Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Family Jules: Operation Revengeance


Ladies and gentlemen, it's finally arrived. After 15 posts that didn't quite live up to their title, Happy Family Jules is finally complete. The trifecta is together and my dreams have come true: Cougar Town, Modern Family and Happy Endings, at long last, all aired during the same week! God bless you, ABC.

I hope you're ready for this, dear readers, because this is now quite the rundown. So before I force you to kiss me when my mouthguard's in, let's take a look at this week's episodes...

Cougar Town
Season 3, Episode 1: "Ain't Love Strange"
Jules attempts to prove to Grayson that she's not predictable and Bobby tries to convince Travis to take Dog Travis. Meanwhile, Ellie and Andy deal with Stan, who has turned into a devil baby.

Let's cut right to the chase: that proposal was amazing. The first time I saw the episode I absolutely did not see it coming, but even when I knew what was about to happen I got chills (and, fine, a little teary-eyed, too). Cougar Town doesn't seem interested in any sort of "will they? won't they?" with Grayson and Jules—and thank goodness, because Happy Endings and New Girl have that covered—and it's refreshing to see that these two adults just know that they love each other and want to take the next step. The trouble was never if Jules would say yes, it was if Grayson could make the moment enough of a surprise. And, complete with Tom's fake tasering and the "sharking" of her car, it was everything Jules could've dreamed of. I also loved that they showed Travis and Bobby's moment together at the proposal. Even though Bobby is a part of the crew, this proposal certainly wasn't the happy occasion for him the way it was for the rest. The reality of Bobby and Jules reconciling was obsolete at best, but I'm sure he still held on to some glimmer of hope it might happen.

Dog Travis + Andy and Bobby's bromance = always funny. Add in the green screen at Travis' new college house (a two-bedroom with nine guys, two of whom are named Steve) and you have quite a subplot. Travis may still be embarrassed of Bobby at times, but their relationship has come a long way over the past three seasons and their heart-to-heart in the green-screened rain was a nice moment.

I didn't love the Devil Baby Stan story as much as the rest of the episode, though the shot of him walking around with the hammer and the scenes with Andy and Ellie's terrified interactions with their son did garnish great laughs, and the heart-to-heart between Ellie and Laurie was unusually sweet for them.

And now, after nine long months, the best lines!
"Are we only drinking on the weekends now? Because we need to vote on that!" - Laurie, who had a total Eat, Pray, Tampa experience that resulted in an ankle bracelet monitor.

"This should be the gang." - Ellie, to (and about) herself.

"Brother, there's no better panty-dropper than a giant cuddly horse dog." - Bobby, who is a little over-prepared for Travis to come out to him (just in case).

"'I'm not predictable,' you say / Perhaps it's true / When you wake / here's what you'll do... / Brush your teeth, wash your face / Check your nose, just in case / Eat your breakfast, bacon and eggers / Take your pill so you don't get preggars / Find your mouth guard, check your mail / Workout time, if it's late you bail / Where's your mouth guard? You threw it away! / It's all the same every day / but we don't mind, we're glad to wait / 'cause we all know that right at 8 / you'll come downstairs and on our knees / all together: "Coffee, please!" / It's Jules' Slightly Longer Morning Routine Sonnnng!" - Grayson, because I know you wanted all the lyrics.

"When it comes to love, I'm a street-rappin' poet, yo!" - Jules, who was crazy about dirty long hairs in her 20s.

"One day I will sleep with you after you've put that vile thing in your mouth. It's my Everest." - Grayson, who likes boring (but knows he shouldn't say that).

"TASER! Ahhhhgggggghhh!" - Tom, who sleeps nude.
Modern Family
Season 3, Episode 15: "Aunt Mommy"
After a long night with copious amounts of wine (celebrating the return of Cougar Town?) and a decision to make a Claire-Cam baby, Mitchell, Cam, Claire and Phil panic and try to figure out how to tell the other couple they want out. Meanwhile, Jay gets Manny to play football in an attempt to get him to spend less time with Gloria.

Though we've dealt with the surrogate story before with Cam and Mitchell, this certainly brought it to a whole new level. But whereas the surrogate visit was funny because of all the hoops the guys were willing to jump through to get the baby, this week was a little more uncomfortable as everyone considered the consequences of their drunken decision. Trying to piece together the events of a night the next morning is certainly fertile grounds for comedy, but combining that with the search for a surrogate felt a little weird.

And for the record—though I know it's uncouth to speak ill of children—New Lily is just not good. There. I said it.

The Jay-Gloria-Manny story, on the other hand, totally worked for me. Jay may have grown, but he will never get over the fact that he didn't have a "typical" father/son relationship with Mitchell and it's understandable that he now tries to project that onto Manny. Yes, Gloria babies him too much and it wouldn't kill Manny to hang out with other kids, but they have been through a lot together just the two of them, and Jay taking away those last few lucky pennies so they could continue the search together was a really sweet moment. Plus, we got to see Manny tackled, which I could definitely watch on replay.
"Alex keeping everyone in line? Pure me. Sometimes I'm worried no one's going to like Alex." - Claire, who has special hearing powers.

"That game exists. It's called alcoholism." - Mitchell to Cam, who has three different kinds of hair dryers for different kinds of weather.

"What are the chances your eggs even work? What are the chances we can pretend I never said that?" - Phil, who doesn't believe in "Commission: Impossible."

"Football injury. My mom will yell at you all about it." - Manny, who got "stampeded" and is now in a power chair.

"Why? Because Lily's such a mess?" - Luke, who attempted to reanimated a dead squirrel.

"It's a freak show, but it's their freak show!" - Gloria, former taxi driver.

"We play God and look what we brought forth." - Mitchell, who should never talk about The Swirl ever again.
Happy Endings
Season 2, Episode 14: "Everybody Loves Grant"
The group falls all over themselves trying to impress perfect Grant, causing Max to try to find his imperfections and Dave to prove he is the cool guy in the group.

This show doesn't often put all its eggs into one story's basket—we mostly deal with at least 2-3 arcs that share some sort of common thread—and I kind of missed having a lot going on. Don't get me wrong, James Wolk needs to become a series regular immediately so we can all stare at him and gush over how perfect he is, but this episode would've benefited from at least one subplot. And for the second week in a row, Penny dated a perfectly lovely (and handsome) guy and screwed things up for a crazy reason. That's how she is, of course, but it'd be nice if they spread out her crazy a little bit more.

All of that sounds fairly negative, but I'd like to reiterate...


Yup. This episode was a-okay!
"At one point I called appetizers 'mappetizers' and then I spent the whole rest of the date wondering heard that or if he cared." - Max, who wants to take "predemptive" measures.

"My new best friend Grant told me, 'Colors don't bite. They're just colors!' He's my best friend." - Brad, who is happy to be twinsies with Grant.

"I can't help it. I love to hear the sound of bones crunching." - Alex, the "one with the store."

"I drive a food truck, which is basically a car full of ovens." - Dave, who wears indoor scarves.

"Like in Dave Matthews Band, Carter Buford is The Dave!" - Penny, who did not date P. Diddy.
[Image Source: ABC]
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