Chelsea on Netflix: The Huffington Post? Really??

Chelsea Handler

Having had a love/love  affair with Chelsea Handler for years now (ever since her “Chelsea get out of the pool” gag on her old show) I was appalled to see Ariana Huffington on her Netflix show.  It is understandable,  the 41 year-old entertainer is all about success, her own being first and foremost, but she celebrates  others  who are top in their field as well.

(With this in mind it is odd that she has been so vocally negative about Donald Trump. A self-made business tycoon, with a hair piece that looks like roadkill, who no doubt got much of his wealth for underpaying staff. Unlike Ariana Huffington who does not pay writers who produce articles for her co-created site. *Although it is rumored that some editors do get paid, she does not pay the poor talented “hacks” who are published on the site.*)

The Huffington Post maintain that being published on their news website is recompense enough. It will lead to more folks checking out your personal website; i.e.  increase the traffic thereby swelling your personal coffers as a result. The good publicity angle is used by many unscrupulous companies and charlatans who want something for nothing while increasing their own profits.

(All this codswallop is code for “exposure.” That, and a $1.75,  might get you a cup of instant coffee down at the local cafe.)

Even “celebrities” are not immune to this song and dance. Wil Wheaton  (who is practically an icon in the science fiction community) flatly refused to write, or to allow them to reprint his work,  for free.  An excellent article by Jef Rouner  for the HoustonPress discusses the “Huff Post” and their condescending and stingy attitude.

So while Chelsea Handler continues to provide her quirky and drug focussed chat show on Netflix we writers could do with less of the despotic and tightfisted slave laborers as guest. Having an opportunist who takes advantage of the talented on the show  in any capacity, except to question their ethics, should be a no-no.

(If you have doubts about the opportunistic bit, read the article linked above. Rouner was approached by the company after an article he wrote went viral.  For those who do not know, viral articles are just like viral videos. if the site running them is out to make money, “Viral Equals Gold.”)

“Chelsea”  is an outside the box show. The inclusion of Chunky, her dog (who must be the more PC replacement for Chuy Bravo) as “co-host” is cute and a tad nonsensical. It is also a bit off the wall but so is Ms. Handler.  

The talkshow host is intelligent and fearless.  She may miss the mark with a gag now and then, that is part of her charm, but she keeps slugging away regardless. Chelsea’s schtick is her poor attention span and low brain power but in essence this is one sly and clever comedian/host.

Look at her Netflix show carefully and you will find a woman who is cocking a snook (aka thumbing her nose) at not just the streaming network but the public as well.  Ms. Handler seems to be saying, “Let’s see just how little effort we can put in here to satisfy everyone.”

Does this lackadaisical approach work?

Yes it does.  Chelsea entertains and provides enough quirkiness that the three day a week format is plenty. Her co-host Chunky could be more verbal but despite this the bargain basement set does the job. Although the show could go for a full five days a week. After all, there is no real shortage of the weird and wonderful.

But please Chelsea, for the love of all those excellent writers out there who slog their way through article after article, keep greedy empire builders off the show or at least lump them in categories where they belong.  Ariana Huffington and Donald Trump are a perfect fit in the “peas in a pod” category.

Sure one may be more articulate than the other but both have made fortunes off other’s backs.

“Chelsea” airs on Netflix three days a week.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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