Let's officially add Lou Diamond Phillips to the Bill Lawrence Family Players. He's now been on 'Cougar Town' twice, playing himself, and has done a great job each time. Though I still can't see him as a spokesman for a game where you throw a penny in a can.
The show has been doing a really good job at developing storylines of late. There's still room for silly stories, of course, as we saw with Ellie and Grayson's dealings with the creepy "Chalk Children." Even there, though, the story had a point: Their neighbor, Tom, isn't as creepy as they think. Well, maybe he is, but he's also just shy.
This week we have spoilers for: 'Burn Notice,' 'Cougar Town,' 'Dexter,' 'Glee,' 'HawthoRNe,' and 'White Collar.'
What's the evidence? Check out 'Cougar Town' actors Dan Byrd and Busy Philipps standing behind 'Community' actors Donald Glover, Danny Pudi and Alison Brie in the background of this photo.
Pretty cool, right? The two shows have been engaged in a friendly ping-pong game of mutual admiration lately, and now it's really starting to get fun.
Sure, there has been the recent through-line of Travis and his quest to get his girlfriend Kirsten to stay by asking her to marry him. But the rest of each episode is generally distinguished by its easygoing hilarity.
I'm talking about scenes like Bobby and Andy sumo wrestling in Jules' house, or Grayson's schoolgirl-like crush over Lou Diamond Phillips, or Laurie getting a tiny wine glass named "Little Richard" as punishment for creating "The Council," which served as a kangaroo court for the Cul de Sac Crew. So the review becomes more about which scenes were funny than about how the series is progressing.
And the scene I picked to talk about this week is no exception. It was funny, sure, but also silly and basically was there to show how different tidbits of story can come together for one heck of a punchline in a scene.
In a lot of ways, though, there's nothing crazier than the life of Bobby Cobb. He lives on a boat in the middle of a parking lot. He creates games like Penny Can. He's still good friends with his ex-wife. So, when Bobby finally got his act together long enough to qualify for a professional golf tournament, you knew that he wouldn't be challenging Tiger Woods at the top of the leader board.
This week we have spoilers for: 'Bones,' 'Castle,' 'Chuck,' 'Cougar Town,' 'Damages,' 'Desperate Housewives,' 'Glee,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Law & Oder: Criminal Intent,' 'Law & Oder: SVU,' 'Modern Family,' 'Parks & Recreation,' 'Psych,' and 'White Collar.'
(And some Peeps. C'mon, we're only human.)
We each chose a nod to the fans that we loved, from the numbers on 'Lost' and the secret things hidden in the 'Battlestar Galactica' fleet to the end of "555" phone numbers and more.
Did we forget your favorite superfan surprise? Share your own eagle-eyed discoveries in the comments ... and try not to overdose on Cadbury Eggs while doing it.
But the most intriguing plot was where Ellie challenged Jules to babysit Stan for a night. Jules thinks that bringing up a kid shouldn't be any more difficult in your 40s than it was in your 20s, when she did it. Ellie knows differently, and the night Jules and Grayson spent with Stan bore that out.
Stan's a good kid, but he's got his own foibles, like a long list of things he's allergic to, and the ability to work locks after getting into things he shouldn't. So, Jules hides all the dangerous things in the house -- knives, a brulee torch, the merlot -- in her lockable pantry / safe room, not thinking that Stan would ever make his way in there. She was wrong.
We ended up with an 80-minute Talking TV podcast, and part of the reason the discussion lasted so long is because many of the same themes came up throughout the podcast. Plus there were just a lot of news items and new programs to get through.
This week on the podcast, we talked about 'Doctor Who,' 'Cougar Town,' 'Archer' (which has its season finale Thursday), the 'Game of Thrones' renewal and the various critical and fan responses to that drama, and also 'Treme,' which returns on HBO Sunday. Running times are below.
Take Penny Can ... or, rather: Penny Can! Who says that Bobby Cobb isn't an innovator? Toss a penny into a paint can from a distance and make up your own rules as you go along. The "in and out" rule we found out about this week was one of their better ones, mainly because we got to see Courteney Cox with a Magic Marker mustache.
Anyway, it's a fun game. And, believe it or not, it's marketable. Yes, it's an old paint can with a label on it, and you have to supply your own pennies (no nickels allowed), but I'd buy one after hearing the radio ad he and Laurie created for it.
Hopkins said he understands why people would draw that inference from the photos of the two of them at the beach, but said he and others from the show were invited. 'Cougar' creator Bill Lawrence told him St. Bart's was fun, and he decided to go. "Plus, I could get her access," said Hopkins. "I couldn't probably get a restaurant in St. Bart's, but with her, I was in."
Still, the comedy, which slides back into its usual 9:30PM ET slot on Wednesday, is deceptive. The two episodes that air this week are solidly funny in typically 'Cougar'-ian ways: There are lots of games of Penny Can, gallons of wine are drunk and the sharp ensemble cast slings mildly barbed banter with ease (there's even an amusing appearance from Ellie and Andy's often-absent baby).
But this week's episodes, like the show as a whole, explore real questions that everyone has to grapple with at some point. When is it a good idea to accept who and what you are? How much should you try to change deeply ingrained habits and attitudes? When is a flaw not really a flaw at all?
It's always fun to talk to Bill Lawrence because you never know where the conversation is going to go. When I spoke to him earlier this week, the conversation ranged from ratings to his wife Christa Miller appearing on the Howard Stern show to 'Hanna Montana.'
But the best parts are the tidbits about his show, 'Cougar Town.' For instance, Lawrence told me that Sam Lloyd will appear in the show's Hawaii-based second-season finale, as his 'Scrubs' character, hapless lawyer Ted Buckland, a move that had been rumored a few months ago. He'll be there to help Travis through some tough times.
"We were outlining the show to have a friend [of Travis'] that's had his heart broken there in Hawaii, and we're like, who should we cast? And I'm like, I'll tell you, we should get Sam Lloyd out there and put him with his guitar," said Lawrence. "It's one of my favorite bits of the year. Because it's a gag that Sam Lloyd can do, which is, he can take any popular song with a guitar, and make it depressing."
I've spent many a Wednesday night fantasizing about becoming an honorary member of a certain dysfunctional, boozy and all-around awesome cul-de-sac crew.
So when I sat down with Courteney Cox at the 'Scream 4' junket on behalf of our sister site, Moviefone (check out that chat here), I couldn't resist slipping in a few 'Cougar Town' questions to quench fans' thirst before the show returns from its distressingly long hiatus next week.
Join us after the jump to see what Cox had to say about Bobby and Laurie's latest business venture, and what fans can expect from the hour-long season finale on May 25.
As soon as 2011 rolled around, the networks unleashed a bumper crop of new and returning shows, and only in the past couple of weeks did the relentless pace of premieres and returns simmer down to a manageable level.
We can't get complacent, however, because in the next few weeks, cable and broadcast networks will release yet another barrage of notable new shows, from 'Game of Thrones' to 'The Killing' to 'The Borgias.'
To make sure you don't miss anything, here's a handy list of 19 notable March and April programs. I've put a * next to new programs I've seen at least one episode of. Look for full reviews of most of these programs on TV Squad in coming weeks.
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