Are You There, Chelsea? (NBC) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

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‘Are You There, Chelsea?’ is a new NBC comedy series that is based on the 2008 best selling book by Chelsea Handler (‘Chelsea Lately’). The show revolves around Chelsea Newman (Laura Prepon, ‘That 70’s Show’), a fictionalized version of Handler during the early days of her career. Chelsea Handler herself guest stars as Sloane, Chelsea’s sister. Co-starring are many comedians, including Lauren Lapkus as Dee Dee, Ali Wong as Olivia and Lenny Clarke as Chelsea’s father.

When Chelsea is in jail for a DUI and her pregnant sister Sloane has to bail her out, she prays to ‘vodka’ to help her change her life around. She works at a bar, and to be able to drink and still get home safely, she moves in with Dee Dee, who lives one block away from the bar. Dee Dee is quite a weird girl, and Chelsea and her best friend Olivia decide they should help Dee Dee get laid.

In the mean time Sloane is criticizing Chelsea’s life and her unreliability, therefore Chelsea isn’t allowed to be at the birth of her child. However, since their mother is dead, Sloane’s husband is in Afghanistan and their father doesn’t know what to do, Chelsea rushes to the hospital. This way, she gets to be at the birth of her niece after all.

‘Are You There, Chelsea?’ is quite a funny show, the actors really make the characters come to life. I especially like Lauren Lapkus, who portrays Dee Dee in a very convincing way. However, the show doesn’t really have a story line. As far as I’m concerned, this episode could have been a season finale as well. It felt like the story ended right there, and that the next episode would be the start of a new season with a new story. In the end, a comedy series needs to be either really, really funny, or backed by an interesting story line to keep the viewers attentive. At the moment, ‘Are You There, Chelsea?’ is neither.

What do you think of 'Are You There, Chelsea?'

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4 comments

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I'm on the fence about this show. The previews looked bad and Chelsea Handler's funny but I prefer her hosting. Laura Prepon seems to be a good actress but I don't have much to go as I never watched That 70s Show. But I'm interested after your review so I might watch it on demand. Thanks for writing!


The Fastionista 4 years ago

Thanks so much for your review Robin! It's good to know the show has potential, even if the story line is sort of a miss so far - I guess it can take awhile for a comedy to figure itself out (I wasn't a big fan of Parks & Recreation the first season--now I can't get enough). Please let us know if it finds its legs! Voted up and interesting!


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 4 years ago Author

Hi Alecia, you're right to be on the fence. Even after watching the premiere I'm still a bit on the fence! It really depends on developing an interesting story or creating episodes that are so funny that you don't mind that it actually doesn't make much sense. You might also know Laura Prepon from 'How I Met Your Mother', she was dating Ted for a couple of episodes, I think in season 3 or 4.


Robin Oatley profile image

Robin Oatley 4 years ago Author

Fastionista, you're right, not every comedy show is successful from the start. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it'll turn out for 'Chelsea'.

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