NBC Brings More Raunch to Primetime with Launch of 'Chelsea'
From the network that brought you the failed show, "The Playboy Club," NBC is now offering more trashy television with the new primetime comedy, "Are You There, Chelsea?" based on the book by comedienne and host of "Chelsea Lately," Chelsea Handler. The sitcom, which premiered January 11, centers on the life of Chelsea Handler, a bartender who prays to Vodka, drinks heavily without regret and has a provocative and public sex life.
The previews promoting the season premiere show viewers that "Chelsea" will take them on an alcohol-infused adventure in which anything goes. One preview begins with Chelsea (Laura Prepon) getting pulled over for drunk driving, blowing into a breathalyzer and then thrown in jail. Judging by the accompanying laugh track, viewers are supposed to find the potentially fatal, law-breaking behavior funny.
As the preview continues, Prepon is picked on by a burly woman (Dot Jones) in her jail cell and in order to stave off an attack, Prepon plants a kiss on the woman hoping that the woman is a lesbian and will back off. After the woman promises to visit her bunk after lights out, Chelsea then prays to Vodka to get her out of jail.
In another preview, Chelsea begins looking for a new apartment closer to the bar where she works so she can avoid future DUIs. As the previews progress, her new roommate turns out to be a 26 year-old virgin and is the butt of several chastity jokes. It appears as though the roommate, Dee Dee, will be the counterpoint to Chelsea's wild character and her seemingly prudish life choices will be mocked endlessly.
NBC, no stranger to controversy, risked the network's ratings last fall with the inappropriate show "The Playboy Club" which was promptly cancelled due to the low ratings of the sleazy 60s-era drama. Based on the previews described above, "Chelsea" will likely fill their need for racy programming during "the family hour."
Handler isn't exactly a clean or politically-neutral comedian. In 2010, a sex tape of Handler turned up and when confronted about it, she wasn't ashamed in the least. "Thanks for ruining my surprise Christmas gift to my staff," she joked. "It was made as a joke. I put it on an audition tape for a comedy club because I'm a comedian… I've been showing it at birthday parties for f***ing years!"
Her jokes include telling audiences that at 15, she once called the cops and reported her father for child molesting. "He had never molested me, but I wanted to have a party that weekend and needed him out of the house."
Her book titles include, "My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands" "Are You There, Vodka? It's Me Chelsea" and "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang."
And based on interviews, it is obvious Handler is not a fan of conservatives or their ideals. In March 2010, while a guest on the "Today" Show she called Sarah Palin "really stupid." She even spoke openly and proudly during a New York Times interview last year about her abortion at age 16 saying, "That's what I should have done."