Cougar Town is an American television sitcom that premiered on ABC on 23 September 2009. The show was created by Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel and is produced by Coquette Productions in association with ABC Studios. The series focuses on a recently divorced woman in her forties facing the often humorous challenges, pitfalls and rewards of life's next chapter, along with her son, ex-husband, and friends who together make up her dysfunctional, but supportive and caring extended family.
The first season premiere episode shows Jules while she examines her naked body in the mirror for signs of aging. Jules, now divorced from her husband Bobby, tries to re-enter the dating world and relate to her young assistant Laurie. Jules' best friend and neighbor, Ellie, tries to prevent her from going out while her son is constantly being embarrassed by both of his parents. Jules begins dating Josh (Nick Zano). Jules' relationship with Josh ends when Josh tells Jules that he loves her. Unfortunately Jules does not feel the same way. Later Jules begins a relationship with Jeff (Scott Foley) a client who infuriates Jules with his indecision. Her relationship with Jeff ends when the relationship becomes too serious for Jules who is not looking for anything too serious so soon after her divorce, whereas Jeff is ready to settle down as he has being 'playing the field' for a long time.
After her relationship with Jeff ends, Jules falls into bed with ex-husband, Bobby (Brian Van Holt). This causes Bobby's feelings for Jules to stir even more and he later tells her that he wants her back. Jules, however, tells him that she loves him but 'not that way anymore' and that their happy ending is them as friends, raising their son, Travis (Dan Byrd) together. Toward the end of the season, the simmering feelings between Jules and neighbor Grayson (Josh Hopkins) boil to the surface, and the two begin
Cougar Town opened to mixed reviews from critics. Metacritic gave the series 49 out of 100 based on the pilot episode, from the 21 reviews it collected, and a user score of 4.5 out of 10 based on 46 votes. Many critics have speculated that show will only have a narrow target audience: older women; with Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times stating that the shows "plot description alone could drive away male viewers" while the Los Angeles Times' Mary McNamara opined that it "is fun and exciting for women over 40." Despite speculation, the show has done well with young males and young adults in all key demographics.
In The Irish Times Kate Holmquist writes that "Cox is both a symbol and a red light warning for everything that is wrong with the Hollywood portrayal of middle-aged women, who are rarely wise or strong or naturally aged" and states that she is "the female version of the pervert in a dirty raincoat". In contrast to the previous year, season 2 received positive reviews from critics. The second season currently holds an average score of 75 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 7 reviews, indicating 'generally favorable reviews'. Hitfix writer Alan Sepinwall also gave a positive review of the show, saying that "midway through the first season the writers realized their cast was so funny together that the wisest course was to just put everyone together as often as possible. By the end of the season, it was often funnier many weeks than the Modern Family episode leading into it. This is still the show that Cougar Town became at mid-season last year."