Though S01E07 is my all-time favourite episode of Cougar Town, I have done this list in episode order and I have struggled to keep the list to five because quite frankly, this show is perfection! These episodes are the ones I would show to someone who has only judged Cougar Town by its title, and I think they epitomise the direction the show has taken after the first six episodes (at least for the first season. Episode descriptions courtesy of Wikipedia.
- “Don’t Come Around Here No More”
Jules always seems to be with her friends, her ex or her son. One night when everyone is busy, she reluctantly takes a date with an older man just to get out of the house, so Grayson makes her a wager that she can’t spend a whole day by herself.
For me this episode marks the transition between the show about a “40 is the new 20” divorcee looking for some action, and what Cougar Town has developed into today. The ensemble complements each other without overpowering and of the season I think it is the best representation of the family Jules has built around herself. It is also the first time we see Grayson’s guitar prowess and the first official mention of the Cul-De-Sac Crew. Ever since watching this episode for the first time I have yearned to make Barbeque Saturdays a frequent thing at my pool and patio-ed house, and with summer coming up I can only imagine the fun it will be. Best moments include:
–“Confident in my Sexuality.” Always gets stuck in my head, and makes me want to watch Law and Order. I also love that in this montage you can see how she’s shortened and hacked away at an 80s looking prom dress to make it into a really hot looking top.
–“But Jules, it’s Barbeque Saturday!”
“You just made that up!”
–“G.A.C, Guilty as charged. I taught him that. I regret it.”
–Poor Tuffy. No neighbour dog, despite how yappy it may be at inopportune moments, deserves to get eaten by an alligator.
- “Here Comes My Girl”
Jules’s plan for a romantic dinner for two backfires for Thanksgiving. Travis shows off his girlfriend Kylie to everyone. Jules gives Travis and Kylie advice on birth control. Bobby and Grayson bond over a common interest.
This episode had essentially the same formula as the barbecue episode, getting all the characters in the same environment (almost bottle episode-like) and watching the different combinations unfold. it also makes the beginning of Grayson’s feelings for Jules which also was obviously going to be visited at some point of the first season. I think this was the episode I started fully appreciating Travis and how much he adds to the show though I would die if I had to go through a Thanksgiving like his! Also:
–Love the Top Gun basketball game against the neighbourhood kids.
–“Locate, justify, hide”
–Best ever Travis quote:” I’m about to bring Kylie in so I need you all to act like normal human beings. I know it’s going to be hard but I can help. Mrs. Torres, Kylie doesn’t have an eating disorder, she runs cross country, so think of a new opening question. Mr. Torres, I don’t care how much you eat, let’s keep our pants buttoned. Laurie, your breasts are bigger than hers. There I said it, you don’t need to tell her. Neighbor guy, I see you brought your fruity little guitar, let’s keep that holstered. Mom, you have multiple problem areas so when it doubt just say to yourself that’s a bad idea. Dad, I think we both know it’s best if you don’t say anything.”
- “Letting You Go”
Jules has mixed feelings when Travis gets accepted to two of his choice colleges, now he must decide between schools in California or one just 20 minutes from home. As Jules struggles with the thought of Travis moving away, Grayson is there for her. Meanwhile, Laurie considers her feelings for Smith when he returns from law school, and Andy longs for the freedom to do whatever he wants around the house, free of Ellie’s rules.
What I love most about this episode is the night time shenanigans that occur once Ellie has gone to bed. I can completely relate to it, being quite a bit of a night owl and pottering around the house with my headphones. The sight of Jules and Grayson dancing to Enya in their old jeans and cowboy hats is also pretty funny, along with the first relatively normal Tom moment of the series. Also:
–The Sleepy show.
–Ellie just wanting to join in on the college excitement.
Jules encourages Travis to submit a graduation speech. Despite Grayson’s warning, a curious Jules reads the speech without permission and is left crushed when she finds she’s not been acknowledged. Meanwhile, Ellie uncharacteristically does something nice for Laurie, and Bobby tries to restrain himself from embarrassing Travis on his big day.
In this episode I love that Ellie finally gets called out for all her ridiculing of Laurie. Though she is also right, in that you should test friends when they don’t know theyre being tested. Though I enjoyed her all season I think this is the moment that I related the most to Laurie. Not being secure in her place in the group and in Jules’ life lead her to some hat murder, but also to the realisation Ellie cared enough to find out what was bugging Laurie and even fixed the problem without her knowing it (which gave us the fantastic image of Grayson and Ellie under the big hat while the others chase the red balloon).
- “Finding Out”
Jules and Grayson hatch an elaborate plan to break the news to Bobby they’re dating, and Travis sees the wrath of a truly angry woman for the first time when he forgets his momentous seven-month celebration with Kylie.
The music in this episode, in particular the song by Leona Naess that plays over the beach montage towards the end, is a big part of what solidified my love for the show. that whole sequence to me epitomises summer, and just watching those few minutes has the power to cheer me up out of any funk. I also love Ellie the running-man DJ and Grayson’s one millionth customer.
What are your favourite TV episodes, and what do you think of Cougar Town?