Review: 'Cougar Town' - 'Restless': The Jules Rules
A quick review of tonight's "Cougar Town" coming up just as soon as I distract you with shoe talk...
I didn't get around to last week's episode for several days (TBS sent six episodes out for advance review, but not the first six episodes of the season, as it turns out), and felt it was ultimately too off-brand for "Cougar Town," where jobs have been a story topic, but never quite this relentlessly. "Restless" was more on-topic (and funnier), but also touched on some troublesome areas for the show.
Jules' struggle with insomnia led to a lot of strong gags (I particularly liked the guys showing Jules what her sleep dancing looked like) and also worked as a strong set-up to The Jules Rules as both a solution to all of Grayson's problems and a way to deal again with the awkwardness of Bobby and Grayson being such close friends now. On the other hand, the very idea of The Jules Rules, while meant to suggest that it was just Bobby's way to make her happy, instead plays like she's a gullible fool easily controlled by the men in her life.
Ellie and Andy and the sex coupons, meanwhile, was problematic for a few reasons. I thought the running gag a few weeks ago about Andy doing unspeakable things to Ellie while she was asleep (albeit with her advance, blanket permission) was funny, but go to that kind of well too often — and this episode does it twice, as it's implied Grayson had sex with Jules while she sleepwalked — and it becomes more awkward (and/or lazy). The larger issue, though, is that I don't tend to buy those requisite moments where Ellie has to spend 90 seconds expressing her real feelings for Andy before going back to being mean to him and everyone else. The heartfelt response to a previously comic story is part of the Bill Lawrence formula, and one the show usually uses well — as it does here with Travis explaining the real meaning of Bobby giving Grayson the rulebook — but it almost always plays like lip service when Ellie does it, whether with Andy or Jules. (Weirdly, though, I believe it when she admits her feelings to Bobby.)
What did everybody else think?