Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chelsea Handler. Not a Review.

     I just finished reading Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.  My review can be found here, on the Cannonball Read website.  To save you from too much reading, I did not care for the book.
     I am still fascinated by Chelsea Handler as a person, however.  As I stated in the review, she has three shows on television right now. I fully understand the concept of Chelsea Lately and her sitcom Are You There, Chelsea?  I do not understand the third show, After Lately, a reality-style sitcom, according to a quick Google search.  Actually, the Google search cleared quite a bit up for me.  I watched a few pieces of episodes and I did not know what was happening.  There was an odd mixture of fake and reality that was really unsettling.
     I have defended the comedy stylings of Chelsea Handler to friends in the past.  I enjoyed her first two books.  I enjoyed her brazen, out there, I-don't-give-a-fuck, fuck-em-if-they-can't-take-a-joke style.  I too am a fan of a casual practical joke.  As I listened to her stand-up, there was an undertone of intelligence.
     This is why I'm fascinated by her.  I feel like she panders.  But I don't think she wants to pander, I think she's forced into it.  I wonder what would happen if her show were on a different network and instead of bloggers as panelists and puppies as discussion topics, she had thoughtful yet funny panelists and polysyllabic responses to actual topics.  Maybe it would be a nice blend of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Rock Center. 
     I think she has more to offer.  I think she knows shit but she's not telling us, and I think she should.  I want to see her in a room with intelligent people.
     My jury is still out on Are You There, Chelsea?  I do think it's weird that Chelsea plays her sister and Laura Prepon plays Chelsea.  I don't think old people will understand that at all.  I also don't think the show's target audience is old people.  But I do think old people are who watches TV on TV.  That is a topic for another time, however.  I watched the first two episodes of the show; I laughed about three times.  The pilot was sloppy at best.  I enjoyed the roommate, Dee Dee.  My initial assessment of the problem is that the sister, Sloane, is the opposite of Chelsea and Chelsea has a really hard time playing so completely off-type.  Chelsea isn't playing Sloane--Chelsea is playing Chelsea playing Sloane.  There's a difference, and that difference kills the character.
     Since it currently plays next to Whitney,--so we know the caliber of show allowed on the air--Chelsea will surely get a season run and be allowed to find its legs.  I actually hope it gets out from under itself.  It could use Chelsea's actual intelligence and humor as the impetus for a solid character and let what I assume is her actual heart propel the stories.  If Chelsea doesn't pander for cheap laughs the way Chelsea does, it might work.        And all of this hypothesizing over who this woman might actually be is why I stay riveted.  She's like the burgeoning biceps starting to shape on my arms--I don't like what they look like now, and they can't lift much, but damn it, if they work hard enough, someday they'll be something really special.      

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