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Thursday, March 8, 2012

'Full Moon Fever' strikes Cougar Town

On this week's Cougar Town on ABC, "Full Moon Fever," Andy (Ian Gomez) and Jules (Courteney Cox) fight over who is King of the Neighborhood. A gang of bicycle-riding kids challenge both to prove their position, and it's Andy, with Jules's permission, that comes out ahead. Meanwhile, Bobby (Brian Van Holt) develops a crush on Travis's professor (Sarah Chalke, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother), and Laurie (Busy Philipps) starts an online relationship.

Andy is often not the most featured character on Cougar Town. He is usually a supporting player for both Bobby and Ellie (Christa Miller), and also to the others, to a lesser extent. Sometimes he expresses his sadness at being overlooked, but usually maintains a very positive outlook. He's loyal, reliable, and hilarious, making him no less important than any other member of the Cul de Sac Crew.

In "Full Moon Fever," Andy gets his due, and with wonderful results. Sure, everyone sides with Jules in the battle for who is King of the Neighborhood, but Andy is the one who actually stops the boys from riding through their yards. He is able to get the others on board only with Jules's support, but having proven himself, perhaps next time he won't have to ask. And his Braveheart reenactment is superb.

Cougar Town is a very funny show, and so sometimes the serious heart that flows behind each week's story sneaks up on the viewer. "Full Moon Fever" contains a great example of this unexpected twist. Laurie begins chatting with a soldier on twitter after sending him naked pictures of herself. She is lambasted by Ellie, and the audience is likely in agreement that Laurie is acting like a stupid, slutty girl. However, loyal fans know that she is anything but, no matter how she may act from time to time, and that bears out when Ellie sneaks a peek at Laurie's tweets. Laurie isn't just exchanging dirty stuff, she is carrying on a real, supportive, emotional relationship.

Philipps is fantastic, as is everyone else in the show, and it's really nice to see depth to her character. As mentioned before, depth is not new for her, but she has the shallow-esque persona so perfected, that sometimes that can be forgotten. Much credit goes to her for this beautiful, layered character that she inhabits so brilliantly.

Travis (Dan Byrd) doesn't want to introduce his dad to his teacher because it will require his cheating on homework to be exposed. But he comes around to the idea when Grayson (Josh Hopkins) implores Travis to let Bobby be happy. It's true, Bobby has been sad more often than anyone else on the series. This is because he is the unluckiest in love. Maybe Bobby struggles to act mature and responsible, but he is a hell of a good guy, who deserves happiness,

Bringing Sarah Chalke onto the show is great. She is a terrific comedy actress, who can do the romantic stuff, too. She also seems to be a good match for Van Holt, at least at first glance. It is about time that Bobby's character gets some loving, and using this particular actress to make that happen is great.

It is no secret that Cougar Town remains on the bubble, its renewal fate uncertain. But the phenomenal cast and crew have been working so hard to get people to watch, and it's a show that deserves to be on. Please, please, please watch Cougar Town Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

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