thu 03/12/2020

Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine, Netflix review - star-studded special for Trump lip-syncer | reviews, news & interviews

Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine, Netflix review - star-studded special for Trump lip-syncer

Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine, Netflix review - star-studded special for Trump lip-syncer

Politics and race examined in sketch show

Sarah Cooper appears as the presenter of a daytime TV show

When the world was in lockdown and performers turned to TikTok to keep in touch with their fans, Sarah Cooper started using the online platform for short videos where she lip-synced Donald Trump's speeches, and they quickly went global. Not many people can say they owe worldwide fame to Covid and America's worst-ever president.

When the world was in lockdown and performers turned to TikTok to keep in touch with their fans, Sarah Cooper started using the online platform for short videos where she lip-synced Donald Trump's speeches, and they quickly went global. Not many people can say they owe worldwide fame to Covid and America's worst-ever president.

Now Cooper has a very good special on Netflix, and it shows that there is so much more to the actress and writer than her TikTok fame. But then those short videos showed what a great actor she is, with every twitch of the eye and curl of the lip neatly capturing Trump's derangement.

The conceit of Everything's Fine is that Cooper is the presenter of a US daytime television show of that name. The format allows her to do sketches (with a few Trump lip-syncs, of course) with an array of guests. And what an array: Ben Stiller, Jane Lynch, Whoopi Goldberg, Megan Thee Stallion and many other stellar names appear as Cooper takes a deep dive into politics and race in 2020 America.

Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine, NetflixAt first Everything's Fine appears to be another by rote send-up of primary-colour daytime TV, with its faux bonhomie and laughably superficial examination of the news, but then we see something darker and more disturbing come through with each segment. That it climaxes with Marisa Tomei as Satan is a clue, without giving the game away. It's an acutely written (and very funny) state-of-the-nation assessment – just as that nation might now at last be free of the orange clown.

The sketches don't all work (Fred Armison's producer taking increasingly bizarre measures to be Covid-secure, for example) but the hit rate is very high. Maya Rudolph is superb as the studio weather woman driven to the edge by climate change and who has her Network “I'm mad as hell” moment live on air, while Stiller gives a nicely measured performance as a CEO who, despite being a robot, still manages to be inappropriate with female colleagues.

But the standout sketch is a lengthy Trump lip-sync – of the “grab them by the pussy” tape from 2005 on which he talked about his, er, distinctive chat-up style – with the inspired casting of Helen Mirren (pictured above) mouthing his sycophantic pal Billy Bush, surrounded by other fawning hangers-on laughing at every foul-mouthed utterance. The original tape is gruesome listening, but this re-enactment nails the misogyny in an even more shocking manner.

Comments

So disappointed in this after the brilliance of her one-person Trump lipsyncs. It has all the hit-and-mostly-miss aura of work by committee.

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