Between the global pandemic and the upcoming presidential election, the world is currently a very tense place. Sarah Cooper’s new Netflix comedy special, “Everything’s Fine,” cleverly captures this sense of impending doom we have become all too familiar with over the past year.
The special is a political satire in which Cooper portrays a news anchor struggling to maintain sanity while reporting on increasingly frightening current events. Although the premise of political satire news shows are not new, the special adds a certain element of weirdness that causes it to stand out.
Cooper gives a solid performance and plays off her strong cast of guest celebrities well. There are several bits based on her famous TikToks where she lip syncs President Donald Trump. It is understandable why these bits are included. After all, they are what launched Cooper’s career and many fans will likely tune in to the special in hopes of seeing the bit again. The creators are able to find a good balance between this bit and the other content of the special. It is given enough screen time to highlight its success without becoming the main focus.
There are several segments throughout the hour hosted by guest celebrities. For the most part, these bits are strong and range widely in structure. They include parodies of weather reports, bizarre advertisements, celebrity interviews and stranger segments better left unspoiled. Although some of the segments do not quite live up to the rest, the ones that do work are effective, and the wide variety in structure prevents the special from ever getting boring.
Arguably, the most important detail to note about “Everything’s Fine” is how well it captures the essence of the year 2020. The creators do not seem to be trying to convey any message other than “What the hell is going on?” but this feels appropriate given the circumstances. The structure of the hour also lends itself very well to this message. It follows a very random path from one segment to the next and this chaos reflects the nature of current events from the past year.
“the most important detail to note about “Everything’s Fine” is how well it captures the essence of the year 2020.”
The special was clever, well-written and structurally sound but never really crosses the threshold of being truly great comedy. The laughs were consistent throughout but never too intense. It was a very unique experience to watch, so much so that it feels almost misleading to market it as a comedy special. The structure is reminiscent of a mix between an episode of “Saturday Night Live” and an issue of “Mad Magazine.”
“Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine” delivers an extremely unique brand of political satire. The jokes are undeniably clever and land for the most part, with only a few falters throughout. Cooper’s originality as a comedian translates well to this new medium. Although no part of the special stands out as gut-wrenchingly funny, it is undeniably entertaining and captures the mood of the past year extremely well. It will be interesting to see what comes next from Sarah Cooper.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars