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In the last few years, the
word “cougar” has entered the language as a slang term for an older woman who
prefers to have sex with younger men. As a result, it should come as no surprise
that a show entitled Cougar Town has made it into this column. It’s
almost a given that a sitcom with that name would ooze sex. Sure, we’ll buy
that Courtney Cox could seduce a younger man. And, sure, that scenario could
potentially pose awkward – and therefore humorous - situations. But did the
pilot episode that aired on September 23rd really have to go there?
For lewd sexual content -- particularly involving oral sex and the lead
character’s teenage son -- Cougar Town has been named Worst TV Show
of the Week.
Cox returns to broadcast
television playing the role of Jules, a mother in her forties who begins dating
younger men. At the beginning of the episode Jules finds plenty of things to
bemoan: the general sagginess of her aging body; her divorced neighbor across
the street who brings home an endless stream of twenty-something hotties; the
lonely Friday nights she spends nursing a glass of wine. Meanwhile, her teenage
son Travis marvels at his mother’s complete lack of internal filter. When he
sees Jules with two glasses of wine on his way out the door, Jules explains,
“This wine is for Ellie [her next door neighbor]. She’s been looking so hot
lately I thought I’d get her drunk and try to hit that.”
Travis glibly responds,
“Lesbian mom jokes! Awesome. Uh, look, Ryan is coming to pick me up.”
“Okay, home by midnight.
And if I ever catch you two drinking and driving,” she warns, “I’m going to show
everyone that baby picture of you two holding each other’s penises! So small.”
The next morning, Jules
walks out of her house to grab the morning paper and sees her neighbor, Grayson,
a man in his 40's, escorting a much-younger woman to a taxi.
Jules confronts Grayson:
“Your wife moves out, what, a week ago? And you're already sexing up sorority
girls. But nobody cares because when a forty year old guy gets divorced all your
friends are like, 'oh, way to go tiger'”.
Grayson explains, “We don't
call each other ‘tiger!’ It's always ‘champ’ or ‘samurai.’ Look, maybe what
really drives you nuts is that you couldn't bag a young stud if you tried.”
“You don't think I
couldn't?” Jules counters, “Well, I'm not going to give you the satisfaction!
Too bad! Aw, to hell with it!
Jules sees a teenage boy
ride his bike across the street. She flings open her robe, flashing him with her
bra and underwear. The kid crashes his bike into a car.
Later, Jules’ assistant
drags her to a night club where she meets a young man. She ends up sleeping
with him that same night. While they lounge by the pool, Jules tells her young
paramour, “Matt! I'm going to do something that I haven’t done in years! I told
my husband that I hated it but I don't hate it! I love it!” Jules kisses Matt’s
neck and down his chest, and it is implied she is going to give him oral sex.
Travis enters the backyard and sees his mother’s head in Matt’s lap. Jules’
ex-husband enters shortly thereafter and comments, “You said you hated that.”
The next morning, Jules is
about to bite into a banana, but Travis snatches it from her hand and tosses it
in the trash. “You’re not allowed to eat these anymore,” he pouts.
Meanwhile, Travis catches a
lot of flak at school because of his mom’s racy real-estate ads, where she is
shown bent over to accentuate her cleavage. Apparently, the boy she had flashed
earlier attends Travis’ school. Now boys in junior-high have been stealing the
ads all over town and looking at them while they masturbate. Travis angrily
informs his mother, “Junior high kids are stealing your signs! Do you know why?
Because they're using them to pleasure themselves!” As a result, Jules tracks
down one of the adolescent thieves and convinces him to stop stealing her ads.
After ABC adapted Geico’s
hilarious Caveman commercials into a ho-hum television series, it now sets it
sights on every media-fueled social trend. In the process, the network has
mined the tawdriest elements of this phenomenon. Ultimately, the show comes off
as desperate at best, and at worst completely cringe-worthy.
Travis sums up the show most
succinctly. When Jules asks him, “Why don’t you ever laugh at my jokes?”
He responds, “Because they
make me sad.”
Hopefully, ABC’s stay in
Cougar Town will be a brief one.
For blatantly tawdry sexual
content, Cougar Town has been named Worst TV Show of the Week.
Parents Television Council,
Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The
nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting
children against sex, violence and profanity in
entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval,
and Family Guide to Prime Time Television
are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.