Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life: Season 1, Episode 7 (Review)

Okay, Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, How to Survive Your Couch Surfer, is out of sequence. To paraphrase Chris Rock, “That’s right. I said it.”


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Okay, Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, How to Survive Your Couch Surfer, is out of sequence. To paraphrase Chris Rock, “That’s right. I said it.” Of course I could be wrong, but after last week’s Kelly and Cooper snog in front of the exploding plumbing, it seems that both characters have conveniently forgotten that lip-lock. More annoyingly, it seems that the show’s makers were hoping we had forgotten as well.

Still, the episode was funny and regardless of  which title you watched it under, some listings refer to the segment as How to Survive Old Friends, it allowed Meaghan Rath to kill it. In terms of laughs per frame in this episode Rath won hands down.  From the moment she walks into the lad’s apartment to find a shirtless Cam Rash (played by Switched at Birth actor Adam Hagenbuch) her character gets the lion’s share of laughs and giggles. 

Although, Hagenbuch, who plays Mingo on Switched at Birth, was a stand out guest star. Playing Cameron Rash as an eclectic and a charming bore, who quickly outstays his welcome the actor was impressive as the irresponsible, self-centred houseguest.

But it was Rath who proved that her comedy chops are not undersized at all. Of course the writers put the words in the character’s mouth, but Meaghan made them so funny it hurt.

Kelly Moments:

Stepping into the lads apartment and spying a half naked Rash,

Kelly: “Hi, can you keep it down in here? I’m trying to… shirtless.”

Cam: “Oh, what’s up? Cam Rash.”

Kelly:  “Hi. Kelly, abs. What? I don’t know why I said that. Kelly, muscular.”

Much later in the episode Kelly is in the police station answering two detective’s questions:

Detective: “Who called 911?”

Kelly:” I did, and then we all went outside to wait for the paramedics, ’cause (laughingly) who, who, who, who, wants to be around a dead guy?”

Detective: “You’re pretty…Shut down emotionally.”

Kelly: “Thank you-u-u!”

And of course the end of the episode finishes with Kelly (Rath) getting the last word:

Kelly: “I wasn’t feeling it first! Yes!”

Rath is infinitely watchable throughout the episode: Hugging Cameron in the group hug with that satisfied look on her face, following Rash murmuring “you are so handsome” and  the bar scene all allows the actress to shine.

How to Survive Your Couch Surfer/Old Friend is fun and entertaining but it is not as “gut-bustlingly” funny as one might imagine. Cam Rash (And what a great name is that?) is the houseguest and old friend from Hell.  He destroys the apartment and lets James Franco out twice.

The action switches from the police interrogation and back again with Cam’s transgression becoming more outlandish with each flashback. After Cam partly shaves Neal’s head (“You look like Demi Lovato,” says Cooper. “Stop trying to make me feel better,” Neal replies. ) The group take their revenge and “make-up” the unconscious  Cameron and partly shave his head.

Later, the gang come back to find the unwelcome houseguest is “dead” on the couch.  They call 911 and while they wait outside for the paramedics Barry (James Earl) returns and after slapping the “dead guy” (always good for a laugh) he panics and removes Cam from the apartment. 

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Barry takes Cam’s body to Josh’s and they put the body in back of the minivan. Leslie takes the van to go shopping. Meanwhile the rest of the lads are back in the apartment, and since Rash is missing, they believe Cam is now alive.

As Cam starts to tell Kelly about how the kiss was on the kiss cam, Neal comes back in and interrupts the moment:

 Neal: “That was Josh…Cam is alive again.”

In quick order; Barry and Kelly distract Leslie so Josh, Cooper and Neal can steal the van. As the three men drive off, the police arrest them. Cam is not, it turns out, dead and has been dealing drugs. The former friend had taken too many and was in a “coma.”

At the end of Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, Cam escapes the police station and steals Josh’s minivan, the guys find Jame Franco and things are still the same between Cooper and Kelly.

This cross between Van Wilder: Party Liaison and a more grown up The Inbetweeners  (both films and the series) is still funny and well worth the time spent watching it.Jack Cutmore-Scott is the star but it is Meaghan Rath who consistently kicks comedy butt on the show. 

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life airs Sundays on FOX. Head over and check it out and prepare to fall for the comedic talents of Ms. Rath. But come on guys and gals on the show as producers, out of sequence is not a good thing.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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