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Worst TV Show of the Week

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Cougar Town on ABC


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.


Worst TV Show of the Week

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