Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life: What the Fudge, FOX?

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Before looking at episode 13 of Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life; “How to Survive Your Birthday,” let us take a moment to ask FOX a quick annoyed question.  What the fudge?  We understand that you do not think too highly of your series.  Moving the time slot, weeks going by with no episodes and then slapping two together in what looked like a season  one finale, meant that finding the show was beyond difficult.

Is it any  wonder that the viewing figures dropped?

(It was even hard to find an episode guide on IMDb to see what segment  was scheduled next.  Right now it appears that FOX could be  even worse than NBC in shafting the hell out of their own shows. Re: The Player…)

In what could really be the season one finale, which last Sunday’s double episode obviously was not, episode 13 proved that the writers could dig deep and come up with a ending installment that rocked.  They  provided  multiple sets of whammies  in the storyline.

Romona (Victoria Justice)  yanking Cooper’s trousers down to his ankles, whilst on her knees,  in front of an apartment full of people. Food poisoning. Almost getting eaten by a bear. Being saved by a “mountain man” they believe to be a baby-faced bank robber and that they kidnap. And last but not least;  Josh (Justin Bartha) and Leslie (Liza Lapira) getting stuck with “meth-head” Arvid in the mini-van. 

(On a sidenote here. Who knew that “The Swede” aka Christopher Heyerdahl could do so well at comedy. The actor was truly funny and fit right in with this talented crowd of actors.)

In terms of wrapping things up “How to Survive Your Birthday” at last answers the question of “will they, won’t they?” Romona does make her play though actively seducing Cooper (Jack Cutmore-Scott). That little slice of lust on the carpet is cut short although later on she does move in again on Cooper. 

Kelly too makes her feeling known with planning Cooper’s party for three weeks and splashing out some serious moolah on entertainment and a party bus.

Regardless of intent, we finally  have the Cooper and Kelly (Meaghan Rath) connection that has been hovering around since the first episode.  Sure we knew these two were fated to be together but the fact that is has transpired in episode 13 probably means that there will be no season two. 

Major kudos to the writers who got to wrap up all their  threads in this episode. Some of the better gags in the show included the long running Neal as lesbian with glasses joke.  The entire storyline, with the Cooper disastrous birthday backstory was funny as was Kelly’s being angry with Barrett through most of the episode.

Congratulations to all the actors in the series for putting it on the line with their characters. James Earl and Charlie Saxton were two integral members of an ensemble cast who never disappointed.  

There has been no official word on Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life being cancelled or renewed. Considering how little faith the network has shown in the series  thus far it does not seem likely that the show will be renewed.

Still, at least the show ended on a high note or two. A funny storyline that has  Cooper and Kelly “getting it on” at the end while Boyz II Men plays in the background. If Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life is shot down we can say with all honesty that, “We miss you already Ms. Rath.”

Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life: Finale?

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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.

 

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.

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