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: 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 (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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