Courteney Cox is pouring trash on her head – in high heels and a slinky dress – willingly.
On the quiet cul-de-sac in Culver City, California that doubles as the neighborhood for the residents of “Cougar Town,” the cast and crew have set up their equipment to shoot several scenes for the show.
Cox does several takes of the scene, never flinching as she slings a trash bag over her head, trying to be sexy to impress her attractive neighbor. When it’s decided that more trash is needed to land on her, her actions are supplemented by an off-screen crew member hurling even more litter in her direction. Again, without flinching, Cox does a few more takes of the scene. When the director yells, “Cut, moving on,” signaling that the scene is good to go, Cox lets out a laugh. “That was fun,” she proclaims. With that, she slips a sweater over her bare shoulders and stops to take a photo with two fans, still in her impossibly high heels.
On this day, it seems as though everyone is enjoying the ‘work,’ which hardly seems like much of an effort to these folks.
A few days later on the “Cougar Town” set, at Culver Studios, not far from the cul-de-sac, the ‘work’ continues, with cast and crew laughing throughout the day, not only at the scripted material but at each other, in a familiar manner than conveys that these people truly like spending time with each other.
On this day, all of the core cast members are all together in one scene. Set in Jules’ living room. Cox, Josh Hopkins (Grayson), Christa Miller (Ellie), Ian Gomez (Andy), Dan Byrd (Travis), Busy Phillips (Laurie) and Brian Van Holt (Bobby) go through the scene once, as a rehearsal, without a hitch. When the cameras roll, the group seems to step it up, making the scene pop just that much more.
Sitting back in video village — the area in an adjoining room where the director, writers and producers watch the scene play out on monitors — all agree that the scene is comedy gold. In it, there is a toast, and in each take there is a new quip thrown in by one of the actors that adds just that much more to the already sizzling dialogue. A few times it’s clear that the actors can barely make it to the end of the action, stifling giggles to make it to the last line of the scene.
On many shows, actors often brag about truly enjoying their time with fellow castmates during long days on the set. Sometimes it’s obvious that this isn’t actually the case, that it’s a manufactured statement in an effort to get viewers to believe the premise of the show. But on this show, there is no such fabrication needed, this kind of off, and on-screen, chemistry can’t be faked.
“Cougar Town” has weathered its fair share of problems, chief among those a terribly unsuitable title and time slot/scheduling issues. But now, getting past those, the show is back on the air and hoping to catch on once again with viewers.
If the cast had anything to say about it, it’s a sure bet that each of them would try to one up the other with a quirky reason as to why you should tune in each week. Their witty and enthusiastic reasons would undoubtedly draw you in. If this is the kind of thing you like, then don’t miss out on it. It happens every week, on “Cougar Town.”
“Cougar Town” airs Tuesday nights at 8:30e/p on ABC.