“Chelsea” is More Than Just Satire

Chelsea Handler’s New Show is Full of Sarcasm and Emotion

By Briana Delbuono

Chelsea Handler, the author and comedian most known for “The Chelsea Handler Show” and “Chelsea Lately,” came out with a talk show in May of 2016, which is now available on Netflix.

The late night show follows the unofficial rules that talk shows typically follow, like the relaxed atmosphere and perfectly formulated dosage of celebrity gossipthat’s likely to bore you after a few episodes.

Although Handler does like to switch up her show’s format, it generally rings the same bell as you’re watching.

Sarcasm and dry humor run consistently throughout the show, which is why many of her fans continue to watch her.

Handler sits at an unconventional couch, as opposed to the typical talk show desk setup. It’s in this way that she levels with her guests and makes the environment seem more relaxed.

In the very first episode, Handler invites both famous and upcoming stars in the Hollywood sphere on her stage.

She brings on Stella and Mary McCartney, two of Paul McCartney’s children, as they promote their books and clothing lines. Later in the show, she has Colleen Ballinger on, actor and producer of “Haters Back Off” on Netflix.

Ballinger, like Handler, makes a living off making fun of people. Ballinger became famous off being a rising YouTube sensation from her creation of the character Miranda who is embarrassing and weird.

On Time Magazine’s list of most influential people, Handler is a strong woman in the comedic industry, which is mostly male dominated. The show helps her maintain her satiric persona.

“Chelsea” keeps its subject matter light, Handler does touch on more serious topics like when she reveals that her mother had died of breast cancer and one of her siblings passed away suddenly while hiking one day.

She says this bluntly and without much emotion even though the viewer can tell there is a hidden sadness that she refuses to show.  

On a later show Handler even meets with Shannen Doherty, who is currently battling breast cancer.

Doherty comes on with her oncologist and they talk to Handler about the disease and her ongoing treatment process in a dimly lit room to set the tone. These heavy moments add depth and character to the show.

As a Democrat, she pokes fun at Donald Trump and suggests that everyone should vote for Hillary as to not let the opposing candidate win the election.

Later episodes follow the same routine. Famous guests appear, sometimes they are surprise guests and they talk about and poke fun of relevant topics at the time of filming.

Although she is there to listen, most of the interviews end up coming back to the topics Handler is comfortable talking about like drugs, alcohol and sex.

It seems the show is oriented more towards Handler’s devoted following and not so much towards new comers interested in some hard news.

The guests that come on the show are typically trying to promote an aspect of their work to better their career.

Handler always tends to drift back to the media text that the guests have created, which always seems to feel force fed to the consumer.

The show does have its funny moments like when Handler meets with Craig Ferguson, a Scottish-American talk show host who is known for his own hilarity.

He informs her about Scotland’s relationship with England and the rest of the United Kingdom. In this comedic skit, Handler starts laughing uncontrollably, which she rarely does on the show due to Ferguson’s dry and witty humor.

Overall, the show is definitely interesting to some degree. It is not always deeply embedded in important issues but isn’t always sunshine and smiles either.

The Netflix-original is definitely packed with content and worth the watch.

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