Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life: Finale?


After a long and confusing hiatus from our screens “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life”  returned on June 12 to air what appears to be its last two episodes.  A finale possibly of the FOX comedy that the network was never really comfortable with from the start.

The series had some great comic moments. The cast, especially Meaghan Rath and Liza Lapira, have  exquisite comedic timing and all the players worked well together. They all had a great chemistry and of the “older” members Justin Bartha as big brother Josh consistently knocked it out of the park. 

Regardless of how much we enjoy the show,  these last two episodes were a reminder of why FOX should be bringing this one back. At this time though the numbers and the network’s indecision of when to air it, means that Cooper and co.  may not be back.

The first of the final two episodes was “How to Survive Your Emotional Baggage” and it dealt with bullying, high school and confronting one’s emotional baggage.

Barry, Neal and Cooper are trying to work  deal with a liquor distributor to carry their hangover cure. In the middle of the proceedings the head guy, an old high school friend arrives and agrees to carry the cure. Neal, however, remembers that the high school chum locked him in his locker at school and has never forgiven him for changing his life.

Typically the trio get in trouble and it turns out that Cooper locked Neal in the locker and not Tommy Hench (Max Adler). Although Neal does not learn this until after he locks Tommy in a shipping case. They rescue Hench but Neal is angry with Cooper. 

The side plot had Kelly (Rath) staying with Josh and Leslie and as she is shown her bedroom, Kelly is told not to go into the room in the corner.  This makes the young woman go all “Bluebeard’s guest,” and thinking “horror baby” goes into the room.

Inside she discovers that Leslie paints and after the two women talk, Josh’s wife mentions a “horror baby.” Kelly urges Leslie to take up painting full time and josh gets upset.

The episode had a cute ending and gave viewers a lovely look at Josh and his wife.

The final episode,  or finale, was “How to Survive Dating” where Barry and Neal date the same woman and Cooper dates her friend. Kelly dates a potential client of Josh’s who pimps the woman out and at the end of the day, this was the  funniest of the two.

By the end of the program, Cooper’s date turns out to be homeless, a thief and on drugs. Barry and Neal leave their girlfriend and Kelly’s date shoots Cooper’s date with a tranquilizer dart.

The comedy dealt with both Kelly and Cooper refusing to acknowledge their mutual attraction. The fact that Steve, Kelly’s date, was fantastically rich and gave her an electric self drive car was funny and the argument that Kelly had with herself about returning was brilliant.

“Barrett Cooper’s Guide to Surviving Life” was full of silly moments and while the show was not pulling in huge numbers it was still funny.  FOX may well let the show drift off into the world of one season wonders but Cooper Barrett and his chums will be missed.

Especially Meaghan Rath and Liza Lapira.

But what do you think? Should FOX bring back the series for another season? Or should they let Cooper and his mates limp off into the night.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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