Courteney Cox and Busy Philipps Talk ‘New and Improved’ ‘Cougar Town’
The third season of ABC’s adorable Cougar Town may still be a long time away, but the DVD of the show’s second season will be out today — a lovely way to get yourself out of your television wine withdrawal (if there is one). Marking the DVD’s release: the show’s stars Courteney Cox and Busy Philipps talked about how different season 2 was from season 1 (in Cox’s words, it’s the “new and improved Cougar Town”) and whether 40-somethings can really be that crazy.
Courteney Cox on how Cougar Town has changed from the first season:
“Cougar Town started out as a show about a 40-year-old woman dating younger guys. However, we soon realized that getting these young, male guest stars to appear in the show for just one week meant that the audience didn’t really invest in the characters. That’s why we decided to move away from a show about a ‘cougar’ and move into a show about this group of dysfunctional friends. It was always an ensemble show, but we decided to push it more when we realized that was the core of the show … It was a good decision because the regular characters on the show are far too interesting to take a back seat.”
Busy Philipps on how the show evolved into what it is now:
“When they were casting the show, they were looking for a group of people that would be able to work really well together. When we got to the third or fourth episode of season 1, I remember Bill Lawrence saying to us, ‘This is the show. It’s about friends. It’s not about her looking for younger guys. It’s about you and your relationships together.’ It wasn’t like the producers decided to change the tone of the show; it’s just made the show stronger.”
Cox on being nominated for a Golden Globe:
“I was so psyched when that nomination came through. It was such a good feeling. You know what? I’m really proud of this show and I’m really proud of what we’re doing. I am happier than ever working on Cougar Town.”
Philipps on whether Cougar Town’s childish character reflect reality:
“I think that depends on the people you hang out with. There are groups of people that sit around, drink wine and behave like proper adults. But there are also people who like to let loose and have some fun. My husband has this group of football friends that get together every Sunday. They are all aged 38 to 45 and they drink, play games and watch football. They have fun together and it feels very reminiscent of the stuff we do on this show.”
Cox on why Jules is a real estate agent:
“I am really into real estate, which is why Jules has the perfect job for me to portray on the show. I’m not sure how that came about, though. [Cougar Town creator] Bill Lawrence spent tons of time with me before he went away and wrote the pilot episode – and he really captured my sense of humor, although I don’t know if he was trying to capture my passion for homes by making Jules work in real estate. To be honest, I just think there are a lot of real estate brokers in Florida. Whatever works…”
Philipps on that old question — should Cougar Town change its name?
“The show’s name got a lot of attention when we were filming season 1, and it got a lot of people interested in the show. Television is a really tough business; the goal is to keep your show on the air and to get people to watch it. Having the discussion about the title gave more interest in the show and it got people talking. In season 1, we had a lot of bloggers saying, “If you’re turned off by the title, you should check it out. It’s not about cougars.” And then in season 2 they said, “Will they change the title? Won’t they change the title?” I think it continually garnered interest – but changing the title is a very tricky proposition.”
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