A racy pace is set in 'Cougar Town'


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Viewers with delicate sensibilities, prudes and the sex phobic: This one is not for you. Just change the channel.

ABC's "Cougar Town" (9:30 tonight, WTAE-TV) is a fast-moving comedy filled with sex and anatomy jokes and multiple uses of the word "whore." As a single fortysomething mom, star Courteney Cox is in full frantic mode, yelling at and pushing everyone in sight, which makes for an entertaining (if not exhausting) half-hour comedy.

Cox stars as Jules, who is recently divorced, seemingly desperate for the sexual attention of a man and constantly in a tizzy.

'Cougar Town'
  • When: 9:30 Wednesday, WTAE-TV.
  • Starring: Courteney Cox.

"Do you know how scary it is to be a 40-year-old woman?" Jules says, putting forth the show's raison d'etre. "No matter what you do, you feel judged by the world, judged by yourself."

Jules finds herself in the position of playing the cougar card: She's an older woman attracted to younger guys. (The town high school's mascot is also a cougar.)

Bill Lawrence, creator of "Scrubs," executive produces "Cougar Town," and he brings to it the same manic energy that's a "Scrubs" hallmark. And it generally works for the show, which moves so quickly that there's no time to think about how ridiculous/desperate the Cox character comes off. The fact that Cox's Jules is at all likable is a tribute to Cox, who will be aided by America's collective memory of the neurotic Monica on "Friends."

In addition to making a fool of herself, Jules also embarrasses her high-school-age son (the always-winning Dan Byrd, "Aliens in America") in myriad ways, perhaps most impressively when he walks in on her performing oral sex -- implied, not shown; this is broadcast TV! -- on a younger guy she picked up at a club. The next morning he rips a banana out of her hand when she attempts to have breakfast.

When Jules isn't with her son, she's taunting a neighbor (Josh Hopkins) who dates younger women or hangs out with her best friend neighbor, Ellie (Christa Miller, "Scrubs") or co-worker Laurie (Busy Philipps). It's a cast of strong-personality performers that makes watching "Cougar Town" the TV equivalent of an energy drink.

Contact TV editor Rob Owen at rowen@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1112. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv.


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