‘Cougar Town’ – ‘A Thing About You’: Girls vs. boys

Senior Television Writer
01.20.11 37 Comments

A quick review of last night’s “Cougar Town” coming up just as soon as I throw on a nice Cuban suit…

First of all, I’m curious how many of you experienced the same issue I did last night: because this was the episode that was postponed last week due to the Tucson memorial, and because my DVR recorded what it thought was “A Thing About You” last week, it assumed tonight was a rerun and didn’t record it. So I had to wait until morning to see it on Hulu.

As for “A Thing About You” itself, I thought it was an episode that was stronger on the sweet side than on the comedy side. I liked the way it checked in on the state of Grayson/Jules, Jules/Laurie, Travis/Bobby, etc., and I enjoyed the introduction of the series’ lead director Michael McDonald(*) as the judgmental wine bar owner. But other than Bobby holding his breath to think better and Laurie’s initial wave of space invasion, I didn’t find myself laughing at anything.

(*) On the press tour set visit last week, Bill Lawrence pointed out that McDonald was a director before he became famous for “Mad TV,” and that it now drives him crazy when people say, “Wow, you also direct?” 

But in a way, that says where I am with this show. There were other sitcoms this week that I laughed a quite a bit more, but I simply like the characters, world and vibe of “Cougar Town” so much that I still enjoyed “A Thing About You” more overall.

Your mileage may vary. I had a couple of long debates with some critics at press tour about this show, the upshot of which was that you’re either on its frequency or you’re not. If you’re not, it can do no right. If you are, then you’ll probably enjoy it more than a comparably funny show with broader appeal. And that’s the show Bill Lawrence, Kevin Biegel and company have decided to make, which is good enough for me and some of you, good enough for ABC to order a third season, and hopefully good enough that the show can remain viable if/when ABC finally moves it away from “Modern Family.”

What did everybody else think?

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