5:00am PT by Michael O'Connell
'Cougar Town': Courteney Cox, Josh Hopkins Surprised by Onscreen Engagement
By the time it finally aired last week, Grayson and Jules' Cougar Town engagement didn't come as much of a shocker.
Co-creators Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel had been discussing the marital plot for months. But when the script originally came through, series stars Courteney Cox and Josh Hopkins were caught off guard by how quickly it all happened.
"When we got together as quickly as we did," Hopkins told The Hollywood Reporter at the show's recent Paley Center for Media panel, "I thought, 'Here we go. How long till they break up?' But I'm not as smart as Bill and the writers."
The move has afforded them a different way to play the TV romance. The duo got together before the end of the freshman season, where most comedies, arguably, would have stretched out the tension for some time. (Cox's Monica didn't pair up with Matthew Perry's Chandler until the end of Friends' fourth season.)
"I think it's refreshing to not do the cliche 'will they, won't they,'" Hopkins said. "We've explored a relationship from the beginning pretty deeply -- an adult relationship. And I think that's been a lot more comedic."
Cox, also impressed with the speed of the engagement, was less surprised when the writers didn't throw too many obstacles in Jules and Grayson's way.
"I didn't know I'd be marrying him," she told THR, "but you could tell from [the pilot] where they were going. But I loved that they did it in a way that was pretty quick. Because now we are dealing with the issues of relationships, opposed to 'Will they? Won't they? Are they going to be together?' It's a different take on it."
One issue to expect them dealing with ahead of the previously disclosed season-ending wedding is whether or not the couple might have kids.
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The Season 2 finale found Jules giving into Grayson's need a be a dad, despite her previous assertion that she wouldn't have another child after Travis (Dan Byrd).
"Grayson [has] full-on baby fever," said Hopkins, "and that is fully addressed, in an odd way consistent with [the series], this season."
Cox also spoke of a possible pregnancy, saying that the potential parenthood storyline isn't dealt with in a "traditional" manner.
And if a baby isn't in the cards this season, the cast certainly hopes there is time for that and more down the line.
"I want it to go on and on and on." Cox told THR of her slightly ratings-challenged series. "And I hope all the fans that love the show just scream it out, because we need more."