Chelsea: Netflix, Anna Kendrick and Disney Princesses (Review)

Chelsea Handler

After having forgiven the show’s producer (Chelsea Handler) for having Ariana Huffington on as a guest, it was time to watch her Netflix talkshow again. This week was Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine (Who?), an English relationship guru and Disney princesses. Handler is funny and outside the box more often than not. Episode 21 and 22 proved this with the choices of eclectic “out of studio” segments on offer.

A voice coach who helps transexuals learn how to sound more feminine and a meditative adult coloring session. (Emphasis on the “adult” as the book Chelsea had was apparently the Kama Sutra.) She also had the former financial advisor for President Obama on to speak about Brexit.

(Not being funny but would it have not made more sense to have a Brit on to speak about a British issue? And not being funny but how clever is a former anything, let alone a former financial expert…)

Kendrick’s turned out to be quite funny in the little “skit” in the green room where she bashes Chelsea about for not being able to sing  on the show.   Anna dragging a fake Chelsea “dummy” in from off camera to pummel thing was amusing. So too was the real host crawling back in to grab an apple from the coffee table.

Chelsea manages to have an eclectic choice of guests. The show also interviews more of the less “main-stream” performers. Jim Gaffigan falls into this category. Another stand-up comic, like Devine and Chelsea,  I had never heard of him till those “Jim Gaffigan Show” advertisements (that take up about 10 seconds) showed up on the telly. After his spot on Chelsea and learning of a network called TV Land, this can now be rectified.

Adam Devine is another one that was only discovered on a television advert.  In touting Allstate via “Spa Day” the performer  was amusing and vaguely reminiscent of actor Robert Morse sans gap. Obviously missing Perfect Pitch at the cinema meant that Devine was, for all intents and purposes, unknown.

The guest list this week included another stand-up comic with her own Netflix show; Maria Bamford. Another “never heard of” performer who comes across as rather too wide eyed to be natural but with an offbeat humor that was catchy. Maria’s show is titled Lady Dynamite and her show, like Gaffigan’s, is “F**king funny.”  At least according to Chelsea Handler they are and she knows funny. 

It is still quite hard to understand the allure of Ms. Handler.  The woman is amusing and so she should be.  After all this is what she does for a living. But,  for as many things that make her irresistible there are others that annoy, puzzle and often irritate.

Part of what makes the entertainer addictive is her dry sarcasm and caustic wit, intermingled with the coarseness of a fishmonger’s wife. Is this an act or the real woman masquerading as un-educated commoner with a thirst for odd knowledge. Do we care? Of course not because Handler works her act well.

Back to the show: The choices of “off studio” guests (versus the ones who get to share stage time with Chunk) are funny mixed with strange. The quirky elocution instructor was completely off the wall and quite evocative of the fringe types that hover around the edges of Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

The meditation group, that Chelsea and Laker’s player Metta World Peace visit were “low key” funny.  All the practitioners of the “coloring” segment were full of earnest sincerity and focus.  The juxtaposition of Handler with her  “not taking this seriously” attitude provided the comedic outcome of the experience.

Regardless of the guests, Handler is the real draw here.  Her laid back delivery, that is mixed with a slightly antagonist attitude, make her fascinating as a host and a woman. Even without the nude and topless Instagram shots in support of “whatever” Chelsea Handler is an addictive performer.

The two episodes per week on Netflix works well. It keeps us from being inundated with too much Chelsea.

Chelsea airs Thursdays and Fridays on Netflix.  Fans should head over right now and watch this quirky performer.  Pay attention to the Disney princess gag where it is claimed that these heroines are giving young women body issues.  Like most of the bits on the show it is oddly funny.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

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

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