Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Cougar Town": The Name Detracts from a Good Show

I completely understand why the producers of "Cougar Town," the Courtney Cox sitcom on ABC, considered a new name, though the program is on next year's schedule unchanged.

The show is cute and witty with on-target younger boomer humor and a great cast, but the name is a turn-off that initially made me reticent about watching.  I thought it would be voyeuristic to watch Cox become involved with much younger men and that the cougar aspect was the sole theme.

Though there is some older woman/young stud goofiness, that's not really what the show's about.  It's more of a lite characterization of how someone goes from being married with kids and responsibilities to being single with an older, more independent child, who is now forced to be out there having fun.  They should totally have changed the name. "Re-entry"?

Cox's character is a slightly grown-up Monica, but equally entertaining.  The male lead (love interest), Josh Hopkins as Grayson Ellis, is great looking and a decent actor.  The supporting cast makes up a pretty decent ensemble - Ian Gomez from "Felicity" as the best friend's husband/next door neighbor, Brian Van Holt ("Burn Notice") as the requisite doofus ex-husband who constantly drops in unannounced, and the contrasting younger and older best friends, Busy Phillipps ("Dawson's Creek") and Christa Miller ("The Drew Carey Show").

Congratulations to Cox and her husband, David Arquette, who are co-executive producers along with Kevin Biegel from "Scrubs" and "South Park."  In fact, "Scrubs" is very well represented among the writing staff as are those from "Spin City," another great show.  Will they live up to those standards in Season 2?  I hope so.  In the meantime, I'll watch this past season's episodes over the summer since I was previously put off by a poorly named program.

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