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.

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life: Episode 6 (Review)

It is nigh on impossible not to love a show that features the line, “Cooper, your apartment is killing my lady boner.” Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, episode 6 features this line minutes into the start of How to Survive Your Horrible Landlord.

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It is nigh on impossible not to love a show that features the line, “Cooper, your apartment is killing my lady boner.” Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, episode 6 features this line minutes into the start of How to Survive Your Horrible Landlord.  On top of being one of the funniest comments to air on television this week, it was also uttered by the delectably adept actress Meaghan Rath who is perfectly cast as “the girl next door.”

Since the first episode, the chemistry between Rath and Jack Cutmore-Scott has been electric. In this FOX comedy of 20 something’s learning about love, life and what not to do, Kelly and Cooper are more “when they” rather than will they. Although be the end of this episode they still have yet to really commit, we know that was a sizzling second kiss.

Still, How to Survive Your Horrible Landlord was not all about the sexual tension between neighbors.  It was about boundaries; like not giving up your buddy’s pet pig for a shower, reading your lease and (ultimately) it was all about saving James Franco…the pet pig.

At the start of the episode both Cooper and Kelly are looking at certain death, atop a free-wheeling out of control animal trailer. “Earlier,” the two are, once again, fighting their mutual attraction. As the temperature heats up between the two, they end up in Barrett’s apartment. Standing next to an apartment wall, they move in for a clinch and kiss when Kelly shouts about something on her leg.

It is James Franco. Later Barry and Neal return to further spoil the mood. As Kelly complains about the death of her “lady boner” a giant spruce tree smashes through the apartment wall.  The rest of the show deals with the three men trying to force the landlord Virgil, into fixing the apartment, Kelly having her water shut off and Virgil (Marshall Maneshshooting through the floor to “kill” an amplifier.

There is also allusions to the first episode where the lad’s 64 inch flat screen telly goes missing, after their house warming party, and it transpires that Virgil has it. When the three go to complain about the giant tree in their apartment, they find that the landlord has Neal’s custom made earphones and Barry’s “Santa Claus” shirt.

Negotiations take place where Vigil states he will only fix the apartment, and turn Kelly’s water back on,  if James Franco leaves or Kelly swaps apartments with him, her place is three times the size of the landlords place.

Cooper and his roommates hide the pig at big brother Josh’s place. This temporary solution ends before repairs can be finished as Leslie  (Liza Lapira) tells Josh (Justin Bartha)  that there will be no sex till the pig is gone. 

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Leslie says Jame Franco must go.

Josh brings Franco back, explaining about the sex issue and says, as he leaves the apartment, “it is what it is.”  Virgil stops repairs immediately. Kelly then takes the pig to a petting zoo and only tells Cooper after the fact. The apartment is repaired and Kelly’s water turned back on.

Barrett cannot get over her betrayal and full of guilt and remorse, Kelly goes to get James Franco back. A horrified Kelly learns that the pig has been sent to the butchers and she grabs Barry, Neal, Josh and Cooper to save James Franco.

On the way to save Franco, the group see the trailer with the pig at a  roadside shop. They stop and while Barry and Neal distract the driver  Kelly and Cooper re-attach the trailer to Josh’s vehicle.

And…this is where we came in. The loose trailer, that came off Josh’s car because it was hooked up incorrectly, with Kelly and Cooper on top, headed for a oncoming  semi.  After a commercial break, we come back to see Barrett with a bandage on his forehead and asking if “she” is all right.

The she is not Kelly, but James Franco who is really Jane Franco. The female pig has given birth to a litter of little Franco’s.  As Kelly cuddles one, she and Cooper get an idea on how to make Virgil a better landlord and give him one of the piglets.

At the end of the episode, Leslie discovers a group of piglets in the bed and threatens Josh with no sex forever. Kelly and Barrett kiss again and despite their protestations, we know it was hot.

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life is the most fun you can have on television reliving the over-confidence and reckless abandon of your early 20s. It also has the addictive Meaghan Rath playing a woman that we would all love to live next door to.

The series airs Sundays on FOX. Tune in laugh a lot and fall in love with Rath a little…

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life: Season 1 Episode 5 – Review

Last week’s life lesson from Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life had our “hero” searching for his phone. This week, the gorgeous girl Barry met at the party (How to Survive Losing Your Phone) is now his girlfriend in How to Survive Your Roommate’s Girlfriend.

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Last week’s life lesson from Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life had our “hero” searching for his phone. This week, the gorgeous girl Barry met at the party (How to Survive Losing Your Phone) is now his girlfriend in How to Survive Your Roommate’s Girlfriend. Thus far, this 20 something series, in which Barrett “teaches us” how not to handle life situations, keeps upping the stakes.

The previous episode had Barrett’s brother Josh get his new car set on fire (and it exploded) after being mugged by a group of skateboarding thugs.  Kelly gets in a bar fight, along side Josh’s wife Leslie, Barry meets Ashley (Kimberly Kevon Williams) and Cooper sets everything right with a visit to the home of the thugs’ leader, where he “tells” on the youngster. 

Now, Barry learns that his perfect new girlfriend has a father whose job description is “racketeer” and the lucky roomy has been offered a job in the family business. Josh, in his attempt to keep up with Gendelman, his main competition at the law firm, starts working for Ashley’s father.

Frank (Corey Reynolds) warms to his daughter’s new love interest and he welcomes Barry to the family mansion.  The “lovable jackass” now has  a butler who mixes his fizzy drinks and an electric robotic croquette club cart. 

Cooper does not trust the new girl in Barry’s life and he enlists Kelly and Neal to help reveal what this perfect catch is really up to.  As the  episode progresses, it is revealed that Frank is wanted by the FBI and the feds force Barry to wear a wire to facilitate the racketeer’s arrest.

Just when it seemed that blowing up the new dependable car that Josh (Justin Barthabought last week could not be topped,  “Girlfriend” raises the bar with a helicopter chasing the friends down darkened streets and a shoot-out between “baddies.”

Standout Moments:

Kelly (Meaghan Rath) confidently imitating Barry only to be told she is being racist and that she cannot impersonate him by both Cooper  (Jack Cutmore-Scottand Neal (Charlie Saxton). 

Barry (James Earlshowing up mid-impression and speaking, only to be told by Cooper that he does not sound like himself.

Barry wearing the wire and the entire sequence where he attends Frank’s meeting with Diego Marcon (Rogelio T. Ramos).

The shoot out.

Rice pudding.

Kelly Bishop’s impressions and the word “Splorange…”

Bishop, again, splitting off from the group before getting the “three-count” by Cooper.

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Seconds before Kelly splits from the group, mid-chase…

Overall Thoughts:

Last week the underlying plot point was the increasing amount of attraction between Kelly and Cooper, the main reason he had to get his phone back, but this week the “will-they-won’t-they” factor  takes a back seat to the Barry storyline.

In many ways Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life is the National Lampoon television series we have all been waiting for.  It could be said that the series applies to a niche demographic but those of us who remember all too well the extreme “cockiness” of our 20s can still find this not only funny, but endearing as well.

How to Survive Your Roommate’s Girlfriend, which could have been titled “How to Survive Your Lovable Jackass’s Girlfriend” proves once again what a real ensemble piece this sitcom is.  The only regular missing was the delightfully funny Liza Lapira (Con Man, Battle Creek) who plays Josh’s wife. 

Meaghan Rath continues to be the girl all the smart guys want and Cutmore-Scott the perfect blend of a new millennium Chevy Chase and Ryan Reynolds.

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life airs Sundays on FOX.  Great viewing for those who remember their 20s or those who just passed them. Good for a giggle or two and so worth the time spent watching.

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life: How to Survive Being a Plus One (Review)

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life may just have the most annoyingly long title on television at the moment.

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Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life may just have the most annoyingly long title on television at the moment. Add to the series title  the “rest” of it, i.e. the episode title; in this case “How to Survive Being a Plus One,” and reviewing this new FOX comedy series  becomes an exercise in frustration… Leaving the title issues alone, episode 103, with its “24” Jack Bauer style comedy in the middle, is funny, cute and still entertaining.

(And how many times can one put the word title in a paragraph? Four.)

Perhaps this reviewer is easily entertained, or satisfied. Cooper Barrett’s “How to Survive Being a Plus One” and its “24” theme may have been an overly long riff on the old adage “Dance with the guy what brung ya,” but the humor still works.  Even without the Jack Bauer spiel, which was good, the episode rocked it in terms of comedy and the continuing “romance” between Cooper (Jack Cutmore-Scott) and Kelly (Meaghan Rath).

The episode opens with Cooper and Kelly in the back of a truck and Barrett explains about being invited to different places.  When Cooper asks the Mexican they are sharing the truck bed with how long till they arrive, he explains that the couple are sitting in “goat poop.”

“THREE WEEKS EARLIER”

Appears at the same time Kelly, Barry (the lovable a**), Neal and Cooper are drinking in a bar. The next-door neighbor, who every heterosexual male in America would kill for, reveals that her ex is getting married to a girl “named after a small orange” in Mexico.

The three men express surprise that Kelly was in a long (four year) relationship and she responds:

“I wasn’t always the fun-loving single girl that warms a room with a smile, a wink and a hair flip. You know.”

(Kelly flips her hair, smiles, laughs and winks)

Barry: “Adorable.”

Neal: “What are you doing?”

Cooper: “Are you having a stroke?”

This particular part of the episode managed to cram a number of funny lines into an incredibly short space.  Winning gag of the set  = Cooper’s response to the wedding invitation’s musical clue as to where Thom and Clem are getting married:

“In a Telenovela?”

Before the bar scene ends, Cooper becomes the plus one for Kelly and

“THREE WEEKS LATER”

Neal and Barry are having a 24 hour binge marathon of “24,”  and Kelly has picked out,  and packed,  Cooper’s three obligatory wedding outfits:

Kelly: “You have three looks: Wedding Ain’t No Thing, Reception Sophistication and my personal favorite, Good-bye Brunch Chic.”

Cooper then goes out to do last minute shopping and his car is towed away as well as  impounded. Thus begins the “24” Jack Bauer themed middle part of the episode where first Neal, and then Barry, don the headset, key the laptop and send help. Not surprisingly the help comes in the form of big brother Josh (Justin Bartha) and then his wife Leslie (Liza Lapira).

After a funny scene where Kelly and Cooper hide in Barry’s ice cream truck to sneak  inside the impound lot and then barely escape with their luggage and passports the “24” theme continues when Kelly’s dress is ruined.

Finally, Josh, Leslie, Barry, and Neal all join Kelly and Cooper in Josh’s car and they drive to the wedding.  However, in keeping with the “everything that can go wrong will” aspect of this show, the car develops a flat and the Bishop and Barrett have to hop a lift in the goat poop truck.

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The wedding trip cut short.

While this episode lacks the high profile of a special guest like Paula Abdul, it provides a certain cohesion for Barrett, Bishop, Josh, and Leslie in term of character identification and an amount of fleshing out.

What makes Cooper work so well as a character is his initial desperation, at any given problem, and then his complete and total belief that what ever asinine, or desperate last minute plan he comes up with will work.  Cooper has faith that everything will work out, if not as a result of his first plan, then “Plan B” will save the day.

So far, Barrett has been proven right…

Bishop may look like the girl next door but this adorable cuteness hides a micro-managing woman who will take control  at the first opportunity.  She also has recognized that Cooper may well be her perfect match and it is clear that she will work to make this happen.

Older brother Josh proves in this episode that while he may not be willing to spend any more cash on his brother, he will go all out to help where he can. Even going so far as to romance a TSA agent. Leslie also shows that she will help out, in this case providing her new bestie Kelly  a replacement frock and that she has a sense of humor.

At the wedding ceremony, which was cancelled because the orange girl dropped out, Josh’s cell phone rings and he tells Leslie:

“Oh, I should get this. It’s this TSA agent I might have to have sex with.”

Leslie (without skipping a beat): “Cool. I might make out with the mariachi band.”

In Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life things have a way of turning out okay.  It seems that his eternal optimism is not misplaced at all.  In terms of the “will they, won’t they” thing between Kelly and Cooper it really feels more like a “when they.”

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Kelly and Cooper more “when they” than “will they…”

It may well be that MikesFilmTalk is the only site that really appreciates this new FOX offering. Other sites have been pretty “meh” about the whole series thus far.  Perhaps they do not get a show where one does not have to “reach” for the gags, or it is hard for them to see the beauty of the quirkiness and toned down Animal House, National Lampoon vibe going on.

(One feels that Cooper Barrett may well be “Van Wilder” (sans Ryan Reynolds of course) all grown up.)

This is a fun series and one that crosses the Ts and dots the Is.  Consider this; Josh is driving and singing to “The Weekend” song “Can’t Feel My Face” (when I’m with you) when Neal does his “24” and calls big bro to help out Cooper. Later, at the very end of the episode, the wedding band play and sing their own version of “Can’t Feel My Face.”

What is not to like?

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life airs Sundays on FOX. Tune in and join the 2.45 million folks who do like the show.  Warning: Prepare to get a huge crush on Meghan Rath’s character Kelly…

 

 

 

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life (Review)

After watching the first two episodes of Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life (How to Survive Your Lovable Jackass and How to Survive Insufficient Funds) one is left with the conclusion that show creator Jay Lacopo has a hit on his hands.

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After watching the first two episodes of Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life (How to Survive Your Lovable Jackass and How to Survive Insufficient Funds) one is left with the conclusion that show creator Jay Lacopo has a hit on his hands. The pacing is good, the episodes so far are outlandishly funny and the characters addictive.

Granted, Meghan Rath as new neighbor Kelly Bishop is the most addictive thing about the show. How can one not fall in love with a  smart arse female athlete who, when coming face-to-face with her 30-something boring boyfriend manages to say “Tampon” so adorably?

The show’s theme tune is very addictive and two episodes in,  the storylines are odd, quirky and damned funny. The pilot introduced all the characters to the viewer in the  form of a house warming party. We meet the cute neighbor, Neal gets a new Amazon girlfriend  and the 64 inch flat screen television is stolen during the epic celebration.

Not to mention that in episode two, the guest cameo is Paula Abdul…Dude! (Sorry had to get that out…)

On a subplot level, the three roomies, and Cooper’s brother partake of Barry’s grandmother’s hangover cure, after the party, and realize that it is pretty special stuff.  As Barry is the “Lovable Jackass” we follow his obsession with the stolen TV, which he “spots’ two years later, in a UFC hangout.

Overall, the pilot has Cooper being kidnapped by the skin-headed UFC gang. The idea is to trade the telly for Barrett. Cooper’s older brother Josh (Justin Bartha) buys the gang a new   3D ready television to trade for his younger sibling. 

By the time the end credits roll, the three roommates decide to mass produce Barry’s grandmother’s hangover cure and become entrepreneurs.  The viewer learns that the UFC guys that Barry (James Earl) believed stole their new TV did not, it was the landlord.

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Honorable mention: Finding Meghan Rath in your dryer…

Standout Moments in the pilot:

Cooper (Jack Cutmore-Scott) being left behind after they grab the television from the UFC hangout.

The Kiss-Cam at the Clippers Game where Barrett and Bishop share a “jokey” kiss only to have it turn into something else and Cooper’s blurting out:

“I gotta take a leak…”

Almost all the conversation between Kelly and Cooper.

“Tampon.”

Meghan Rath’s look at the Kiss-Cam after Cooper rushes off.

Cooper’s attempted escape with the hood on his head.

Josh getting knocked out, while driving,  after saying:

“Don’t make me come back there.”

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, episode two – How to Survive Insufficient Funds sees Cooper, Barry, Neal (Charlie Saxtonand Josh at a posh bar. They are celebrating the move to entrepreneurship and after the big brother leaves, a blonde comes up and invites the remaining trio to the VIP area.

Four bottles of bubbly later, the lads owe $1,400 and lack the funds to pay. Josh has to bail his brother out and the fellas have no money for rent.  Their landlord immediately posts an eviction notice and the guys are desperate to get their hangover cure off the ground and pay their rent.

Meanwhile, Kelly babysits for Josh and Leslie (Liza Lapira) and hits it off with Josh’s wife.  Just as the two ladies seem to be bonding very well, Leslie blows it and asks Josh to sort things out. She forces her husband to attend Kelly’s sports treatment clinic and he, like Leslie, blows it. 

The three new businessmen, who are about to be evicted from their apartment, get a chance to make money from a “Barry Idea.” Barry learns from a homeless guy that drug trials pays big money and after the landlord turns off the power to the apartment, the three decide to give it a try.

Leaving the drug testing facility, with enough cash to fix all their problems, the guys look over the “side-effects” from the trial: Itching, sweating and hallucinations. They then bump into Paula Abdul in the car park. Cooper immediately approaches the star to see if she will support their product.

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Paula Abdul “Give me all your money.”

Standout Moments in Episode Two:

Josh touching Kelly’s breast during the treatment.

The guys getting robbed by “Paula Abdul” in the car park after she does a promotional video for the product and seconds after Cooper finishes filming,  Abdul turns into a long-haired toothless, homeless man.

The adult “get together” with Kelly and Brinley her associate, Josh and Leslie.

The guys deciding that the homeless guy’s adage of “desperate times, desperate measures” is a good one.

The entire sequence where Barry, Cooper and Neal break into the bank.

Paula Abdul.

Josh checking with Leslie when he tells Brinley that “this is not happening.”

By the end of the episode, Cooper breaks the fourth wall again to relate the lessons learned.  Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life is, thus far, funny, clever, a little “outside the box,” hip and musically catchy (as in score.)

This airs Sundays on FOX and is yet one more comic hit for the network. Tune in and prepare to be very entertained…and to laugh a lot.

 

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