Cougar Town is not, we repeat, not a show about cougars. So what is it about? That's the question facing some newcomers just now learning about the ensemble comedy now that it's become the subject of a persistent marketing campaign from new home TBS.
For those who missed the show's first three seasons, Cougar Town is really about Jules (Courteney Cox), a fortysomething alcoholic wine connoisseur who used to be married to lovable slacker Bobby (Brian Van Holt), but recently took the plunge again with her neighbor Grayson (Josh Hopkins). Jules has two best friends: the young and loud Laurie (Busy Philipps) and the icy, judgmental Ellie (Christa Miller). Ellie's whipped husband Andy (Ian Gomez) is Bobby's BFF, as is Bobby and Jules' college-age son, Travis (Dan Byrd), who kind of has a thing for Laurie. Whew!
New viewers hoping to jump into this wacky series when it returns for its fourth season on Tuesday at 10/9c or fans in need of a little refresher course can check out this handy A-Z guide we've painstakingly compiled for all things Cougar Town.
A: Arthur, the Asian baby Jules had once planned to adopt with Grayson
B: Big Lou, Jules' latest large wine glass that holds about five glasses. Like Jules' previous supersized glasses, Big Lou is really supposed to be used for something else — specifically as a vase. (See also: Big Joe, 2007-2010, Big Carl, 2010-2012 and Big Kimo 2011-?)
C: Cooper-ing, Jules' term for the mascara tears she gets when she cries because she insists she looks like Alice Cooper
D: Dead Baby Taco Wednesday, the day of the week when Tom brings Ellie and Andy tacos because they falsely made him believe their baby died so that he would do chores for them
E: Estevez Festivus, an Emilio Estevez movie marathon
F: Friends with Benefits, after sleeping together, Jules and Grayson try to keep things casual by just staying "friends with benefits." However, by the end of Season 1, they have entered into a full-blown relationship.
G: Groundhog Day, the movie Jules and her "co-MoHs" Ellie and Laurie watch at her bachelorette party because Jules doesn't "get" it. The movie comes up after Grayson moves in with Jules and is baffled by the fact that Ellie, Laurie and the rest of the gang seem to be there all the time. "My life is like Groundhog Day," he exclaims.
H: Holly, the mother of Grayson's daughter, Tampa (aka Jill), whom Grayson didn't know about until Season 3. Grayson had a one-night stand with Holly shortly after his divorce, which resulted in a daughter. Coincidentally, Laurie knows Holly from grade school and is Tampa's godmother.
I: Iraq, where Laurie's boyfriend, Wade, is stationed. The two begin dating via Skype in Season 3, and Wade surprises Laurie by showing up in Napa at what was supposed to be Jules and Grayson's wedding.
J: Jelly Bean, the nickname Ellie uses for Laurie because she jokes Laurie's has jelly beans for brains. (See also: J-Bird, Bobby's nickname for Jules)
K: Kiki, Jules' middle name
L: Larmy, Laurie's loyal band of followers. They even have their own barracks!
M: Matt, the name of the first guy Jules sleeps with after her divorce. Matt is much younger than Jules — hence the title — and is followed by her younger boyfriend Josh (Nick Zano) and then Jeff (Scott Foley) in Season 1.
N: Napa Valley, the home of Jules' favorite beverage, wine, and the almost-site of her wedding to Grayson in Season 3. Travis gets very drunk on his 21st birthday in Napa and streaks through his hotel and declares his feelings for Laurie.
O: Oldie Locks, Laurie's nickname for Ellie
P: Penny Can, a game invented by Bobby in which players must throw a penny — spoiler! — into a big can. When someone gets a penny in the can, they get a point and everyone must yell "Penny Can!" (See also: Ultimate Penny Can, Truth or Penny Can).
Q: Quebecrs, citizens from Quebec, Canada who all inexplicably flock to the crew's hometown of Gulfhaven every year for the crab festival
R: Richard Stands, the guy Jules incorrectly name-checks during the "Pledge of Allegiance" at a local school because she mishears "for which it stands." Unfortunately for Jules' dignity, he did not write the Pledge of Allegiance or sign the Declaration of Independence. Stay in school, kids!
S: Stan, Ellie and Andy's devil child who is rarely mentioned in early seasons because, as Andy says, "there's nothing less sexy than a woman who just talks about her baby"
T: Truth Gun, a hand gesture made to look like a gun. When it is pointed at someone, that person cannot tell a lie.
U: Uterus Up, the ladies' version of "man up"
V: Vivian, Grayson's first wife. The two split because Grayson wanted kids and Vivian didn't. However, Grayson is hurt to learn in Season 2 that Vivian is pregnant with the baby of the man she left him for.
W: Wine, duh.
X: We couldn't think of anything for X so... take a shot! Of wine!
Y: Year-iod, a term for when your birth control pill slows down your cycle so much, it only happens once a year
Z: Zach Braff Appetizer App, when you shake it, he tells you what appetizer to order! Fried grapes, anyone?
The new season of Cougar Town premieres on Tuesday at 10/9c on TBS.