Despite an uber-talented, all-star cast, the sure-handed direction of Natasha Lyonne and comedian Sarah Cooper’s impeccable timing, this is pretty much a waste of time. Cooper became known over the last few years thanks to her lip-readings of multiple unhinged statements by Donald Trump, and while those are absolutely hilarious (in particular the “Person-Woman-Man-Camera-TV” one), this 50-minute Netflix variety special shows the limitations of the format. There are some lip-readings interspersed throughout the special but they feel forced and are largely underwhelming, while the “Cooper hosting a news show” narrative on which the ethos and politics of the Trump era are skewered is mostly just unimaginative and repetitive. Overall, I walked away from this feeling like it’s a huge missed opportunity: I’m not sure if it’s Cooper herself who doesn’t have the onscreen presence or a fully rounded public persona to pull off the format, or if the material here is just not that great, but the finished result is a slog to sit through despite a few funny-enough moments here and there.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)