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Cougar Town “Time to Move On” 

Photo Credit: Jennifer Rose Clasen/TBS
Photo Credit: Jennifer Rose Clasen/TBS

Cougar Town has never been a show about high stakes, but it has always been a show that focuses on its characters emotional stakes. When the show was dealing with the moments where Jules and Grayson were becoming an item and they didn’t know how Bobby would take it because Grayson and Bobby were becoming really close friends, is probably the best example of this, but it’s also been a while since the emotional stakes have reached to that level. I’m not implying that “Time to Move On” is emotionally satisfying, but its focus on Travis’ future once he graduates from Art school (he wants to be a photographer, which isn’t easy to make a living off of) does bring up the dilemma of Travis as an adult and how being an adult will play into his growth and maturity.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Rose Clasen/TBS
Photo Credit: Jennifer Rose Clasen/TBS

Travis has been hanging out with adults for a long time thanks to the Cul-De-Sac Crew, and even if their antics seem child-like at times, the adult aspects of the crew have rubbed off on Travis. For instance, the scene where Travis invites Jules and Bobby to discuss their issues towards the end of the episode shows this — Travis handles the situation as an adult and doesn’t react in an immature way. Bringing the Cobbs together is always dynamite for the show to do, but here we see a family that knows their past — specifically Jules and Bobby — and wants what is best for the future of that family — specifically Travis — without meddling too much. It’s a characteristic of Jules we know all too well, but here she’s a concerned mother who wants her son to have realistic goals and aspirations until the photographer gig pans out.

The Cobb storyline intertwines nicely with Ellie’s about getting Stan in the prestigious Gulf Haven Academy, which is difficult to get into. Both storylines revolve around the future of both Ellie and Jules’ children, but on a much different scale. Of course, Andy is Stan’s parent too, but he gets too emotional when he thinks about Stan’s future so he is kicked out of the house (more on that in a bit) when the Academy comes over for the family interview. In place of Andy is Laurie, who is watching Stan, but then goes ahead and kisses Ellie once she overhears that the Academy is looking for a diverse family. The reaction on Christa Miller’s face when Laurie kisses her is priceless and one of the funniest moments of the episode.

This storyline is entertaining because it revolves around Ellie and Laurie being a lesbian couple and it’s mostly used to great comedic effect. My only quibble with the whole storyline is how it concludes, even if both characters reveal — with a truth gun to their heads — their affection for one another. It’s Cougar Town going sentimental in the best possible way and overall it’s a B-story that works. It’s come to a point in the shows run that whenever Ellie and Laurie have a conflict it’s mostly to show that they really care for one another. I’m sure Ellie will be calling Laurie hilariously insulting nicknames in the next episode, but it’s nice to see this sort of thing between them anyway.

The third story of the episode is just a long gag that is initiated by Andy being kicked out of the house and having nothing to do. That is until Tom mentions he’s shooting a video for his cat Snowball and the light bulb in Andy’s head goes off. I don’t know what it is about Andy, but in my mind he can do no wrong as a character on the show. Ian Gomez is so good at playing serious and emotional moments on the show, but when he lets loose and plays the goofy side of his character (which in this episode is without Bobby Cobb by his side) it just gets me every time. And I love the tag where they film the “Cattender” bit in black and white and they can’t use the cat paws to do anything useful. Great stuff.

I enjoyed “Time to Move On” for the way the characters go out of their way to help one another, even if some of those characters are arguing over the premise of a cat film. Jules and Bobby are concerned about Travis’ future, which is something all parents are concerned about and Ellie wants Stan to be in a good school until she realizes she would never be able to coexist with the people who are associated with the Gulf Haven Academy. It’s a nice theme and one that I commend the show for exploring. It’s difficult to find ways to have these characters continue to interact with one another, but now that Travis has a gig at the coffee shop, which I think is on the same strip where Jules and Laurie have their businesses, it will be easy for them to pop in and out of each other’s lives.

Cougar Town airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on TBS.

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