What a relief! Cougar Town successfully rebounded from last week’s episode, which took the comedy to new lows. The show was clearly making nice with its loyal fans in “Flirting with Time.”
The episode took viewers back to when Jules first met Ellie and the cul-de-sac crew was formed. Judging by the age of young Travis (who totally looked like a young Dan Byrd even though I watched Any Day Now and know what a young Dan Byrd looked like), it seemed that the flashback was 10 or 11 years ago. Now do I believe that in that decade that transpired since Jules went from being a redneck to who she is today? Not for a second. I can believe it of Bobby since he is now only a slightly more sophisticated version of his younger self. But there’s no way I believe Jules sounded like Dolly Parton and walked around barefoot. Also, given that premise, we are supposed to accept that Ellie wildly changed Jules, but Jules has had little-to-no effect on Ellie.
But it will still be fun, as the title card suggested, for fans obsessed with continuity to dissect the episode. And I give credit to the show for not doing too much to make the actors look younger. I was willing to use my imagination and just think of everyone years younger.
Sometimes the show gets stuck on an idea that doesn’t quite work. And Grayson’s obsession with wishing he had a “meet cute” story with Jules wasn’t quite believable. But it did allow for Bobby and Travis to reenact the Julia Roberts giggle scene from Pretty Woman and for Bobby’s wonderful Lady and the Tramp meet-cute story with dog Travis, which might be one of my favorite Cougar Town scenes ever.
It was also nice to see some real growth for Laurie, who finally is ready to allow herself to have a full, adult relationship. It was easy to date Wade when he was in Afghanistan. Now comes the hard part. I’m looking forward to seeing their relationship develop. Although I do still feel like we have lots of unfinished business with Travis and Laurie. Especially since the flashbacks indicated that he’s been obsessed with her since his pre-adolescent years.
What’s hurting the show most right now is the Andy and Ellie relationship, which seems to be on a repeat cycle. Every episode ends with Ellie being nice to Andy after being mean/taking him for granted for the preceding 28 minutes. I love Ellie and her acerbic wit. But there’s a meanness to how she treats Andy that I don’t remember being as prevalent before. When she told him, “Since the day we met, I always felt you were too good for me,” I didn’t quite believe it. The show was forcing a sweet moment that wasn’t quite there.
But all in all, I’m glad the show steered away from jokes that pushed the envelope way too far and made me way too uncomfortable.
Other thoughts on “Flirting with Time”:
• I love that “Bonnie Hunt” is one of Laurie’s nicknames for her private parts. She really is, as Ellie so aptly put it, a “vagina thesaurus.”
• I can’t believe you can buy a house like Grayson’s for $226,000. I so need to move to Florida.
• “They were wearing spandex shorts. I don’t apologize.” That is perfectly reasonable Ellie.
• Grayson is right. Travis does need to get some friends his own age.