After all the viewing parties, video extras, and interviews that were part of a super-aggressive marketing effort by Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel, “Cougar Town” finally came back for its third season premiere last night, and the season started with a funny, emotional episode that ended in a proposal.
Lawrence and Biegel have not been shy about explaining what one of the big storylines of the season will be: Jules (Courteney Cox) and Grayson (Josh Hopkins) and their upcoming nuptials. If the planning is as funny as the proposal, it should be a good season.
The entire scheme by Grayson to prove how predictable Jules was — we especially loved his song about her morning routine — proved that these two are good for each other. It was a good-natured dig on his part; he loves Jule’s predictability, as do the rest of the Cul-de-sac Crew. It’s what gives them all a sense of home. Coffee in the morning, wine at night, fun conversation all day long. So after we found out that he conspired to propose to Jules after she TPed a neighbor’s house felt appropriately satisfying.
Of course, in the world of “Cougar Town,” there’s always other things going on. Ellie (Christa Miller) and Andy (Ian Gomez) have to deal with the fact that their adorable toddler son is, in Ellie’s words, is a “devil baby.” And Travis (Dan Byrd) has to deal with the fact that his dad Bobby (Brian Van Holt) won’t leave his new college digs, insisting that his son take Dog Travis. That plot was enhanced by the presence of a green screen in Travis’ new house, leading to some bromantic fun between Bobby and Andy that was funny. And Laurie (Busy Philipps) has to deal with wearing an ankle monitor
But the proposal was the centerpiece of the episode, and Biegel told us at their TCA press tour party last month that “we know we’re going to end the year great because we’ve basically set the season up to end with a big wedding.” As we know now, that finale will be played by an overly-efficient hotel concierge played by David Arquette.
Why tell people there’s going to be a wedding? “The show’s the show,” Lawrence said. In other words, as they and the cast have mentioned elsewhere, they’re not playing relationship games with Jules and Grayson; it’s about the journey for them and how they mesh together, not about the will-they/won’t-they.
Who else should we expect to see this season? “Sarah Chalke, (and we’re) bringing all the ‘Scrubs’ guys. Look, you make fun of me because” he only seems to use “20 actors. But Sarah Chalke will be in a bunch,” playing a new girlfriend for Bobby, as it turns out. “Nicole Sullivan is Courteney’s new therapist. I like working with them, so I work them in slowly. I sprinkle them in to taste,” he laughs. Ken Jenkins will be back, of course, as Jules’ dad, and Sam Lloyd will also be back as the morose Ted Buckland, a straight crossover from “Scrubs.” “He’s part of the world now.”