Comic-of-the-political-moment Sarah Cooper riffs through her Trump-lip-syncing repertoire and her Twitter friends list with her Netflix sketch show, “Everything’s Fine.”
Playing herself as an embattled morning show hostess — the show is called “Everything’s Fine” — she shows the camera a lot of looks and an acting savvy that should lead to more work, which feels like the point of this quick turn-around special.
Because her “moment” has a shelf life, and being smart and talented and over 40, she’s got to look past oh, next week.
“Everything’s Fine” has sketches, fake commercials, office intrigue and “black-ish” folks at Mar-a-Lago.
Maya Rudolph gives us the weather, climate-changed and hellish. Funny.
Aubrey Plaza plays a QAnon version of QVC (home shopping) for the paranoid and conspiracy-minded. Plaza never fails to amuse.
Jon Hamm does his killer “My Pillow” impersonation, Ben Stiller’s a tech CEO who turns out to be a robot, Jane Lynch is a twisted cooking show “Karen,” leading to a Whoopi Goldberg narrated Ken Burns-style doc on the “history of ‘Karens.'”
Megan Thee Stallion and Jordana Bachman bits, and so on.
Cooper gets backstage career advice from her producers on how to be a more “non-threatening Black woman,” Marisa Tomei plays one of too-many bosses and Fred Armisen, her on-set producer “Scooter,” socially distances, tests assorted PPE, and can’t find a laugh.
“Can’t find a laugh” goes for the whole special, sadly. Cooper is game, and is a fun on-camera presence. But this material is weak and prematurely dated.
The marquee bit is the “Access Hollywood” tape lip-sync, with Oscar winner Dame Helen Mirren cackling and enabling away as Billy Bush. Ick. Bush wasn’t banned long enough. And “meh” as a sketch.
The public service in this special is reminding us of all the climate, political, civil rights, violence and corruption we’ve been subjected to this year, and how TV programmers have eaten that up.
“Tomorrow, something bad happens to your favorite celebrity!”
Here’s to hoping our and Sarah Cooper’s “tomorrow” is better than today, and that Cooper lands a third act to a career that has flourished, online, this year, after being off the radar for too long before we found her.
MPAA Rating: TV-MA, adult content, profanity
Cast: Sarah Cooper, Maya Rudolph, Helen Mirren, Jane Lynch, Jon Hamm, Aubrey Plaza, Connie Chung, Winona Ryder, Marisa Tomei, Whoopi Goldberg, Ben Stiller and Fred Armisen.
Credits: Directed by Natasha Lyonne. A Netflix release.
Running time: :49