'Cougar Town' - 'When a Kid Goes Bad' Recap
by Joel Keller, posted Feb 11th 2010 11:40AM
(S01E15) If you want to see evidence of how much a show can change in its first season, look no further than this week's guest star, Barry Bostwick.
He's been among the Bill Lawrence Players for almost fifteen years now, since he was cast as Mayor Randall Winston on 'Spin City.' As Lawrence has said, that show so completely changed focus during its first season, from a romantic comedy to a workplace/government comedy, that the part of one of its stars, Carla Gugino, was cut halfway through that year.
Last night's episode really brought home the fact that in quick order 'Cougar Town' has become much more than what the show was supposed to be about when it debuted. The world surrounding Jules Cobb has now expanded to the point where we see where Andy works, we know Laurie's last name (Keller? Hope she's not related... ) and see enough mixing of characters to make us want to see more.
Would you have pegged Andy, who admires semi-loser Bobby like he's a god, as a high-powered money manager? Of course, there had to be some way that he and Ellie built that lifestyle, but I just figured Andy for a cubicle drone, not someone who can court clients with quarter-million-dollar watches.
By the way, Lawrence has been going nuts utilizing the name of his producer Randall Keenan Winston this year, isn't he? Yes, Barry Bostwick's 'Spin City' character was named after him. But he's also been the name of some minor 'Scrubs' characters, the 'Scrubs' med school is called Winston University, and now the company where Andy works bears the Winston name. It's getting to the point where Lawrence is daring us to play 'Where's Winston?' in every episode of both his shows.
Anyway, was this episode hilarious? No. But it was solid throughout. The sweetest story was Andy not selling out his integrity to defend Laurie. He likes Laurie probably because Ellie hates her, but his admiration of Bobby shows that he sees the good in everyone. And, it was fun to see Laurie interact with the Frank family, especially in the credit tag, where she collaborated with Roger, even though he thinks she's a skank, to double-cross his son Smith on the practical joke front. That was the funniest moment of the episode.
But Jules and Grayson conspiring to keep Ellie from being the alpha dog of the coffee circle via his still-up Christmas lights was also fun to watch, because Ellie getting some comeuppance is always fun. Bobby and Jules doing some Grade-A co-parenting with Travis was also a nice story, though the ruse they put together could have fallen apart with the whole "garbage raccoons" thing.
All of it was so fun to watch the whole "Jules is going to be alone on Valentine's Day for the first time" plot didn't even really register. It was the least interesting story of the four. Because, really, at this point, do we even care of Jules and Grayson hook up? They're funnier as neighbors and friends right now.
If Lawrence, Biegel, Cox, and Winston (which will be on a law firm's door on an episode one day, I swear) can keep this going, then the laughs will follow as we get to know the characters more. I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with.
[Watch clips and episodes of 'Cougar Town' at SlashControl.]