For Fans of Trash TV, The Cougar is Your New Favorite Show. Period.

Someone in the television industry has clearly been working quite hard to make the absolutely worst piece of television ever.  After much work, though, they look to have finally succeeded.  Seriously.  The Cougar is part competitive reality dating show, part novelty pop-culture buzz word obsession, and a few dashes of totally busted faux-progressive gender politics to spice things up.  I need to find a new phrase other than “train wreck,” because hot damn does that phrase not do this nonsense justice.  Just look at this thing:

This show is like the train wreck of the future, where trains fly through space and are powered by nuclear engines, and then one day several of these space trains crash into each other and create a terrible nuclear explosion that showers the land below with flaming wreckage and radioactive fallout, yet throughout this whole terrible moment you JUST.  CAN’T.  TURN AWAY!  This mess is beyond epic, y’all; it’s bonafide life-changing.  Paradigms are shifting and bars are being raised and Vivica A. Fox needs to find a new agent like it’s nobody’s business.

The Cougar promises to have it all when it comes to the worst in television.  There’s the 20 desperate/pathetic tools spouting utter nonsense (“Stacey is like a gray squirrel I just want to pounce on!” may be the first great simile of the 21st century).  There’s the painfully ludicrous attempt by producers to sell the show as something radical and new (“Welcome to a show that will change everything you know about love, relationships, and getting older” is clearly the most profoundly true interpretation of this show that we shall ever know).  There’s also the tantalizing promise of a bevy of hot 20-something guys taking their shirts off for our collective (collective meaning “strictly gay men and their favorite gal pals”) viewing.

Mostly, though, there’s the Cougar, Stacey.  According to TV Land’s website, Stacey is “a successful and determined realtor” and “a beautiful, blonde mother of four.”  She’s also your fag hag.

Ever since your summer internship, you’ve never been able to shake her.  She tells all your friends that you’re “besties” and text you as you’re about to go to be demanding that you join her “@ da club.”  She always reminds you about how costly it is to get a babysitter these days when you’re hanging out even though you never asked in the first place.  She tells you how Sex and the City is THE text of feminism as she constantly derides you for being the Miranda to her Samantha.  She’s forgotten that the great beauty of growing old is actually growing old; it’s in the lines on your face that proclaim that you’ve actually lived, and it’s in the wisdom and self-certainty of maturity that make you realize that having a man in your life is not the only thing you can amount to as a person.  She’s forgotten that such an idea is socially constructed and totally demeaning, and her willingness to participate in a show that reinforces the agism and sexism of our culture by falsely touting it as something progressive–despite the fact that it simply reinforces a narrative of “otherness” around women that aren’t in their 20s–only further corroborates the obvious fact that she’s the worst.

Still, she buys your drinks at “da club,” and she pays for your outfits when you go shopping at the local strip mall.  You can’t quit her, and come April 15, you won’t quit her eight-episode show.  She’s like a frightening, atomic explosion in the sky: completely and totally dreadful, but you can’t look away to save your life.

2 Responses

  1. So well put. That “otherness” around women not in their 20s (like me) is one reason I was planning to steer clear from The Cougar, aside from its jumping on a trend that already passed and the clear sign of quality (“A TV Land Original Show”).

    But this may make me change my mind. Vivica Fox indeed needs a new agent (maybe the one who got her the Curb Your Enthusiasm gig?). And a new plastic surgeon. Stating the obvious, she’s way too tranny these days. Tyra–this is what your future holds.


  2. Fascinating commentary….


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