If I woke up tomorrow and every sitcom except Cougar Town and Parks and Recreation were cancelled, I’d still be a pretty happy man. Throughout this season, they’ve been the comedies most consistently at the top of their games. I’ve already written about Parks and Recreation elsewhere, so I’m going to devote this entry to my thoughts on Cougar Town’s stellar second season.

About halfway through the season, I stopped reviewing Cougar Town for two reasons. Firstly, I loved the show so much that I didn’t feel compelled to pick it apart and analyze it. Secondly, Cougar Town isn’t the deepest or most substantial series, so I often had very little to say about it. But now that the season is over, it’s a good time to take a look back and see what made Cougar Town such a success this season.

I admit that I have a bit of a personal bias towards Cougar Town. It relies heavily on the kind of comedy that I adore: gleeful randomness. Chocolate manatees, hilarious Twitter feeds, grown people playing Sardines – this is the kind of stuff that gets me laughing, and that would be enough, but this show also has a lot of heart. At its core – and as Jules states in the season finale – this is a show about a makeshift family. The show wouldn’t be what it is without Ellie and Laurie supporting Jules, Andy and Bobby’s bromance, Grayson and Ellie’s friendship, or Jules and Bobby’s love for their son Travis (and Bobby’s love for Dog Travis!) These characters always love and support each other, even when the going gets tough.

With that in mind, season 2 didn’t shy away from big emotional stories for its characters. Early in the season, Laurie dealt with being dumped by her first true love, Smith, and later, in “Baby’s a Rock ‘N’ Roller,” she found a way to reclaim her awesomeness. Travis also faced rejection from his girlfriend Kirsten, spiralling into a depressive state before heading off to Hawaii to run away from it all. Jules and Grayson continued their journey into coupledom, pitting Grayson’s desire to have kids against Jules’ desire not to have another child.

The foregoing description probably makes Cougar Town sound a lot heavier than it actually is. However, the show manages to confront all these issues adequately, yet with a light touch. It doesn’t shy away from being serious, but it never gets bogged down in drama. Cougar Town asks its audience to invest in and care for its characters, not suffer with them, and ultimately, the characters help each other overcome their obstacles.

Thus, season 2 ended with Travis agreeing to come back to Florida at Laurie’s insistence and Jules and Grayson agreeing to discuss the possibility of kids in their future. It was an interesting way to end the season, not only because it resolved existing storylines but also because it opened the door for future ones. How will Travis be affected by his experience in Hawaii? Will he have matured? Also, will Jules and Grayson take the plunge into parenthood or will they break up over their differences? I’m intrigued to see where this picks up when Cougar Town returns to the schedule in the middle of next season.

On the whole, Cougar Town’s second season stands as one of my favourite seasons of comedy of all time. Gut-bustingly funny and surprisingly emotional, Cougar Town is without a doubt one of the best series on the air.

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