I have to do it. I have to start a thread for ABC's Modern Family/The Middle/Cougar Town Lineup

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against my better judgement i have fallen for these shows. conditionally. and i like them even when i'm not stoned. tonight's Modern Family with Ed Norton as the bass player for Spandau Ballet? The teenage son on The Middle? The blonde from Freaks & Geeks on Cougar Town? This stuff is all good to me.

i'm okay being all alone here.

"You're not a fandau!" that line is gold.

anyway, i watch them every week just like i do how i met yer mother/charlie harper show/big bang. (notice how i left out the horrid pregnant scientologist show that i DO end up watching every week cuz it happens to be on inbetween shows i like and i'm too lazy to change the channel.)

oh and NBC thursday i am locked down on too. i really should get out more...

scott seward, Thursday, 4 February 2010 01:20 (nine years ago) link

I've seen Modern Family and Cougar Town a few times each, and they're both getting better as they go along. The Middle I loved right from the beginning, though. Sue Heck is one of television's greatest characters.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 4 February 2010 01:24 (nine years ago) link

i realize that the middle is a shameless rehash of malcom/raymond/arrested. but i don't care. like it anyway. (and modern family is total rehash of arrested/every other show. don't care either.)

scott seward, Thursday, 4 February 2010 01:24 (nine years ago) link

Is it April Fools Day or what.

Your body is a spiderland (polyphonic), Thursday, 4 February 2010 01:31 (nine years ago) link

i can't find a good picture of axel heck. but, yeah, sue rules.

scott seward, Thursday, 4 February 2010 01:32 (nine years ago) link

i don't even mind monkey guy from snl on the middle. this, despite the fact that i have a grudge agaainst him for stealing from my brother's record store.

i love how axel is always half naked in the house. for some reason.

scott seward, Thursday, 4 February 2010 01:33 (nine years ago) link

Axel = my brother as a teenager. Never wore anything but boxers around the house.

Johnny Fever, Thursday, 4 February 2010 01:35 (nine years ago) link

I've only really caught Modern Family regularly, but I want to watch more Middle. Cougar Town ends up getting some watch time due to following MF, but I rarely stick to the end - seems OK, though maybe just a step up or two from the last few seasons of Scrubs. (I do love that Kim Kelly though, she's still great)

Nhex, Thursday, 4 February 2010 01:36 (nine years ago) link

threads very much in character

max, Thursday, 4 February 2010 03:03 (nine years ago) link

i don't really think the Middle is that funny, I'm not sure why, it just seems to be trying too hard; I think the big problem is Patricia Heaton though who I don't buy as frazzled. Modern Family also seems to be trying to hard but it succeeds more often, meaning, I actually genuinely laugh out loud at least once per episode.
Cougar Town is hilarious, one of the best sitcoms of recent years.

akm, Thursday, 4 February 2010 21:48 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

the intervention on cougar town was pretty darn funny.

scott seward, Friday, 26 March 2010 14:39 (nine years ago) link

Theres a facade of the character in Cougar Town's realty office near a movie theater where I live. I assume thats the exterior they shoot but I have no idea if its some crazy viral/reality marketing scheme since I havent seen the show.

mayor jingleberries, Friday, 26 March 2010 16:07 (nine years ago) link

They did do weird marketing for cougartown. I saw fake For Sale signs with Courteney Cox's picture and agency name in several front yards throughout my neighborhood.

i've been liking Modern Family more and more but really can't make myself watch more than a few minutes of either other show. i like the janitor from Scrubs dude but The Middle just strikes me as kinda ho hum, and i'm not sure if Cougar Town is worth getting over my aversion to Courtney Cox. what's up with the title, though, are we supposed to think of Busy Phillips as a cougar?

some dude, Friday, 26 March 2010 19:00 (nine years ago) link

cougar town is winningly loathsome p sure the title refers to c.cox character & this other rich old lady that likes doin it specifically + i guess southern florida generally.

cougar town is hella funny tbh altho they really rely on like character one says smnthn selfish or stupid or repellent character two zings them character one ruefully acknowledges their shortcomings no1 learns anything type jokes and plots. modern familys gotten a lot tighter & better @ using confessionals but i still like cougar town more.

better off ted was really the best of the abc morality plays but i guess its been canceled????

Lamp, Friday, 26 March 2010 19:09 (nine years ago) link

feel like the immediate precursor to these shows is the american version of kath & kim. come to think of it, so is new adventures of old christine. all these shows plus christine are better than kath & kim too. they've perfected the formula. i wanted to like kath & kim simply cuz i worship selma blair, but it really was the pits. if i won't watch your sitcom then you really have some trouble on your hands.

(and yeah i know that these shows all steal from a dozen other shows, but the vibe of kath & kim is really similar to cougar town and the others in some ways)

scott seward, Friday, 26 March 2010 19:39 (nine years ago) link

cougar town is hella funny tbh altho they really rely on like character one says smnthn selfish or stupid or repellent character two zings them character one ruefully acknowledges their shortcomings no1 learns anything.

Totally dead on, and it gets really claustro after a few minutes.

Also there is something weird and choppy about joke timing on cougar town.

yeah the rhythm of the show is really offputting -- i feel like single camera shows have to work extra hard to find a pacing that functions as well as a trad three-camera/live studio audience sitcom, and most of them fall pretty flat in that regard. but then i can't even watch the US Office.

some dude, Saturday, 27 March 2010 00:31 (nine years ago) link

Agree with you guys. It's not like the show doesn't have some decent jokes and delivery, and I think the attempted tone, to get back to more bitter early-Scrubs days where the characters were far more antagonistic (my guess) has merit, but the general direction/rhythm seems off.

Nhex, Saturday, 27 March 2010 00:50 (nine years ago) link

I kind of like The Middle but it feels like it hasn't quite geared up yet. Janitor and the daughter are both pretty good, though.

Nhex, Saturday, 27 March 2010 00:51 (nine years ago) link

I watch The Middle and Modern Family and I prefer The Middle more (my family prefers the other more (not sure about my mom though)).

I think it just comes down to personal taste.. these shows probaly just about tie in favor by viewers. Brick and the daughter win it for me

CaptainLorax, Saturday, 27 March 2010 02:20 (nine years ago) link

i still don't know what to think of that musical ending to cougar town last night with sheryl crow. that song was so bad. but the episode itself was okay. the song seemed to last forever. like watching someone's uncle sing in public. so embarrassing.

scott seward, Thursday, 1 April 2010 17:25 (nine years ago) link

can we have a serious adult discussion about how cute modern family character mitchell is?? luv that ginger neckbeard

A B C, Thursday, 1 April 2010 17:38 (nine years ago) link

i really can't bring myself to explore cougar town though, like it took me about a year to look into parks and rec beyond thet tivo-tag opening segments featuring a hilarious sassy large black woman

A B C, Thursday, 1 April 2010 17:40 (nine years ago) link

My favorite of these shows is "The Middle". I think Patricia Heaton is very funny on that. Her facial expressions alone make it worthwhile - the rest of the cast is pretty good too. I missed it this week, but last week's episode with Amy Sedaris as the consultant at the auto dealership was classic.

o. nate, Thursday, 1 April 2010 18:01 (nine years ago) link

i don't even mind monkey guy from snl on the middle. this, despite the fact that i have a grudge agaainst him for stealing from my brother's record store.

― scott seward, Wednesday, February 3, 2010 8:33 PM

i wanna know the record store story plz scott

☀ ☃ (am0n), Thursday, 1 April 2010 18:13 (nine years ago) link

WARNING To Record Store Owners And Employees

scott seward, Thursday, 1 April 2010 18:27 (nine years ago) link

ha basically one big infomercial but possibly the best ep yet

etrian odysseus (cozen), Friday, 2 April 2010 11:10 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

cougar town a+ last episode imo. kinda feel like theyve just >> to that point in a sitcoms life when the characters become absurd caricatures of their own worst qualities but im enjoying how committed this show is to making these ppl joyfully loathsome.

mb its just that its an always sunny where dennis and dee managed to hold on to their main line affluence

Lamp, Sunday, 18 April 2010 17:34 (nine years ago) link

cougar town killing it last nite.

fred willard was gold on modern family too.

scott seward, Thursday, 29 April 2010 15:35 (nine years ago) link

three weeks pass...

From this interview with Bill Lawrence on Cougar Town:

And it's always odd how there's this bunch of 40somethings, then there's Laurie who's also a grown-up, and then there's this teenager hanging out with them.

I like that he's almost the adult observer of a group of grown children. I long for the day when he's old enough when he and Laurie can flirt without it being creepy. I think in real life, those two aren't that far in age, but the way they've been written, whenever we do a scene where Travis is into Laurie, that was always met with the network going, "That's inappropriate."

It's funny that he acknowledged it, because it's true. Every time I saw a scene with them I was expecting them to hook up at some point but also seeing how it's just a littttle off right now.

This show isn't... good... but yet just barely entertaining, like late life Scrubs. Good that they ditched the original premise of the show - I dig that "joyfully loathsome" vibe (that reminds me when half the cast hated each other in early Scrubs) though this show will never be at the misanthropic level of Sunny. At least Busy Phillips is getting a steady paycheck out of this.

Nhex, Friday, 21 May 2010 09:23 (nine years ago) link

haha well it can be hard to separate "good" from "fun to watch" sometimes. & sure no network show is ever going to come close to being as bizarre and cruel as sunny. but i think theres some resemblance in the sensibility and the storytelling. really my only beef with the show is that the joke writing is rarely better than lazy

also lol @ me upthread. only found out yesterday that the travis graduates episode wasnt the season finale.

Lamp, Tuesday, 1 June 2010 16:21 (nine years ago) link

four weeks pass...

hahaha wtf. retitling shows almost never works, Cougar Town's not a great title but they went with it and now need to make the best of it imo.

~athdouspart (some dude), Tuesday, 29 June 2010 11:27 (nine years ago) link

three months pass...

ok I'm finally giving Cougar Town a chance tonight, and in the first seven minutes it's okay.

BUT I caught the opening last week and this week and I like that the descriptors "Badly Titled" and "Not What This Show's About" appear above the title.

props where they're due.

No Good, Scrunty-Looking, Narf Herder (Gukbe), Thursday, 14 October 2010 01:38 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

cougar town srsly killing it this season

Lamp, Thursday, 9 December 2010 18:34 (nine years ago) link

it kind of unnerves me how long Cougar Town's 'cold opens' are, like 10 minutes in suddenly the title card shows up and it's like wtf isn't this episode half over?

Local Hardman (some dude), Thursday, 9 December 2010 22:51 (nine years ago) link

the show has a weird structure - its usually like two long scenes @ the ends with a middle section featuring tonnes of cross cutting - but i kinda vibe it

lol that u watch this show tho!!!!

Lamp, Thursday, 9 December 2010 23:18 (nine years ago) link

isn't anyone else kinda annoyed by the primary courtney cox / girl from freaks + geeks / jordan from scrubs relationship? why does everyone worship cox?

Mordy, Thursday, 9 December 2010 23:24 (nine years ago) link

isnt the subtext/text of nearly every episode bent on answering that qn?? like its p hard to watch the show & not get why these ppl need each other

Lamp, Thursday, 9 December 2010 23:28 (nine years ago) link

I don't watch it that much, even though I know it's much improved over how it started, but the few times I have I've really liked it. I like that Bill Lawrence is keeping Scrubs actors in the loop (I'm only basing this on having seen the episode where Dr. Kelso played Courteney Cox's dad).

Lightning Is For Babies (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 9 December 2010 23:29 (nine years ago) link

difference between needing other people and the kind of power cox wields over these other two women. it's the difference imo between relatable + pathological and it often crosses way over that line

Mordy, Thursday, 9 December 2010 23:31 (nine years ago) link

isnt the subtext/text of nearly every episode bent on answering that qn

the subtext maybe but it doesn't seem like they ever plan on addressing it textually. it's always like, "this is just the way the relationship is," but never why it became that way or why they would be okay with it.

Mordy, Thursday, 9 December 2010 23:32 (nine years ago) link

like if i had two close friends who were always competing for my attention + insulting each other in some weird oneupsmanship I'd be like, "hey guys this is really weird and uncomfortable can't you just be cool?" but instead cox is like, "yes, i love being the center of attention"

Mordy, Thursday, 9 December 2010 23:32 (nine years ago) link

well one of the pivotal comic underpinings to the show is that cox's character is an unrepentant narcissist but e.g. the recent thanksgiving ep went out its way to address what cox's character does for the others - the sense of family & belonging thats she chiefly responsible for providing, how much she genuinely cares for them - so idk

i mean i guess my point is a) in a comedy relationships are often exaggerated and unhealthy in order to be funny and b) the way the characters interact and the psychological/emotional reasons driving these relationships are p long-established and easy to grasp by just watching the show

Lamp, Thursday, 9 December 2010 23:38 (nine years ago) link

I prefer The Middle to the other two. I've tried to get into Cougar Town but something about it annoys me. Modern Family is pretty damn funny though. Overall it's a pretty good lineup for ABC. Don't remember the last show I actually liked on that station.

brotherlovesdub, Friday, 10 December 2010 00:10 (nine years ago) link

Don't remember the last show I actually liked on that station.

I was into Grey's Anatomy for the first two seasons, but then I couldn't fucking take Ellen Pompeo anymore (or most of the rest of the young cast either...the older teacher doctors were okay).

Lightning Is For Babies (Johnny Fever), Friday, 10 December 2010 00:20 (nine years ago) link

D'oh! And LOST ffs.

Lightning Is For Babies (Johnny Fever), Friday, 10 December 2010 00:20 (nine years ago) link

Courtney Cox's face is pretty hard for me to look at these days.

macaroni rascal (polyphonic), Friday, 10 December 2010 00:22 (nine years ago) link

forgot to mention that i saw the dude from cougar town who goes out with courtney cox's character at LAX when we were getting to our flight the other day. my only celeb sighting!

scott seward, Tuesday, 1 March 2011 23:24 (eight years ago) link

two months pass...

weird abed cameo on cougar town.

scott seward, Thursday, 26 May 2011 01:54 (eight years ago) link

matthew perry loser show only lasted nine episodes but it was a loooooong nine episodes.

scott seward, Thursday, 26 May 2011 01:59 (eight years ago) link

i think it's cute that apparently Scrubs + Cougar Town occur in the same universe. "Hooch is crazy."

Mordy, Thursday, 26 May 2011 02:10 (eight years ago) link

happy endings is p lol, actually

:D-00 (Lamp), Friday, 27 May 2011 05:03 (eight years ago) link

actually

:D-00 (Lamp), Friday, 27 May 2011 05:03 (eight years ago) link

actually

:D-00 (Lamp), Friday, 27 May 2011 05:04 (eight years ago) link

cougar town is pretty awesome ... the only other network shows that bring the LOLs as consistently this season were parks and recreation and community.

I-95 Phuck Phace (Eisbaer), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 07:18 (eight years ago) link

I dropped Cougar Town before it got good, apparently, and now it seems like a lot of work would be needed to get up to speed. I'll get there before next year...maybe.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 7 June 2011 07:22 (eight years ago) link

Also, I liked Mr. Sunshine...but I get why people wouldn't.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 7 June 2011 07:22 (eight years ago) link

it's a bit weirder (and not that representative) of what cougar town has become, but this still had me cracking up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VGDsMESUx8

I-95 Phuck Phace (Eisbaer), Tuesday, 7 June 2011 08:18 (eight years ago) link

That was pretty funny indeed!

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 7 June 2011 08:26 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

i thought happy endings sort of killed it? none of the jokes were partic quote-worthy but just the gangs all here vibe and the joy and ease of their interactions, even the two lame blonde characters were p good idk

señorita buttstench (Lamp), Thursday, 29 September 2011 05:31 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, I really dug it. It does what it does very well.

Rory's new misogynist car (Gukbe), Thursday, 29 September 2011 05:41 (eight years ago) link

the one lame blonde character is generally pretty good and the other one truly is lame but looks like elisha cuthbert so i'm always tolerating her. this show keeps maintaining that watchability baseline, maybe even raising it (himym: watch yr back, incumbency can only save you for so long). casey wilson looking better than ever.

balls, Thursday, 29 September 2011 05:43 (eight years ago) link

i think theyve started to figure out what those two are good at as the shows progresses, elish cuthbert feeding peeps to her snake was p great, i thought. one of the things i really like abt this show versus himym or some of the other recent hangout comedies is that the empahsize how lame and comfortable the characters taste in music/movies/culture is

señorita buttstench (Lamp), Thursday, 29 September 2011 05:50 (eight years ago) link

you guys otm, show had a very solid season premiere

wes2gully (some dude), Thursday, 29 September 2011 11:13 (eight years ago) link

That isn't Elisa Cuthbert? Hah! I was all proud of myself for recognizing her :P

Julie Bowen was on fire last night - Law & Order Special Parking Unit! I died.

she started dancing to that (Finefinemusic), Thursday, 29 September 2011 14:43 (eight years ago) link

no that is her, i just think balls mean the character 'looks like' the actress who is playing her

bowen's big speech was definitely one of the first modern family scenes in a while that i thought was really great

wes2gully (some dude), Thursday, 29 September 2011 14:52 (eight years ago) link

ahhh - gotcha. I'm terrible at recognizing any celebrity lower than "A list" so it was a shining moment that was almost taken away from me!

Mitchell spitting as he cried was pretty lulzy too. Much better episode than the first two! My husband is the EXACT same way as Cam when hungry. Heh.

she started dancing to that (Finefinemusic), Thursday, 29 September 2011 14:55 (eight years ago) link

I don't really get the love for happy endings, everyone just seems like such self-satisfied dicks.

Inspector Spacetime (Nicole), Thursday, 29 September 2011 14:59 (eight years ago) link

i kind of like that the show isn't trying hard to make the characters likable (but also isn't quite going in an opposite seinfeld/it's always sunny direction). the worst thing about a lot of pretty young ppl network sitcoms is the overwhelmingly needy stench of LOVE US LOVE US LOVE US.

wes2gully (some dude), Thursday, 29 September 2011 15:02 (eight years ago) link

Julie Bowen had some good moments but I thought that was a really terrible episode.

Rory's new misogynist car (Gukbe), Thursday, 29 September 2011 15:39 (eight years ago) link

why didn't my dvr record happy endings last night? :(

Mordy, Thursday, 29 September 2011 20:48 (eight years ago) link

this dvr is so terrible. i can never get it to work properly

Mordy, Thursday, 29 September 2011 21:15 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Cougar Town has been delayed until March, with its episode order cut from 22 to 15. RIP.

encarta it (Gukbe), Saturday, 19 November 2011 05:03 (eight years ago) link

There's always Cougarton Abbey.

nickn, Saturday, 19 November 2011 05:16 (eight years ago) link

only 6 episodes tho

encarta it (Gukbe), Saturday, 19 November 2011 05:25 (eight years ago) link

This just hasn't been Abed's week.

The Feelings Machine Turns You On (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 19 November 2011 05:52 (eight years ago) link

Pudi's on the Cougs, too?

Bon Ivoj (jaymc), Saturday, 19 November 2011 06:40 (eight years ago) link

He did a guset shot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWfJYJMrYa0

But I was just refering to the bad news about Community & Cougar Town breaking so close together.

The Feelings Machine Turns You On (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 19 November 2011 07:06 (eight years ago) link

two months pass...

cougar town!

Mordy, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 01:55 (seven years ago) link

huh.

s.clover, Thursday, 16 February 2012 01:27 (seven years ago) link

during this ep of The Middle there is a scene where sue is talking to the older brother and a pink jacket keeps jumping around the shot with every cut and disappearing and reappearing. it is very distracting

Mordy, Thursday, 23 February 2012 01:18 (seven years ago) link

Huh- I didn't notice that.

o. nate, Thursday, 23 February 2012 21:57 (seven years ago) link

four weeks pass...

I've come to the conclusion that, with the exception of Happy Endings, ABC's Wednesday night lineup is an embarrassment of winning comedic performances on shows that I don't otherwise care for at all.

Sam Handwiches (Deric W. Haircare), Thursday, 22 March 2012 01:52 (seven years ago) link

Gave up on Suburgatory so I'd agree.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Thursday, 22 March 2012 01:57 (seven years ago) link

Like, if your only requirement for a solid sitcom is funny people being funny, you could do much worse.

Sam Handwiches (Deric W. Haircare), Thursday, 22 March 2012 02:00 (seven years ago) link

there is so much talking on this thread about the other shows that aren't modern family...modern family is pretty much the best comedy.

humba (NZA), Thursday, 22 March 2012 19:09 (seven years ago) link

the little segments over the closing credits in modern family (like the one when everyone's talking about gloria's mispronunciations) >>> pretty much any other entire 30 min sitcom on the air now.

humba (NZA), Thursday, 22 March 2012 19:10 (seven years ago) link

sorry modern family hasn't been great since season 1 (maybe halfway thru season 2 to be generous)

Mordy, Thursday, 22 March 2012 19:12 (seven years ago) link

The best ABC comedy on Wednesday is Happy Endings

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Thursday, 22 March 2012 19:16 (seven years ago) link

NZA must be an Emmy voter because afaict those are the only people who are still excited about Modern Family

internet somebody (some dude), Thursday, 22 March 2012 19:51 (seven years ago) link

The little pre-opening-credits vignette yesterday with Phil Dunphy in the doctor's office was pretty funny. I don't remember word for word but they were talking about the real estate market:

[Doctor behind Dunphy, putting on a glove.]
Dunphy: Well, it's a buyer's market so if you're a seller, y'know...
Doctor: Bend over.
Dunphy: Right, so it's not great for them, but...
Doctor: No, bend over.

o. nate, Thursday, 22 March 2012 19:56 (seven years ago) link

Modern Family is still funny, don't get me wrong

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Thursday, 22 March 2012 19:57 (seven years ago) link

two months pass...

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cougar-town-ric-swartzlander-329745

Showrunner carnage continues as Cougar Town moves to TBS. This seems less contentious though.

Fas Ro Duh (Gukbe), Friday, 25 May 2012 20:17 (seven years ago) link

ten months pass...

"that's the risk you take with street eggs."

s.clover, Friday, 29 March 2013 04:07 (six years ago) link

six years pass...

A couple of years ago, I started stopping on this occasionally, then started watching whole episodes in syndication (so all jumbled up), and I'm finally watching it from the beginning. Long way to go--I'm halfway into Season 3--but most of the time I love it. Don't know if there's a major drop-off at some point, as there usually is with long-running shows. There's not one of the 10 principals I don't like a lot, putting aside non-entity (so far) Lily. The most surprising thing is that a handful of times--Phil and Claire getting properly married for the first time in Hawaii, for instance--I think it even approaches art.

clemenza, Sunday, 1 December 2019 17:27 (one week ago) link

I think it held up very well over the years (spoiler: Lily becomes an entity, and joins the good cast members. A later addition, not so much). I think Manny is one character that is even better in the latter part of the series.

nickn, Monday, 2 December 2019 01:16 (one week ago) link

I have to disagree, I recently encountered a contemporary episode and thought it was utter hack, and I really liked this show at its height.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 2 December 2019 01:34 (one week ago) link


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