76° Good Afternoon
76° Good Afternoon

'Cougar Town' still the cat's meow

THE SHOW "Cougar Town"

WHEN|WHERE Tuesday night at 8:30 on ABC/7

REASON TO WATCH Return of the "Cul-de-sac Crew"

CATCHING UP The gang went to Hawaii to relax but also to bring Jules' (Courteney Cox) son, Travis (Dan Byrd), back home. (Girlfriend troubles; he ran away, and he did agree to return home.) But Hawaii worked its magic on Grayson (Josh Hopkins), who wants a baby. Jules isn't even in the same solar system with regard to that issue.

Back in Gulf Haven, Jules falls back into her precious routine -- telling punk skateboarders to get lost, for example -- while Travis has moved into a house with some other college kids. Best thing about this new house: It's got its own "green screen," against which one's wildest fantasy can come true (if someone knows how to work the AV equipment). Meanwhile, Grayson and Jules are getting serious ... really serious. (And the wine continues to be poured -- copiously.)

MY SAY "Cougar Town" has been MIA for so long that some fans were starting to wonder whether the long absence was about to turn into a permanent MIA. ABC did agree to a relatively brief 15-episode third season, and creator Bill Lawrence also warned via Twitter last spring that the leash was not particularly long, either. That basically meant unless the numbers improved ... cue here to Chopin's "Funeral March." Lawrence even seriously suggested a name change -- many people apparently avoid the show because of the dumb/admittedly catchy title -- but couldn't come up with anything better.

And so "Cougar Town" is back, in name and spirit -- and that's all to the good. Brightly written, smart and good-hearted, there really is nothing particularly wrong with this show except, maybe, that title. Cox remains a very engaging lead, and her supporting cast is rock solid.

BOTTOM LINE The "Cougar" is back, and hopefully here it will stay.



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