face" down pat! Simultaneously trying to eat two cheeseburgers and then passing out at the diner reminds me of my carefree days of youth!!

Anonymous said...

The song used in the end was Calling All Friends by the Low Stars. It was also the theme song for the second season of What About Brian a few years ago.

Rich said...

Just noticed that the two episodes which feature the hilarious photo montages - "Into the great wide open" and "All the wrong reasons" - take their titles from Tom Petty songs. Are the writers big fans?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Rich, every episode is named after a Tom Petty song. Some are just more popular songs than others.