Quick Take: Cougar Town, "All Mixed Up"
"I thought that our Graysonship was going great." – Jules to Grayson
Review: Cougar Town, "All Mixed Up"
(S0201) I spent a lot of time with the cul-de-sac crew recently (see: the Cougar Town Season One DVD review here), and even took in several episodes (including "Letting You Go," which might be my favorite) for a few extra spins. So in tuning in for the second season of Cougar Town, I was hopeful that the quality would remain yet a bit nervous that signs of a "sophomore jinx" might appear.
It's great to see that the magic is still there. As soon as I saw the gang hanging out with a daytime round of red wine and playing a new "drinking game" (you drink while you play it, you see) called Movie Mashup (Garfield of Dreams, for example), I knew that the goofy camaraderie and zany energy that built through the second half of the first season was no fluke.
Of course, the big news for this episode is the introduction of Jules' (Courtney Cox) therapist, Glenn, played by Jennifer Aniston (some people might recall a little show from the distant past about wacky individuals who shared convivial relations in New York City that starred Cox and Aniston). Glenn's veneer as a hippie dippie conjuror of wisdom is quickly blown in part by Jules harassing her about her problems outside of office hours.
I like that part of the deal with Jules (and best friend Ellie, played by Christa Miller, too let's remember) is that she's maximally self-centered if in the nicest of ways. In this case, of course, Glenn turns out to be a crazy lady, and Jules discovers that allegories that Glenn uses in dispensing advise actually stem from her relationship with her dog. The balance of power returns when Ellie resumes her role as Jules' chief adviser.
Meanwhile, the wacky troika of Grayson (Josh Hopkins), Bobby (Brian Van Holt), and especially Andy (Ian Torres) remains one of my favorite things about Cougar Town. Great case in point is their impromptu "staking out" of a park bench that displays an advertisement for Jules' real estate agent business that has been vandalized (they gave her a mustache, those rascals). No one wants to take the position of sitting in the tree (as the operation has to be top notch and professional of course), so Bobby takes it upon himself that they are going to have a "hug battle, skin-on-skin… let's go, shirts off." Grayson quickly bails on this bit of insanity and heads up into the tree. It's a small moment, and an incredibly goofy one, and it's pulled off and it's funny because of the acting and chemistry of these characters.
I wondered how things would work now that Jules and Grayson are more or less in a serious relationship, thus ending "shippers" speculation and any will they/won't they tension. This week at least Jules deals with intense feelings of loneliness when Grayson simply wants a day for himself to hang out with the fellas (and spend time in a tree, as it turns out). The episode ends on a happy note as Grayson returns to Jules' house and the couple kisses, but I'd think that the typically independent Jules will eventually rebel against being immersed this deeply into the throes of a relationship so quickly.
More thoughts on "All Mixed Up":
Video: Cougar Town, "All Mixed Up"
Check out the Season Two premiere in full from Hulu, while available: