Cougar Town-Like a Diamond-Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry

This week Cougar Town is live, in living color and now with more Friends. The title card of “Like a Diamond” said it all: There was a big reunion and yes it did feel good. After last week’s complete misfire this episode was a major improvement.

The Players:

  • Director: Brian Van Holt
  • Writer: Melody Derloshon
  • Cast: Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, Busy Phillips, Dan Byrd, Josh Hopkins, Ian Gomez, Brian Van Holt, Bon Clendenin, Matthew Perry

Episode Title: “Like a Diamond”

After her car insurance lapses Jules’ goes on a date to avoid paying for an accident. Meanwhile Ellie tries to prove Laurie’s a liar and Bobby waits for snow.

The Good:

  • Reality: Last night’s funniest joke was not only the most realistic, but the best opener in recent memory. Why Grayson would ever allow Jules to be in charge of paying the bills is beyond us. Watching her figure out that waiting for the bills to come in the mail doesn’t work when you switch to paperless billing was perfect. What made it even better was Bobby’s continued confusion and Travis’s inexplicable brain power. Thank goodness two negatives equal a positive—otherwise Travis wouldn’t be able to tie his shoes.
  • Meta Memories: Even though they played it low key with the proposal and all, we we’re thankful for the reunion of Monica and Chandler. Friends may have ended 10 years ago, but Ms. Chanandler Bong and Monica Gellar will have a place in our hearts forever. That being said isn’t guest star Matthew Perry aging well? His character Sam’s live in the moment lifestyle was a tad ridiculous, but his actions were fodder for some quality banter. Let’s face it, people have done far worse things than pretend to be engaged to evade accidents and charges. It was kind of sweet for Grayson and Jules to protect Sam from the truth, just enough to make the night feel complete.
  • Hoe-Lee Majors: Until Ellie officially confronted Laurie’s laundry list of outlandish tales, we never considered she could have been lying. No matter how bizarre the story, Busy Philipps’ portrayal of Laurie’s ludicrous life always comes off so earnest. Robbing her character of that would have ruined half the laughs the show gets. Plus seeing Laurie confront Misty—or Laurie in a black wig if you’re a buzz kill—was nearly as hilarious as Misty’s smooth come on to the broken-hearted billionaire. Busy Philipps, please never change.
  • Bulletproof Bobby: We didn’t care about Bobby’s faith in Florida’s 10% chance of snow until the very last scene. Travis spent the night trying to convince his bright-eyed father that a blizzard was never going to come. Of course Andy did everything possible to foster his best friend’s optimism, concluding in his renting a snow machine to make Bobby’s dreams come true. It was an obvious fix to the situation, and the closing shot of a full cast snowball fight played on the very foundation of our pleasure center. Bobby’s innocence is as charming as the Cul-de-sac Crew’s constant efforts to preserve it. Even if Andy and Bobby’s best friend shtick can be wearing at times it always rings true.

The So-So:

  • The Formula: For some time now Cougar Town has been locked into the same format. Most episodes see the characters breaking into three different groups to explore whatever silly plot is taking precedent that week. Last night it wasn’t a big problem. All the plot lines were just funny enough to get by. However, there really wasn’t enough time to properly flesh out each story. Ellie could have gone on a slightly more in-depth search to disprove Laurie. Imagine how funny it could have been to see real evidence of a couple more of Laurie’s stories. Mixing things up is never a bad idea for a sitcom as silly as Cougar Town.

The Quotable:

  • “It’s amazing I can even tie my own shoes.”—Travis
  • Jules: “You know Sam is not just handsome and charming. He’s crazy rich.”  Grayson: “Oooh, well too bad you’re crazy married. Would you tell her how nuts this is?” Ellie: “I can’t help you there; just watching this makes me ovulate.”  Laurie: “Just the sight of that ring incinerated my underwear.”

Overall:

“Like a Diamond” was a big improvement from last week’s premiere.  Hopefully Cougar Town can build on this momentum without relying on their overwork outline. A bit of structure is a good idea for a show as silly as this, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the same week after week.  The title cards can stay though, those things are gold.

Rating: 8.5/10

Cougar Town airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TBS.

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