It's been a long hiatus for one of the most unfortunately titled shows on television. Cougar Town fans waited patiently for lesser new comedies like Man Up and Work It to inevitably fizzle out, leaving a vacancy in ABC's overly packed schedule. Now that the show has finally been granted a return, the plucky sitcom about a group of fortysomething friends chugging wine and making up goofy games has another hurdle to jump: They are set to premiere on Valentine's Day, a night when couples everywhere will be out celebrating their own personal romance. But if you didn't manage to snag reservations or you're flying solo, tonight is as good a time as any to return to Gulf Haven, Florida—or visit for the first time.
Settling in with Cougar Town's cul-de-sac crew for this new season is like meeting up with a group of friends you haven't seen in a long time (since May 25, to be exact). Catching up with the gang is breezy and fun as we see Travis's (Dan Byrd) new off-campus bachelor pad, Andy and Ellie (Ian Gomez and Christa Miller) enter a hilarious new stage of development with their young son and we learn how Laurie (Busy Philipps) wound up donning an ankle monitor. To balance out all that zany energy, there's romantic squabbling between Jules (Courteney Cox) and Grayson (Josh Hopkins) when he makes the mistake of calling her predictable. Later in the season, fans of executive producer Bill Lawrence's previous show, Scrubs, will get a treat when Sarah Chalke guest stars and Sam Lloyd reprises his crossover role of Ted, bringing the rest of his barbershop quartet with him.
Much like last year's late arrival for Parks and Recreation, the third season of Cougar Town finds the show as fit and fun as ever. Here's hoping that despite the long recess, a bogus premiere date and some lackluster marketing that caused Lawrence to go out-of-pocket on his own word-of-mouth campaign, that the series is able to find some new friends, as well as all of its old ones.
Season three of Cougar Town premieres Tuesday 7:30pm on ABC.