Quick Take: Cougar Town, "What Are You Doin' in My Life? Laurie's mother comes to town this week to wreck some havoc. Key line: "puke punch!"
Review: Cougar Town, "What Are You Doin' in My Life?" (S0116) There's something intangible that's there in comedies that work versus comedies that don't. It's part casting, part performance and timing, a good dose of writing. It's chemistry but that's not quite the right word; it's more like a vibe that hums in a good comedy and makes the proceedings enjoyable even during episodes that aren't spectacularly hilarious.
Cougar Town has the vibe, and it's a pretty strong one at that. A lot of that has to do with Courtney Cox as forty-something divorced real estate broker Jules Cobb, of course, but increasingly through the first season the supporting cast makes me believe this is far more than a one dimensional cougar-on-the-prowl tale.
This episode was not Cougar Town's best, but the vibe kept me watching, kept me interested enough to spend time with this quirky, sarcastic, yet bubbly cast of characters, and carried me through to a respectable number of laughs for a half hour of comedy on television. And the story was strong enough too that there was a nice resolution to Laurie's mom's visit, and particularly Ellie grudgingly admitting that she is friends with Bobby again, because he is "trying to be a less ridiculous person" amongst other things.
Other thoughts on "What Are You Doin' in My Life?":
"Penny can!" – Grayson (Josh Hopkins) and Andy (Ian Gomez) and Bobby (Brian Van Holt), in perfect unison
I've been a big fan of Ian Gomez ever since his days on J.J. Abrams' Felicity. Great to see him make so much of his role here as a goofy and comfortable husband to Jules' best friend Ellie (Christa Miller).
Dan Byrd is great as Jules' son Travis, but the subplot with the Medusa-like woman (who turns out to be Barb!) he went to work for as an errand boy this week was downright weird and a bit out of character for the show.
Bobby's dog barking CD ("Jingle Bells") is great stuff. I know I'd be creeped out living on a boat myself.
Come to think about it, the combo of the Travis and Bobby "fright time" storylines makes you think that maybe this episode was originally slated to run at Halloween time?
"What are you, a Latin King?" – Jules to a wannabe starting something Ellie
"Does it ever stop?" – Bobby, after being taken out with the puke punch
Video: Cougar Town, "What Are You Doin' in My Life?" Trailing five episodes available on the Hulu, yes!
Recap: Cougar Town, "What Are You Doin' in My Life?" Laurie's mother stirs things up.
From Around the Web: Cougar Town, "What Are You Doin' in My Life?"
TV Squad: Another upside of this week's installment was the appearance of Beverly D'Angelo as Laurie's mother. Not only was it great casting because D'Angelo does look like she could be Busy Philipps' mother, but also because the 'National Lampoon' actress had the comedic acting skills needed to play Sheila, a superficial and bad mother.
What's Alan Watching?: I've been in the tank for Beverly D'Angelo going back at least to "National Lampoon's Vacation," but Laurie's mom was such a broad and obvious cartoon villain that that story didn't work.
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Like many great British dramas, Orphan Black summons up a highly watchable mix of moody atmosphere, strange and tense plot machinations, and timely dry comedy thrown in at the right moments to keep you on your toes.