Wednesday night television has basically lost me since American Horror Story had its finale (Was anyone else as weirded out as me by that?). I had been seeing the ads for Are You There, Chelsea? for a while and decided it looked pretty funny. Plus, it came on after Whitney and I’d been wanting to get into that show, too. Being the skeptic I am, I was expecting disappointment from it. However, the show definitely proved me wrong.
So let’s start off with some background. It’s loosely based on Chelsea Handler’s book, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea. That explains why there was the whole praying to vodka while in jail thing going on. The show follows a 20-something Chelsea through her life events. And as anyone could have guessed, those life events aren’t exactly normal, subdued, or child appropriate.
Like I said, I really like the show. I thought it was really funny but I have that same kind of crude sense of humor that Chelsea has. My one big issue is that Chelsea doesn’t play Chelsea! The beginning of the show came on and they kept calling Laura Prepon Chelsea and I was thoroughly confused. Why are they calling someone other than real Chelsea that? Ummm, turns out because she isn’t playing herself in the show. Chelsea is actually playing her sister, Sloane. That threw me off as well. Sloane is like Chelsea’s opposite. She’s all goody and a devout Christian (Okay, that may be pushing it since she did yell that Sister Mary Francis–or whatever the nun’s name was–was dead to her). I get it…I think. Chelsea is trying to push out of her normal role and show she can play different personalities…maybe. That’s the only thing I can come up with. Either that or she hates herself so much that she needed someone else to be her…but I don’t think that’s it.
As I figured, after a quick search, I found this article explaining it all to me. She said that the Chelsea character is supposed to be in her 20s and Chelsea, herself, is 36. Okay, that makes sense. I would suggest not putting yourself in the show then to save some confusion but it all works in the end. Plus, with her show on E! and all her other projects, Chelsea said she doesn’t have time to play the lead in this show. Okay, this also makes sense. Maybe I just should have researched this before watching the show and not just assumed that Chelsea played herself. It would have kept me from asking the same question over and over for about 10 minutes until I just gave up and accepted it.
Other than that, I didn’t have any issues with the rest of the show. I thought the cast was really well picked. Jake McDorman plays Chelsea’s co-worker with whom she almost had a drunken hook up with. The sexual tension is there and it works brilliantly. Of course, I find it hard to separate him from being Evan Chambers on Greek but that’s only because I loved that show and Evan (near the end of the series when he wasn’t such a douche). He’s good looking enough to fit the role perfectly and can pull off that cocky attitude without taking away from his looks (Playing Evs definitely helped with this one probably).
Lenny Clarke plays Chelsea’s father. He was hilarious. I don’t know what else to say about this except I cracked up at just about every single joke he made. This was definitely good casting. Ali Wong is Chelsea’s bestie for life, Olivia. She’s funny and quirky and an interesting addition. She fits in well with Chelsea’s character but I’m not sure how much credit she will get. Being the sidekick to Laura Prepon is going to make it tough to get recognition. Here’s hoping she will be able to do it because the character was interesting and I think there’s some good in her acting.
All of them were great, but there’s one character I’ve got to mention: Lauren Lapkus as DeeDee. DeeDee is the third roommate with Chelsea and Olivia. They actually moved in with her during the pilot episode. And she’s like the exact opposite of the other two girls. Whereas they are very open sexually and wild and experienced, DeeDee is naive and sheltered. She’s almost sickingly nice but Lapkus was able to make her a whole lot more funny than annoying. The only thing that can really be said about this was my mom said she didn’t know what she thought of the DeeDee character and my reply (without me thinking, of course) was that she’s freaking nuts. It wouldn’t surprise me if DeeDee is taken advantage of by the other two girls over the course of the show because she’s so nice and naive. But it also wouldn’t surprise me if they try to make her more like them. We’ll see. This is certainly a character I’ll be watching closely.
Of course, I can’t write about the show without talking about Laura Prepon. She was awesome. I don’t think this should really come as a surprise though because basically the Chelsea character is a more mature Donna. There’s less high school and more adulthood. However, it’s the same she’s-hot-and-sexual-and-like-to-drink attitude. I’m really glad she has her blonde hair because she looks much better as a blonde (Though I don’t really like the dark hair on Chelsea. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just something that has to grow on me). I’m pretty confident that she’s going to do awesome as the lead and will have no trouble at all. She was really funny and a good actor in general.
So since the writing was so good and made me laugh that much, there’s no doubt I’ll keep watching. It was funny on the same level as 2 Broke Girls…and I really love that show. And the biggest shocker, I liked it despite not being a Chelsea Handler fan (I don’t care if it’s her job…she made fun of Tori Spelling and I don’t like it). Anywho, I’ve got a new Wednesday night show (And thanks to that, I’ve got two because I watched Whitney and thought it was hilarious. Not a big surprise, though, since she works on 2 Broke Girls as well).