This week on Chelsea the comedienne and talk show host started National Netflix “Bring Your Niece to Work Day.” She also kept her celebrity guests to a minimum; Bryce Dallas Howard and Michael Kelly and Maria Sharapova (who is more of a sports celeb; not on the same show. Handler also got her “baps” out (aka boobs, breasts, bristols, you get the idea) when she visited Russia and went to a spa.
Out of all the episodes on offer this week it was the Russian visit that really stood out. (Not just for the semi-nudity either. Although Handler’s figure as she nears her mid-40s is impressive…) It was the “on the street” interviews, the surreal nature of that spa visit, the Olympic training portion and Sharapova’s clear dislike of Chelsea that made the episode.
The five grand slam tennis champion was pleasant enough at the training “camp.” However, once they moved to the meal, with a journalist and an unidentified chap in a jumper, things went a bit awry. Chelsea, slipping into her “ugly American” impression asked a number of “annoying” questions.
As the meal progressed, Maria became cooler toward Handler. At one point, where Chelsea mentions having diarrhea for a week, Sharapova murmurs, “Did we really need to know that?” The talkshow host pauses, smiles thinly and continues but the look in both women’s eyes were cold as a Siberian winter.
It seems that Sharapova, despite moving from Mother Russia when she was child, age nine, took offense at Chelsea’s faux jibes at the country and its people. It could well be down to the fact that Russians have no real discernible sense of humor. (Those featured on the show obviously had their funny bones removed at birth…)
Back on the shores of the US, and the studio of Netflix, Chelsea started the week with her niece Charley Albert. It was an amusing episode that was vaguely reminiscent of days when your boss brought his/her kid to work.
The best bit of that episode was Bryce Dallas Howard explaining that not using your parent’s name in show business is insulting. (It also does not hurt in casting opportunities either.) The daughter of America’s favorite child actor turned box office hero, Ron Howard, gave good interview and spent plenty of time focussing on Charley.
On the “A Prodigy in Our Midst” Chelsea also appears to give her “guest” ratio. One celebrity, one politico and one sports figure. While this does seem to be an accurate description of her guest list, Chelsea did not mention that politicians get the lion’s share of air time.
Michael Kelly was on the next episode “Putting Compton Back on the Map.” Kelly talked about “House of Cards” – a Brit import that starred the brilliant Ian Richardson in the UK and Kevin Spacey on this side of the pond – and how real politicians react to him. A sort of two for the price of one deal.
Political guests included the Mayor of Compton: Aja Brown, who gave great interview, recurring guest recurring guests David Axelrod, Barney Frank and a non-returning one; James Carville. Sports figures Sharapova and multi-millionaire Eddie George rounded out the the sports section. George did not go over too well with the studio audience with his diatribe of too much money is not enough.
The highlight of the three episodes on offer was the “Mission to Moscow” segment. Not because Chelsea bravely bared those 40 year old boobs, again, but because it was a brilliant little travelogue a’la Chelsea.
Racist Russians, a reason behind the whole “mail order bride” business; women vastly outnumber the men, and the realization that the former pin-up of tennis has no sense of humor.
Chelsea streams on Netflix three times a week. Tune in and enjoy this quirkily formatted talkshow with Handler and her cohost Chunk.