‘Cougar Town,’ ‘Feel a Whole Lot Better’: Down with FWB?

Senior Television Writer
05.06.10 11 Comments

A review of last night’s “Cougar Town” coming up just as soon as I steal the plot of “Erin Brockovich”…

Like Myles McNutt, I had a hard time watching “Feel a Whole Lot Better” without thinking of “My Bed Banter and Beyond,” the “Scrubs” season one installment where JD and Elliot got together for the first time and then broke up, all in the course of an episode. Here, we had Grayson and Jules finally having sex after a season’s build-up, and Jules ignoring her first impulse about the pitfalls of Friends With Benefits, and it all seemed headed for a moment where everything fell apart and we could put this relationship on hold until at least February sweeps of season two.

Instead – maybe because Bill Lawrence already did it the other way, maybe because age and time (both for Lawrence and for the characters he’s now responsible for) have changed his perspective – we got the happy ending, with Grayson deciding to drop his defenses and give a real relationship a shot.

I’ll be curious to see how the show treats the two going forward. Both halves of this couple bring so much baggage that it would still be pretty easy and believable to follow the JD/Elliot route and have them frequently break up and then make up. But it’s also possible that they could wind up like the JD and Elliot of the final season of original recipe “Scrubs,” with their couplehood as a fact of life, and a source of humor, but not a constant engine for drama.(*)

(*) And there should still be some of that even with them together, since we know Bobby wants to reconcile with Jules.

As with last night’s “Modern Family,” this was one where the show’s emotional side was a bit sharper than the comedy. Bobby working a hare-brained scheme will never not be funny – particularly when fake moostashes are involved – but the Ellie plot didn’t really work, mainly because the show has been so inconsistent with its handling of baby Stan. On occasion, the baby is present and a huge complication in Ellie and Andy’s lives, but most of the time, the characters get to run out and have adventures as if there isn’t a tiny human living in their house who needs constant holding, feeding, changing, etc. When Andy complained to Laurie about not getting to go out much and have fun, I wanted to sit him down in front of a season’s worth of “Cougar Town” episodes to point out how often he’s doing exactly that.

What did everybody else think?

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