PSA from Josh Hopkins of 'Cougar Town': 'The show's not really about cougars'

Cougar Town hottie Josh Hopkins (at left), who plays the acerbic, neighborly foil to (and possible love interest for) Courteney Cox’s ravenous and perky 40-something singleton Jules on the hit ABC comedy, has a message for all you out there who won’t tune into his show simply because the word “cougar” has become pop-culture-ly synonymous with, well, icky things: “The show’s not really about cougars,” he explains, with bright passion about his comedy. “It’s about this dysfunctional family cul-de-sac.”

“People tell me that they can’t believe they didn’t want to like it because of the name, and now they love it,” Hopkins adds. “I think part of the point of naming it Cougar Town was to be polarizing. When it came out, nobody hadn’t heard about it. But, if it were called She’s Back at It! I don’t think if it would have mad such a splash.”

And, truly, the comedian couldn’t be more spot on about the heart of his show—just about five episodes in, it became clear that Cougar Town was less about the Cougar in its title and more about the Town and its wacky inhabitants. “It’s kind of like The Simpsons,” he says of the show’s stellar ensemble vibe that plays up smaller, quirky characters like Busy Phillips’ flighty Laurie and Ian Gomez’ self-deprecating Andy. “You keep discovering these little people in the town that will come in and out. They have their own little personalities.”

With all of Hopkins’ pushing of Cougar Town, he insisted on providing EW with three reasons those of you who haven’t yet tuned in should start doing so now. (And as a shameless plug, Cougar Town airs on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. on ABC, with a new episode tonight!) Here goes:

1. Cougar Town isn’t a one-gag comedy. “It’s not Cavemen,” Hopkins says, referencing the buzzy-but-DOA comedy ABC tried to launch two seasons ago, based around a string of GEICO car insurance commercials featuring prehistoric beings. “The characters change and grow and there’s heart to it. People feel like cougars equate with cavemen, like it’s this one-trick pony, and it’s not.”

2. The ensemble is fantastic. Yes, yes, yes! “I do think they’ve assembled a great ensemble cast,” Hopkins says. “It’s growing in ways that I don’t think the creators knew it would grow. It caught that little magic thing. Your mind sort of makes stuff up for you. You see just enough where you sort of feel like you know how to get around Cougar Town.”

3. And saving the best for last: His famously bitchy character is headed toward true—but messy!—romance with Courteney Cox’s Jules. “The whole ‘Will they or won’t they?’ aspect of their relationship is starting to heat up,” Hopkins reveals, noting that the constantly bickering pair will reluctantly hang out on the show’s Valentine’s Day episode (airing Feb. 10). “There’s this clichéd expectation with such relationships, but the creators want to keep this tension, this attraction, and they want to do it in a more true-to-life way. In that regard, it’ll be realistic, so it’s going to be a bit of a bumpy ride.” Wait, how so? Like an awkward, slow build—or an “Oops, we hooked up last night!” type of thing? “Probably more of the latter,” Hopkins reveals with a laugh. (Which is just want fans of the show want—at least this fan does!)

As an addendum, I’ll say there are two more reasons to watch: The hilariously, truly cougar-y character of Barb, played geniously and sparingly by General Hospital‘s Caroyln Hennesy, for the mere thirty seconds she’s in each episode. And Hopkins, who I couldn’t find a shirtless photo of from Cougar Town for this post, takes his shirt off, revealing his oh-so-sexy chest, in nearly every episode. I melt every time I see it.

So, has Hopkins’ plea—and my glowing endorsement of this show—propelling you viewers to give Cougar Town a shot? Please say it’s so!

More from EW.com:
Ken Tucker’s ‘Cougar Town’ review
It’s official: Lisa Kudrow headed to ‘Cougar Town’
Exclusive: ABC orders more ‘Cougar Town’
‘Cougar Town’ recaps on PopWatch
Barb from ‘Cougar Town': The funniest new character on TV?!
Lifetime’s ’12 Men of Christmas': A minute-by-minute guide to Josh Hopkins’ beautiful chest!

Comments (18 total) Add your comment
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  • Spicoli

    Please bring back Scott Foley.

    Thank you.

  • Nick

    He needs to be shirtless more in the show. That is all…

    • Sara (other one)

      He’s shirtless a lot in “Love and Sex”, I think it’s called. (My husband rented it because he thought it would be, as Netflix calls it, a “steamy romance”. I watched it because I wanted to know what the bloody crap Jon Favreau was doing in a “steamy romance”.)

  • graeme

    Yeah, it had a couple alright first episodes, but this show has totally hit its stride with the last 4-5 episodes.

  • Brett

    This show rocks!

    Nuff said!

  • GS

    My husband and I love this show! It is so funny! I was never a big Courtney Cox fan on Friends but she nails Jules. The whole cast is great and Josh is definitely eye candy!

  • anie

    I adore this show. Ian Gomez is scary funny incredible.

  • Duderonomy Jones

    I’m totally surprised by how much I love it. I missed the first few episodes and it sounds like that was a good thing. The ensemble has such great chemistry and timing, which probably took a while to establish.

  • Maria

    The cast of wacky characters is hilarious! I love this show!

  • FLGrl

    Love Andy and Jules’ son Travis. Hilarious all around!

  • Mothra

    Ok, so it grew on me, like moss. Still think it would go down better with a lead in of Better Off Ted… I love Crista Miller (sorry if I spelled it wrong) and the show is at its best when it stays away from women-bashing (especially older women-bashing) and puts its focus on the relationships and character development. That’s when it really shines.

  • jennifer

    im so glad i stuck with this show because it is HILARIOUS and different and i look forward to it every week!

  • Amanda B.

    The ensemble is what does t for me. They’re much more than the sum of the parts. And they help tone down Courtney Cox’s shrillness.

  • durna

    i adore this show. i think it’s consistently funnier than modern family.

  • Sara (other one)

    Dear Josh Hopkins: You’re pretty. Wait, that wasn’t what I meant to lead off with. Let me start over. Could you kindly suggest to the Powers That Be to move Better Off Ted over with you folks? <3

  • Daniel F

    I really like “Cougar Town.”

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