|Ian Gomez. (Nikki Nelson/WENN.com)
Ian Gomez's character on Cougar Town is an inspiration to hen-pecked husbands everywhere.
Yes, Andy is hen-pecked by his sharp-tongued wife Ellie, played by Christa Miller. But at the end of the day, Andy still gets to do pretty much whatever he wants.
"Andy is extremely passive aggressive," said Gomez, who will be back with the rest of the cul-de-sac crew when Cougar Town returns for its third season on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, on ABC and Citytv.
"He knows how to get what he wants, but he's willing to take a certain amount of crap. It's very interesting to play that give-and-take, you know, 'I'll give this, I'll take that.'
"It's amazing how well it works for Andy. He gets his way by hook or by crook. He's very manipulative."
Cougar Town's loyal fan base certainly is pleased that the series has manipulated its way back onto the primetime schedule. The critically acclaimed sitcom about a clique of self-centred, wine-drinking neighbours stars Courteney Cox, Busy Philipps, Josh Hopkins, Brian Van Holt and Dan Byrd, in addition to Gomez and Miller.
It's unclear why this happens with some shows and not with others, but the very existence of Cougar Town -- its controversial title, its performance in the ratings, what night and what time it airs, etc. -- has become a regularly debated subject in TV circles. You wonder if more people have an opinion about Cougar Town than actually have watched it.
But clearly, if you love Cougar Town, you probably really, really love it. There are few fence-sitters.
"I'm in the camp of, I'd rather be under the radar a bit, kind of survive for a long time and avoid the backlash," Gomez said. "That's as opposed to being a No. 1 hit, or a top-10 hit, and then have people say, 'Well, it's not the same as it used to be, I used to watch it when, blah blah blah.' Apparently people with internet access have opinions about these types of things.
"But I like where we are. Shows like 30 Rock are very hip -- sometimes 'hipper than thou,' I think. But they get a lot of critical acclaim and they survive because of that. I don't even want that. I would rather do what we want to do, get our audience, produce quality stuff, and we have our dignity.
"We're going to go off the air for good at some point, that's going to happen anyway. We're all going to be looking for another job eventually. So let's have it be fun."
In real life, Gomez has been married to Canadian actress Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) for almost 20 years. Dare we suggest that Gomez has been researching the hen-pecked/passive-aggressive dynamic in his own marriage, to inform the Andy-Ellie element?
Gomez actually has an alternate theory to explain Andy's survival in a marriage to a female with such a strong personality.
"(Andy) has a sexual hold over his wife," Gomez said. "To offset being hen-pecked, he is a monster sexually."
Uh, too much information.