Fall Preview: Is Cougar Town Past Its Prime?

It's always tough when a major network unveils an edgy new primetime series that hits its finger right on the pulse of… several seasons ago. The show could be great. It could be subversive. It could have big stars. And yet, we still feel like we already watched it back in 2007. And such is the fear with ABC's Courteney Cox vehicle Cougar Town, which premieres Wednesday, September 23 (9:30pm/8:30pm c) as part of its new fall season.

Cox looks gorgeous on the show, and preview clips suggest that she's plenty handy with a salty one-liner. If anybody could play a recently divorced suburban mom with wit and knowingness, it's her. Problem is, the cougar phenomenon has already been beaten to death in popular culture.

Eva Longoria made a pretty great one on Desperate Housewivesin 2004, and Mary-Louise Parker cemented the archetype in Weeds back in 2005. The cougar trend pretty much jumped the shark earlier this year when the reality dating show The Cougar launched with Vivica A. Fox. Once a trend has hit reality show levels, you know it's on its last legs.

No matter how smartly written Cougar Town turns out to be, it'll induce a little groan/sigh whenever Cox pours herself a solo glass of Merlot or endures some hilarious lingerie mishap. Fingers crossed that Cox and the show's writers will rise above the stereotypes.

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