Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life

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Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life
Created byJay Lacopo
ComposerJeff Cardoni
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Executive producersGail Berman[1]
Bill Callahan
Jay Lacopo
James Griffiths
EditorKeith Croket
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time21 minutes
Production companiesLansdowne Productions
Big Time Show Biz Entertainment
The Jackal Group
20th Century Fox Television
Original release
ReleaseJanuary 3 (2016-01-03) –
June 26, 2016 (2016-06-26)

Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life (originally announced as The Guide to Surviving Life before reverting to its original working title) is an American television sitcom created by Jay Lacopo. It debuted online on December 21, 2015,[2] and made its television premiere on January 3, 2016,[3] on Fox, with 13 episodes ordered.[4][5] The series follows Cooper Barrett (Jack Cutmore-Scott) and his friends and family while exploring what we all go through on our way to figuring out what life is all about.[1] On May 12, 2016, Fox cancelled the series, leaving three episodes unaired. The network burned off two of the unaired episodes on June 12, 2016, with the last one airing on June 26, 2016.



  • Jack Cutmore-Scott as Cooper Barrett
  • Meaghan Rath as Kelly Bishop, a neighbor of Cooper who steals his heart.
  • James Earl as Barry Sandel, a roommate of Cooper who can't stay out of trouble.
  • Charlie Saxton as Neal Fissley, a roommate of Cooper who seems to fail at love.
  • Liza Lapira as Leslie Barrett,[1] Cooper's sister-in-law, Josh's wife, and mother to Gracie.
  • Justin Bartha as Josh Barrett,[1] Cooper's older brother, Leslie's husband, and father to Gracie.


Guest stars[edit]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
US viewers
1"How to Survive Your Loveable Jackass"James GriffithsJay LacopoDecember 21, 2015 (2015-12-21) (online)
January 3, 2016 (broadcast)
In 2011, Cooper, Barry, and Neal move into their new apartment and have a wild housewarming party, during which their new TV is stolen. Two years later, Barry steals "back" the wrong TV from the UFC guys. At a basketball game, Cooper is recognized by the UFC guys and kidnapped, so his friends have to bail him out. His relationship with his neighbor Kelly is difficult. Finally, Cooper quits his job because he has found investors for his idea.
2"How to Survive Insufficient Funds"James GriffithsPaul MatherJanuary 10, 2016 (2016-01-10)1AYT044.57[11]
The roommates run out of money and they fail to create income by selling their hangover cure, so they participate at a drug trial. As a side effect, they hallucinate and get robbed for their new cash. Then they break into a bank and hang their giant product banner from the building. Meanwhile, an awkward misunderstanding happens between Kelly, Josh and Leslie.
3"How to Survive Being a Plus One"James GriffithsAmelie GilletteJanuary 17, 2016 (2016-01-17)1AYT062.56[12]
Kelly is invited to Mexico for the wedding of her ex-boyfriend Thom (Jayson Blair) and brings Cooper as her plus one. The trip proves to be difficult and requires the help of Josh and the roommates. In the end, the wedding is cancelled, and Kelly learns that Cooper is a great friend.
4"How to Survive Losing Your Phone"Jeff MelmanBrian RubensteinFebruary 14, 2016 (2016-02-14)1AYT051.74[13]
Cooper loses his cell phone, and Barry, Josh and Neal help him get it back. Meanwhile, Kelly and Leslie have some karaoke fun at the bar, but when Kelly hits on guy who already has a girlfriend, an all out brawl erupts.
5"How to Survive Your Roommate's Girlfriend"Adam DavidsonBill Callahan & Paul MatherFebruary 21, 2016 (2016-02-21)1AYT081.87[14]
Barry's new girlfriend Ashley (Kimberly Kevon Williams) turns out to be rich, with Ashley's father Frank (Corey Reynolds) giving Barry a job. Barry then learns that Frank's business isn't all that legitimate.
6"How to Survive Your Horrible Landlord"James GriffithsDonald DiegoMarch 6, 2016 (2016-03-06)1AYT071.85[15]
A tree crashes into the guys' apartment, but their landlord, Virgil, refuses to do anything about it until they get rid of their pig James Franco. The situation also puts a damper on where Cooper and Kelly stand romantically, having only kissed once, despite continuing sexual tension since.
7"How to Survive Old Friends"James GriffithsJay LacopoMarch 13, 2016 (2016-03-13)1AYT021.95[16]
Cameron Rash (Adam Hagenbuch), the guys' old college classmate visits, severely interrupting everyone's lives with his carefree slacker ways.
8"How to Survive Your Crazy Ex"Jeremy GarelickBill CallahanApril 3, 2016 (2016-04-03)1AYT030.97[17]
Cooper's ex-girlfriend Lena (Lyndon Smith), now an abstract artist, displays a photo of Cooper's penis at her art exhibit. Cooper then asks Neal, who is dealing with his ex-girlfriend dating a new guy, to convince Lena to get rid of all the other remaining copies of the photo. Neal and Lena then begin dating, making Cooper somewhat jealous. Kelly begins dating Shane (Parker Young), a guy she met at her spin class, whose overly-competitiveness becomes a turn off for her. Josh becomes bothered that Barry and Leslie encourage each other to embrace their different interests, even though Josh wants to keep his time with Cooper and friends, and his time at home with Leslie separate.
9"How to Survive Working with Friends"Bill PurpleBrian RubensteinApril 10, 2016 (2016-04-10)1AYT091.09[18]
Kelly befriends Ramona Miller (Victoria Justice), who turns out to have only used her to sabotage Cooper, Barry, and Neal's hangover cure business. Things are already in bad terms between the guys, after Cooper completely doesn't acknowledge Barry and Neal in a newspaper article when the hangover cure wins a major award. As a result, Barry and Neal begin working for Ramona's competing hangover cure business. Upon seeing Kelly being friends with Ramona, Leslie fears she has been replaced as Kelly's best friend.
10"How to Survive Your Parents' Visit"Henry ChanStory by : Donald Diego
Teleplay by : John Blickstead & Trey Kollmer
April 17, 2016 (2016-04-17)1AYT101.04[19]
Cooper and Josh's parents, Mark and Cindy (Alan Ruck and Jane Kaczmarek), visit to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Cooper and Josh then both compete to get the attention of Mark after finding out that he enjoys wild parties, despite previously putting on the facade that he is a strict and responsible person. Neal becomes addicted to pornography, so Barry forces him to overcome his habit for 48 hours. After previously walking in on Cindy using the bathroom years ago, Leslie becomes uncomfortable being alone with her.
11"How to Survive Your Emotional Baggage"Phil TraillBill Callahan & Paul MatherJune 12, 2016 (2016-06-12)1AYT120.80[20]
Cooper, Barry and Neal try to make a deal with a beverage company owned by Tommy Hench (Max Adler), their brash former high school classmate to distribute their hangover cure. However, Neal has bad blood with Tommy, souring the possible deal. Kelly stays at Josh and Leslie's house while her apartment is being fumigated, and is told not to enter a secret room. Kelly goes into the secret room anyway and discovers that Leslie is an amateur painter and encourages her to continue with her passion, much to Josh's chagrin.
12"How to Survive Dating"Matt SohnJay LacopoJune 12, 2016 (2016-06-12)1AYT130.80[20]
Cooper and Kelly refuse to acknowledge their romantic feelings for each other, so in the meantime they date other people. Cooper dates Hannah (Caitlin Harris), an environmentalist who is also homeless by choice and pushes her extreme liberal views on Cooper, while Kelly dates Steve (Geoff Pierson), a rich 60-something potential client of Josh's. Barry and Neal agree to both date Paige (Ashley Hinshaw), a polyamorous woman.
13"How to Survive Your Birthday"James GriffithsAmelie GilletteJune 26, 2016 (2016-06-26)1AYT110.97[21]
Cooper is relieved that no one is throwing him a big birthday party, believing his birthday to be cursed, but is still disappointed when no one but Ramona seems to remember it. Ramona starts to get romantic with Cooper as they enter his darkened apartment, only to have the lights come on and reveal a massive gathering for Cooper's surprise party. Kelly acts okay with Cooper and Ramona being involved, but is clearly not. Cooper finally reveals his true feelings for Kelly, but Ramona overhears, ending her and Cooper's business relationship. Meanwhile, Leslie tries to convince Josh that they should have another child.


Initially being shown in a Sunday 8:30pm timeslot, it was moved to 7:30pm from the eighth episode onwards.[22] After lasting three episodes there, the series was pulled, and returned in June for the remaining three episodes at 7pm,[23] with the exception of the twelfth at 7:30pm.

The show was acquired for broadcast in a few international markets; Sweden in April 2016,[24] Poland in May 2016,[25] Italy in fall 2016 on Fox,[citation needed] Germany in January 2018,[24] and later in the United Kingdom by FOX, set to air in May 2021, as part of a number of one-season US sitcoms imported to fill their schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic.[26]


The show has met an average response from critics. On Metacritic, it has a score of 51/100 based on 14 reviews.[27] On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a score of 50% based on 19 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The critical consensus reads: "Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life wins points for earnestness and a slight progressive slant, but an overall lack of smarts or structure keeps the show from living up to its full potential."[28]


  1. ^ a b c d Andreeva, Nellie (June 26, 2015). "Liza Lapira Joins 'The Guide To Surviving Life' As New Regular In Recasting". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  2. ^ "Special Advance Previews of the Series Premieres of "Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life" and "Second Chance" to Be Available for Viewing on FOX NOW, FOX on Demand, Hulu and YouTube". The Futon Critic. December 21, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  3. ^ Michael Ausiello (10 November 2015). "'New Girl' Season 5 Premiere Date, 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Moves to Tuesdays — TVLine". TVLine. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  4. ^ Lacey, Rose; Goldberg, Lesley (May 7, 2015). "Fox Orders 'Frankenstein' Reboot, John Stamos, Rob Lowe Comedies, Medical Drama Rosewood, More". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 21, 2015). "'Cooper Barrett's Guide To Surviving Life' Gets Order For 7 More Episodes At Fox". Deadline. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  6. ^ O'Connell, Michael (October 30, 2015). "Victoria Justice to Recur on Fox's 'Cooper Barrett' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Listings - Cooper Barrett'S Guide To Surviving Life On Fox". Retrieved 2016-02-10.
  8. ^ a b Stanhope, Kate (August 26, 2015). "Parker Young, 'Parenthood's' Lyndon Smith to Guest Star on 'Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  9. ^ Stanhope, Kate (November 10, 2015). "Jane Kaczmarek, Alan Ruck Recruited to Play Cooper Barrett's Parents". Archived from the original on November 13, 2015. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Porter, Rick (January 6, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: 'Undercover Boss' adjusts up, premieres stay low". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 6, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  11. ^ Porter, Rick. "Sunday final ratings: 'Simpsons' still at a season high after downward adjustment". TVByTheNumbers. Archived from the original on 14 January 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  12. ^ Porter, Rick (January 20, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: 'The Good Wife' and 'Family Guy' adjust up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 22, 2016. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  13. ^ Porter, Rick (February 17, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: 'Bachelor' special and 'Cooper Barrett' adjust up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on February 18, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  14. ^ Porter, Rick (February 23, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: 'Shark Tank' adjusts down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  15. ^ Porter, Rick (March 8, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: 'Madam Secretary' adjusts down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  16. ^ Porter, Rick (March 15, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: '60 Minutes' adjusts up, 'Carmichael Show' and 'Hollywood Game Night' adjust down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  17. ^ Porter, Rick (April 5, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: ACM Awards and all scripted shows hold". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  18. ^ Porter, Rick (April 12, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: 'Once Upon a Time,' 'Simpsons,' 'Quantico' adjust up; 'Carmichael' and 'Crowded' adjust down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 13, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  19. ^ Porter, Rick (April 19, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: 'Once Upon a Time,' 'The Good Wife' adjust up; 'Little Big Shots' and 'Crowded' adjust down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 19, 2016. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  20. ^ a b Porter, Rick (June 14, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: Stanley Cup Finals adjust up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on June 15, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  21. ^ Porter, Rick (June 28, 2016). "Sunday final ratings: 'Big Brother' and 'Celebrity Family Feud' adjust up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on June 29, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  22. ^ "FOX to Flip "Bob's Burgers," "Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life" on Sundays Going Forward". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  23. ^ ""Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life" Returns to FOX on Sunday, June 12". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life (2016) - Release Info". IMDb. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  25. ^ "Premiera: "Życiowy nieporadnik Coopera Barretta" od 31 maja na FOX Comedy". (in Polish). Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  26. ^ Munn, Patrick. "FOX UK Acquires 'Cooper Barrett's Guide To Surviving Life', Sets May Premiere". TV Wise. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  27. ^ Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life at Metacritic Edit this at Wikidata
  28. ^ Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life at Rotten Tomatoes

External links[edit]