“Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine” is a gut-busting laugh fest using the tropes of modern television.
The comedy special, directed by storied comedian Natasha Lyonne, features a number of celebrity cameos by various comedians including Fred Armisen, Aubrey Plaza, Marisa Tomei, Megan Thee Stallion, Jane Lynch, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Hamm and Maya Rudolph. It features a variety of segments centered around the fictional morning talkshow called “Everything’s Fine” with several “commercial breaks.” The comedy special makes fun of various modern events including the President’s frequent tweeting and calling in to Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase of rude suburban women called Karens, as well as the absurdity of running a feel-good morning show in the middle of such a turbulent time.
The comedy special nails comedy by likening it to reality in the most exaggerated ways. The various segments have a pointedness to them that make the absurdity of them even more effective. The film follows the principle of comedy that says that you can either do sane people in a crazy world, or crazy people in a sane world. This film takes these themes and combines them together to make us, the viewers, the sane ones watching.
The character of Sarah Cooper, the host of the show, is a reasonable character in the crazy world portrayed by the show. She tackles current social issues affecting our world by reacting in a primetime overdone way. Primetime anchors often have to remain positive regardless of ludicrous coverage.
Maya Rudolph’s brief weather coverage as weatherwoman Andrea Steele plays on the rampant weather craziness of this year. Her segment is made up of a week-long weather report detailing a different disaster each day ending with a breezy 75-degree day but unfortunately the day is terrorized by flaming snowmen and fire tornadoes. Extreme weather reports are a common comedy trope, but in this comedy special, the comedic weather report is done especially well.
The comedy special stands out among other original comedy specials for the fact that the satire is almost surreal at some points. Characters will come in and out of frame and they will change outfits. Seemingly normal happenings will offer a completely crazy outcome. The film starts to devolve into an insane montage that perfectly represents the insane energy that 2020 has had.
The downsides of the comedy special are its short length and its lack of direction. That being said, this may just be a function of the typical morning show routine. Morning shows bounce from topic to topic and sometimes that can be hard to keep track of. The film also switches direction wildly after a certain point to an extremely bizarre angle that gets positively metaphysical.
“Everything’s Fine” is a pinpoint take on the apocalyptic nature of 2020 or at least the perception of it. It takes that perception and turns it into a comedy special that everyone can enjoy. “Everything’s Fine” receives a B-plus rating.