Review by Lauryn Angel
When I heard about the show Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, I have to confess that my brain immediately leaped to comparisons with a show from my high school years: Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. There are a lot of similarities between the two. Both heroes, Cooper Barrett (Jack Cutmore-Scott) and Parker Lewis (Corin Nemic) break the fourth wall by speaking directly to the audience under the guise of giving them advice for navigating the travails that come along with their particular stations. Unfortunately for Cooper Barrett, while the premise is clever, the show doesn’t quite deliver the laughs.
Cooper Barret is a recent college graduate who is working on getting his life in order and navigating adulthood. Each episode is dedicated to helping his audience navigate certain trials of adulthood, such as “How to Survive Your Loveable Jackass,” “How to Survive Insufficient Funds,” “How to Survive Being a Plus One,” and “How to Survive Losing Your Phone.” Cooper is accompanied on these adventures by his roomates — Neal (Charlie Saxton) and the aforementioned loveable jackass, Barry (James Earl) – his neighbor Kelly (Megan Rath), and his supposedly responsible other brother Josh (Justin Bartha).
The show isn’t outright bad, but it is more than a little formulaic and predictable. Each episode got funnier as it went along, but the payoff wasn’t always worth the 30 minute investment. It’s the kind of show I might put on if I happened to be home and there was nothing else to watch – which makes January a good time for it to debut – but I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to watch it or set the DVR to catch it.
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