The New ‘Chelsea Does…’ Trailer Lets Chelsea Handler Tackle Important Issues With Just The Right Amount Of Humor — VIDEO

While there is a time for seriousness about some of the issues that affect us today — issues like sexism, racism, and marriage — sometimes the best way to face them head on is with a little humor. Maybe it’s because humor helps to disarm people a little bit. Get them laughing and their defenses go down, they’re more willing to hear difficult information, and see the things about themselves that they’re unwilling to see. Enter Chelsea Handler, whose new show on Netflix Chelsea Does... promises to take on a number of important topics with the comedian’s signature sense of humor. And, let me tell you, the newChelsea Does... trailer for her episode on racism does just that. Handler takes one of the most important issues facing our country today, and, somehow, skillfully, makes it something we can laugh about.

But let me be clear: In this trailer, we’re not laughing about racism, as if it’s some lighthearted, hilarious thing. What Handler does so well is to make us laugh at ourselves and our own institutional biases and prejudices. Just look at the few LOL-worthy moments in the trailer. We might laugh because it’s funny, but what’s happening underneath that laughter is a response to Handler, who is herself embodying the underlying prejudices inherent in our society, playing them out, and pointing out how ridiculous and harmful they are.

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And you just thought you were just laughing at a joke about guys hitting on her. The trailer is a great look into Handler’s latest creative project, one that is also sort of self-conscious, pointing out the ridiculousness of its whole premise: A white girl talking about racism? Come on now. There's a troubling perspective if I’ve ever seen it. Still, maybe this is the way these sorts of conversations need to begin. For those audiences who are still unaware of their own prejudices (or in denial about them), breaking down their defenses with a little bit of laughter might be just the thing they need to see the insidious role that those prejudices play in our still very racist society.

You know what they say: Admitting you have a problem is a first step. The more people are able to see the ways in which they are racist, the sooner our society will be able to take the next step toward fixing it.

Chelsea Does… premieres on Netflix on January 23.