TITLE: COUGAR TOWN - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2010 (ABC Studios)
Color / 2009-10
Packaging: Keep case with outer box
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: approx. 520 minutes
Subtitles and Captioning: English, French, & Espanol Subtitles; No Closed Captioning.
Special Features: “Taming Cougar Town,” 15 Deleted Scenes, Bloopers, “Saber-Tooth Tiger Town” (from Jimmy Kimmel Live!), “My Sexuality” Music Video, 9 “Ask Barb” segments, and 4 “Stroking it with Bobby Cobb” segments
Welcome to Cougar Town! Courteney Cox stars as Jules, a recently divorced single mother exploring the honest truths about dating and aging in our beauty and youth obsessed culture and you can own it now on DVD as The Complete First Season from ABC Studios is coming to DVD. While most women in their twenties go through life experiencing the challenges and often humorous pitfalls of meeting men, Jules took on the responsibilities of marriage and raising a son. Now in her forties, she embarks on a journey to self-discovery whilst surrounded by fellow divorcees and singletons eager to live or re-live a time gone by. The series is a nice and simple look at friendship in Sarasota, Florida. It has become more than just cougars looking for prey.
Cougar Town stars Courteney Cox as Jules Cobb, Christa Miller as Ellie Torres, Busy Phillips as Laurie Keller, Brian Van Holt as Bobby Cobb, Dan Byrd as Travis Cobb, Ian Gomez as Andy Torres, and Josh Hopkins as Grayson Ellis.
Cougar Town is just a really fun show. It is wild, wacky, and has a lot of heart. The series switched focus about midway through its first season, going from a show focusing in relationships with women in their 40s seeing men in their 20s or younger to a show about a group of friends and family. On the very first episode “Pilot,” Jules is a woman in her forties who's five months out of her marriage and being pressured by her best friends into getting "back out there" and finding the dating scene not her style, but with a teenage son who would be happier if she were to hide out in the house, she gets the business from him when she feels like she's "allowed to have a life." In the hilarious episode, “Into the Great Wide Open,” Jules tries to party hard like a twenty-something and ends up looking like a total fool, when even her best friend Ellie, told her not to do it. In “A Woman in Love (It's Not Me),” when Josh tells Jules he's in love with her, she knows the time has come to break things off with him, unfortunately for Jules, she's not the best at ending relationships without hurting people's feelings, but thankfully she has the expertise of friends Laurie and Ellie to see her through. In “Mystery Man,” a wealthy man, Jeff (Scott Foley) has an ulterior motive in his search for an expensive home. In “Rhino Skin,” despite fearing the meanest and most unrelenting dermatologist in town, Dr. Amy Evans (Lisa Kudrow), Jules and Ellie are willing to endure the harsh ridicule and wrath for an appointment with the best in the business, but when Jules learns Dr. Evans is seeing Bobby, she's determined to stand up to her and protect him. In “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” in the aftermath of her breakup with Jeff, Jules turns to Bobby for some solace., meanwhile, Laurie discovers a common thread between Jules and Grayson, and Travis' plans for a night with girlfriend Kylie don't go exactly as planned. In “Turn This Car Around,” Sara (Sheryl Crow) is a confident wine rep who sets her sights on Grayson, but is he strong enough to be her man? In “Letting You Go,” Jules has mixed feelings when Travis gets accepted to two of his choice colleges, now he must decide between schools in California or one just 20 minutes from home. And on the season finale, “Finding Out,” Jules and Grayson hatch an elaborate plan to break the news to Bobby they're dating, and Travis sees the wrath of a truly angry woman for the first time when he forgets his momentous seven-month anniversary with Kylie.
Recurring this season are Carolyn Hennesy as Barb Coman, Spencer Locke as Kylie, Ryan Devlin as Smith Frank, Scott Foley as Jeff, Nick Zano as Josh, Yasmin Deliz as Nezzie, Alan Ruck as creepy Frank, and Sheryl Crow as Sara. Then Guest starring this season is Lisa Kudrow, Beverly D’Angelo, Barry Bostwick, Rachel Harris, and David Rogers.
Moreover, the episodes are unedited at just about 21:35 or so with the pilot running two minutes higher. Runtimes are really consistent. Episode runtimes are as follows:
1. “Pilot” 23:35
2. “Into the Great Wide Open” 21:36
3. “Don’t Do Me Like That” 21:35
4. “I Won’t Back Down” 21:35
5. “You Wreck Me” 21:36
6. “A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me)” 21:35
7. “Don’t Come Around Here No More” 21:36
8. “Two Gunslingers” 21:36
9. “Here Comes My Girl” 21:36
10. “Mystery Man” 21:36
11. “Rhino Skin” 21:36
12. “Scare Easy” 21:35
13. “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” 21:35
14. “All the Wrong Reasons” 21:36
15. “When A Kid Goes Bad” 21:36
16. “What Are You Doin’ In My Life?” 21:36
17. “Counting On You” 21:31
18. “Turn This Car Around” 21:31
19. “Everything Man” 21:31
20. “Wake Up Time” 21:31
21. “Letting You Go” 21:31
22. “Feeling A Whole Lot Better” 21:31
23. “Breakdown” 21:31
24. “Finding Out” 21:31
The packaging is an outer box with a keep case inside. The box art has a nice full body shot of Courteney Cox, and on her shirt it says “40 Is the New 20.” The color scheme is pink and white. Above Courteney it says The Complete First Season. And to the left of Courteney, it says her name and the show title. The back of the box has a nice synopsis of the show and set, with four episodic photos. In addition, there is a pink box listing all the bonus features for this set along with technical specs. Then we get to the keep case. Both the front and back has the same artwork as the outer box. I still don’t see a purpose to the outer box, our fellow reviewer Skees53 says it is for protection, but I don’t think the case needs protection.
When we open the case, we get nice promotional photos on both the left and right panels. There are two advertisement inserts as well, but we don’t get an episode booklet, as the episodes and bonus featured are listed on the right panel alongside the nice artwork. The first two discs are in a little plastic holder that we can flip back and forth like a page in a book, with each disc on one side. And disc three is on the right panel. Disc one has artwork of Jules with a pink background and holds episodes 1-8. Disc two has artwork of Jules’ friends (Andy, Ellie, Laurie and Grayson) with a light blue background and holds episodes 9-16. Disc three has artwork of Jules’ family (Travis & Bobby) with a light green background and holds episodes 17-24 and the bonus features.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu screen is very high-quality like most ABC Studios sets. We have the quick theme song then background music playing in the background, while we go through Florida on a blue map (similar to the show’s opening title card). We also see a ray of sunshine. The options for the main menu are: Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, Bonus Features and Sneak Peeks. There are auto sneak peeks on disc one before the main menu starts of DVDs for ABC on DVD, Grey’s Anatomy Season 6, Private Practice Season 3 and The Last Song. Set Up menu has where you can have subtitles on or off (in English, French, or Spanish) along with how to register your DVD. Episode Selection menu has the number and title of the episode, and then you can select which one you want to view. Details on the Bonus Features will be in the extras section, as they are just listed in text on the menus for disc three. Sneak Peeks is just on disc three with trailers for You Again, Castle Season 2 DVD, Desperate Housewives Season 6, Brothers & Sisters Season 4, Ugly Betty Season 4, Legend of the Seeker and ABC: Great Stories promo. Each submenu has a different track from the nice sounding soundtrack! About 4 chapter stops are available for each episode and the show is in widescreen, of course.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio are both excellent, as it should be since this is a new season and the season just finished this past May. The video is in widescreen as I mentioned earlier, while the audio is perfect in Dolby Digital Surround Sound. I have no complaints whatsoever...as I keep saying, new series from 2000 and on should have no video/audio defects at all, or it is a total failure by the company. It is perfect on here however, as it should be. There are 4 chapter stops, which I again mentioned in the last section. So we have nothing to be worried about here, because it is near perfection. Good job by ABC Studios, but this is how it is expected to be for newer series.
We have a lot of special features and they are ALL on disc three. First up, we have “Taming Cougar Town.” This runs 4:46 and is a nice featurette about the show’s focus switch about mid-way through the season. The show has certainly evolved. Interviewed are co-creators/executive producers Bill Lawrence & Kevin Biegel, stars Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, Ian Gomez, Dan Byrd, Josh Hopkins & Busy Phillips, and producer Randall Winston.
Next, we have 15 deleted scenes. Each deleted scene is listed with what episode it was intended to be in and the scene title. The Ugly Betty DVD releasing on this date, doesn’t have the episode title for some reason. Anyway, the deleted scenes are (by episode title): “Pilot” - 1:21 and 0:21; “Into the Great Wide Open” - 0:35; “Don’t Do Me Like That” - 0:29; “Two Gunslingers” - 0:31; “Here Comes My Girl” - 0:26; “Rhino Skin” - 1:15 and 0:28; “Scare Easy” - 0:21; “All the Wrong Reasons” - 0:22 and 0:15; “What Are You Doin’ In My Life” - 0:14; “Turn This Car Around” - 0:41 and 0:34; and “Everything Man” - 0:12.
We have some “Bloopers” that run only 1:47. That is way too short, but what it is there are funny mistakes! Then we have a joke from Jimmy Kimmel Live! titled “Saber-Tooth Tiger Town” and this runs 1:58 and has Jimmy introducing a new “spin-off” of the series starring Cloris Leachman! This is very funny! Then we have the full length music video of Grayson’s “My Sexuality.” The hilarious music video runs 1:02 and Josh Hopkins actually does sing this as he has done music before. The final two extras are websiode segments featuring Barb and Bobby Cobb. The first one is titled “Ask Barb” and we have 9 webisodes of these! Runtimes for these webisodes are 2:03, 1:32, 1:51, 1:17, 1:12, 1:20, 1:33, 1:10 and 1:00, as Barb answers questions! Then we have the webisode series “Striking It With Bobby Cobb” where Bobby and his best friend Andy give golf tips! We get 4 webisodes here and they run 1:00, 1:18, 0:51 and 1:23. Short but good!
“Jealous Much?” This is a great show and great set, and the special features are very good, too. I liked the season throughout even with the change of direction. The music videos Grayson does are great, but I was hoping Sara and Grayson’s “Everything Man” would also be on it. Oh well, “My Sexuality” is at least on here! I just wish we get some audio commentaries and longer bloopers, but that is minor. The packaging is good, the menus are good, and the audio & video are excellent. This is a great set produced by ABC Studios, and if you have only watched a few episodes, I suggest you give it a look and watch them because the show certainly changed in the second half and was more about the group of friends/family rather than about a 40-year old women looking for younger men. You never hear the word “cougar” on this show, and the only real cougar quality character is Barb! But she is hilarious! Give it a chance and hope you catch up in time for the season premiere Wednesday. Sept. 22 at 9:30|8:30c&m on ABC right after the megahit Modern Family! Confident in my sexualityyyyy!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 08/13/10
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