back when courteney cox didn't play a cougar

I happened to borrow a couple of DVDs from my sister-in-law and I checked out the first season of a newly-popular comedy series, Cougar Town.

Courteney Cox stars as recently-divorced mom Jules Cobb who is trying to live her twenties in her fourties. I don't see it becoming a pop-culture phenomenon anytime soon, but it's cute, easy-to-swallow, relatively-wholesome entertainment.

Speaking of pop-culture phenomena, Courteney has managed to hitch herself to a socio-cultural landmark for the third straight decade (more on this later). The landmark I refer to isn't the series itself though. I mean cougars.

Cougars - or women in their fourties and above who prefer dating much younger men - have been around for centuries of course, but it was only some years ago that the word was coined and absorbed by the general populace. Since the Demi-Ashton tandem made waves, and after SATC's Samantha (Kim Catrall) played the "older girlfriend" role so glamorously, cougar-hood has been celebrated.

When I first saw the Cougar Town commercials, I thought, Is Courteney really that old? she couldn't be! It seemed only yesterday that she played a perky twentysomething in that other comedy series she was in.

I asked IMDB just to be sure and learned that she was in fact born in 1964.

... Which leads me to that earlier time she was identified with a huge wave of pop culture.

We best remember Courteney Cox as neat-freak ex-fatty chef, Monica Geller-Bing in F*R*I*E*N*D*S. The series was so big in the '90s that each of the friends, though previously virtually unknown, shot to stardom within the first season.

Courteney's first claim to fame though was in the '80s. I'll get to this in a second.

In the umpteenth episode of Cougar Town, Jules' teenage son Travis leafs through Jules' high school yearbook, circa 1987. He calls her attention to one photo and asks, "Is that you dancing with Bruce Springsteen?"

I recognized the said "yearbook photo" as an actual still from Bruce Springsteen's video, Dancing In the Dark, featuring a fresh-faced, 19 year-old Courteney.

I'm not too crazy about the hair, the clothes or the dance step (but yes kids, that used to be cool), though she really was cute.

Dancing In the Dark used to be one of the few music videos that rotated on Video Hit Parade in those years before MTV made it to Manila. All kids at that time were familiar with the image of a sleeve-rolling, arm-pumping Springsteen bathing in stage lights.

She was also in that corny He-Man movie by the way.

Masters of the Universe (1987), starring Dolf Lundgren as He-Man.

So okay, she wasn't exactly a nobody when she came on FRIENDS.

I realize I kinda grew up with her - acquainting myself with pop-rock videos as a kid, hanging out with her and her FRIENDS. when I was a teen. And now that I'm in that chapter of my life that I feel not-so-young-anymore, I'm laughing at my own "where did all the years go" insanity as reflected somewhat in her Jules role (but not the Cougar-prowling part). I'm not a fan of hers but I'm enjoying a Courteney fix this weekend.
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