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'Cougar Town' review: New network, same show

Courteney Cox and Brian Van Holt in a

Courteney Cox and Brian Van Holt in a scene from the fourth season of "Cougar Town," premiering at 10 p.m. EST Jan. 8, 2013 on TBS. Credit: AP

THE SHOW "Cougar Town"

WHEN | WHERE Tuesday night at 10 on TBS

WHAT IT'S ABOUT The cul-de-sac crew walks into Jules' bright, shiny kitchen, and it's as if they never left.

"I thought we'd never be in this kitchen again!" says Jules (Courteney Cox). In fact, they were only next door with Ellie (Christa Miller) and Andy (Ian Gomez). They've come back because they ran out of wine. (Hey, what other possible reason?) There have been a few minor changes between seasons, notably Jules and Grayson (Josh Hopkins) are now man and wife -- or wife and man. Laurie (Busy Philipps) and Jules' ex, Bobby (Brian Van Holt), are the same, but Jules' son, Travis (Dan Byrd), is all grown up, and looking to meet some ladies.

MY SAY The wine still flows. The banter still (um) bants. And Travis, the only practicing adult in sight, still half-smirks, half-grimaces whenever Jules says something vaguely insane. And for the most part, the jokes still work, too. But apparently there's an old rule in play here -- which hasn't been applied all that often because this doesn't happen all that often: When a network sitcom jumps to cable, the expectation is that it should and most definitely will go native. This means, to be blunt, more dirty talk -- and potty talk, and more bawdy references to male anatomical appendages, and a few female ones as well. That's OK, I suppose -- this is cable, right? And by "The League" standards, "Cougar Town" remains pretty much chaste. Nevertheless, the words hit the ear hard -- they are sour touches in an otherwise still mostly sweet, still mostly gentle take on a few close, inebriated and unhinged friends. That said, the move to TBS doesn't appear to have hurt "Cougar Town" much at all. Fans won't see any major departures, even if they hear a few. The cul-de-sac crew is all here, and the cul-de-sac crew is still nuts.

BOTTOM LINE Though a little bluer, "Cougar Town" appears to have survived the move from ABC to TBS largely intact.


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