Cougar Town Gets A New Neighbor

There's a new man in Cougar Town, and his name is Tom. Here's what we know about him: He wears striped polo shirts and waters his lawn during the day. He has a very small chin, very bony shoulders, and a very obvious crush on Jules (Courteney Cox). In other words, Tom is the anti-Grayson (Josh Hopkins). In fact, Tom serves only two functions: To provide comic relief (which seems odd, because Cougar Town is a comedy) and to bring out Grayson's jealous side. Yes, he does have one.

I hope this Tom fellow sticks around for awhile because, frankly, I was getting sick of everyone on this show being so ridiculously attractive. I'm not saying Tom is ugly. I'm just saying he looks normal, which is comforting on a show starring Cox, Hopkins, and Brian Van Holt. Tom also has the potential to steal the "token goofball" role from Andy (Ian Gomez), who would then be freer to pursue jokes that are funny, rather than jokes that are merely self-deprecating. But the best part about Tom is that Grayson, for whatever reason, sees Tom as a threat. Jealous Grayson yields protective Grayson, and this new side of Grayson is simply delightful to watch as he passive-aggressively pines for Jules.

Grayson might be the best character on this show. His humor is subtle and dry, unlike the smack-in-the-face sarcasm of Ellie (Christa Miller-Lawrence) or the idiotic mumblings of Bobby (Van Holt). And his serious side is mostly mysterious, revealed in tiny increments over the course of this first season. Josh Hopkins has done a brilliant job of transforming Grayson from an irritating bachelor to a caring neighbor, while still retaining his biting wit and his URST with Jules. And now that Tom's around, we'll only have more reasons to fall for him. If only Jules would, too. After all, he looks great in a Snuggie.

Follow writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom

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