Feature

Is 'Cougar Town' insulting to women?

How the new sitcom starring Courtney Cox paints single middle-aged women

Cougar Town "sets the women's movement back about 40 years," said Karen Goldberg Goff in The Washington Times. The new sitcom, which premieres Wednesday night on ABC, stars Courtney Cox as a 45-year-old recent divorcée who decides to pursue younger men—"let the cellulite, C-section-scar,and plastic-surgery jokes begin!" The show's humor is "insulting to the thousands of over-40 women who have co,me through their divorces just fine, have made peace with arm flab and have no problems finding a boyfriend."

This is "a crude show," said Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times, "built on jokes about oral sex and droopy breasts," and Cox "is way too attractive to be quite believable as the character she plays." But Cougar Town does try "to take on some legitimate issues, and no doubt there is pathos and insight to be gleaned from a divorced woman staring down her mid-40s as her child prepares to leave the nest."

"Women today are more than ever uncertain of themselves," said Hank Stuever in The Washington Post, "nearly broken, worried about senescence, intimidated by the youth around them, and depleted by various cads"—and that's why Cougar Town is so refreshing. Not only is it "the most deliciously profane network show ever made," but through it negative "stereotypes" about middle-aged women "are somewhat improved upon and given more depth."

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