Rawr!



Sara Libby asks if the Cougar-craze has ended and then links to this fascinating admission:

In an interview with HitFix, Cougar Town creator Bill Lawrence expressed distaste for the comedy's title. "I'd like to (change it), and the studio has been talking about it...partly as a result of common sense and partly from their research," he said. "They find too many instances of testing of people saying they would never watch a show called Cougar Town -- 'I don't want to see some show about a 40-year-old woman nailing younger guys' -- and then they screen an episode, and people go, 'Oh, I would watch this show."

A rep from ABC followed that up with a quick no-go. For the record, I'd much rather watch a show about "a 40-year-old woman nailing younger guys" than a 40-year old dude nailing younger girls. But I'm pretty sure my reasoning isn't very noble, and has nothing to do with "empowering women."  think that gets at the point. There was this whole thing about "cougar" being liberating for women over 40, but I think when you're really liberated they don't have to call you anything--you just get to be. Demi Moore is a "cougar." Michael Douglas is just, well, Michael Douglas. In that sense, "cougar" ultimately says more about what we think of woman, than anything about what women are actually doing with their lives.

At any rate, the saddest part of all of this is that Cougartown is my favorite dumb comedy of the year--by far--and I mean that in the best possible way. I don't mean it's so bad, it's good, I mean that it isn't a faux-doc, it's not deconstructing 20 years of pop culture. It's just executing the form. The show is totally lacking in narcissism and self-reference. I've liked Busy Phillips since Freaks and Geeks. And Mara Brock Akil (from the awesome Girlfriends) is doing some funny writing, as usual. 

But mostly, I think I feel really bad for Courtney Cox who is doing some really good comic acting. I think I'm one of five people in the universe who liked her in Dirt--or to clarify I didn't like Dirt at all, but I watched it because I thought her acting was superb. It all makes me want to go back, watch Friends and focus on her a little more. I'm a fan. She has the show she deserves. It says something about us that we can't give it the name it deserves.
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it. They are repulsed by it."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In