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Cougar Town – Who wasn’t thinking of Monica and Chandler?

'Cougar Town' enters 'Friends' territory in the season three premiere, but with much different results.

- Season 3, Episode 1 - "Ain't Love Strange?"

Look, I feel bad writing this, because I know how supremely annoying it’s going to be for anyone connected with Cougar Town. However, the fact remains: there is no way in hell we can watch Courteney Cox get proposed to without thinking of (and comparing it to) Monica and Chandler getting engaged on Friends.

Of course, there are a lot of differences. Monica and Chandler, like every other couple on Friends, was a long and drawn-out affair, full of secrets and other contrivances. Jules and Grayson, on the other hand, are a solid couple who came together naturally and have a relationship that while not fraught with drama, still manages to be interesting.

This proposal illustrates perfectly what Cougar Town does best: Quiet, anti-sitcom moments that still manage to be both touching and funny. On the continuum between Friends and, say, Community, Cougar Town fits nicely in the middle. It doesn’t completely throw out sitcom conventions, but it’s not enslaved to them either. We still have a TV-worthy grand gesture of a proposal, but it came unexpectedly – without any build-up, “very special” episodes, or months of “will they or won’t they” hemming and hawing.

Grayson and Jules have a good thing going, and their stability allows for the focus to remain on the fantastic ensemble that makes up the cul-de-sac crew. So why mess around with it? The writers did the smart thing and had them get engaged. That way, they, and the viewers can concentrate on jokes instead of relationship drama.

Part of me, however, thinks that this is also a move that is at least somewhat based on Cougar Town‘s dubious fate at ABC. Everyone is probably preparing for the worst but hoping for the best behind the scenes, and they know that a show with such a strong (albeit not large) fanbase as Cougar Town is going to need closure. Cougar Town doesn’t have a ton of dangling storylines, but I fully expect to see some more Travis/ Laurie action coming up in future episodes.

Was this episode enough to get non-fans on board? I’m not sure. It was definitely sweet and funny, but it’s hard to say how much appeal wine glass necklaces have on a non-fan community. Hopefully, at the very least, everyone who was watching Cougar Town months ago came back to support it now.

I’m not predictable, you say
Perhaps it’s true
When you wake
Here’s what you’ll do

Brush your teeth, wash your face
Check your nose, just in case
Eat your breakfast
Bacon and eggers
Take your pill so you don’t get preggers

Find your mouthguard
Check your mail
Work out time, if it’s late you bail
Where’s your mouthguard
You threw it away
It’s all the same, everyday

But we don’t mind, we’re glad to wait
‘Cause we all know that right at 8:00
You’ll come downstairs
And on our knees
All together
Coffee please

It’s Jules’ slightly longer morning routine song

Photo Credit: ABC

One Response to “Cougar Town – Who wasn’t thinking of Monica and Chandler?”

February 15, 2012 at 9:06 AM

I didn’t think of Chandler and Monica! :-) I LOVED this episode and I want a wine glass necklace. It made me sad that the only 2 sitcoms really worth watching, CT and Community, may be history. …

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