A Chelsea Handler Show on Netflix? Oh Hell to the Yes
Not everyone watches, understands, or appreciates Chelsea Handler. Which, sure, fine, opinions are free to be different. But we, personally, find the comedian to be one of the funnier, sharper wits out there, as evidenced by her cutting commentary on her late night talk show Chelsea Lately. And while we love tuning in to see what sort of frank and refreshing takes she'll have on pop culture's most ridiculous moments, we're even more excited about the recent news that Handler might be working on a Netflix show. Because finding Handler a home on Netflix may just be the best thing for her.
According to the interview with Paper Mag, Handler admits that "she's working on developing shows for a few fellow comedians," in addition to dropping hints about a Netflix project for herself. "I'm on a network that doesn't get a lot of people watching, so all my people, I'm bringing in," she quipped. "So if I'm doing that on that network, imagine what I could be doing where there are viewers." She doesn't shy away from her accomplishments, and for that we just absolutely adore her.
While increased viewership is certainly a good thing — and something Handler more than deserves — we're mostly excited for the content. Because on a network like E!, in addition to having to haggle with the FCC's code of decency, Handler and her comedic talents are limited. On Lately, the topics of conversation are solely pop culture-fronted and leave little room for the talents and intelligence Handler possesses to really shine. (Did you see her 92Y talk with Ronan Farrow? You really should.) On Netflix, Handler will be able to curry a bit more creative freedom, really focus on her voice and vision without having to frame it for a very particular audience.
And it would be a great venue for her to infuse a bit more of her seriously thoughtful but still hilarious side. In addition to being generous, supportive, and funny, Handler is also far more introspective and earnest than people might expect if they based their opinions on the general line of thought. Her frankness is an admirable asset that the world would do well to see more of. People are quick to dismiss Handler (to which I say: kiss my ass you ignorant know-nothing), as evidenced by the recent remarks from Bill Carter. But outside of the preconceived notions of her network and show's talking points, there's an intelligent, feminist comedian with a strong point of view and an empowered sense of self — something television is still in desperate need of — who has worked hard to establish herself, and managed to thrive against the odds stacked against her.
I've often wondered why Handler was never considered as a frontrunner for the Late Night desk — E! and NBC are sister networks, after all — and believe, if anything, it was a missed opportunity for the network to do something actually, honest-to-goodness different. But perhaps it was a blessing in disguise, because Handler is a woman with presence, gravitas, and unrelenting honesty — something that often intimidates people (because uuuuugh this life). By working with Netflix, a company notable for its risk-taking and ground-breaking on the scripted content front, Handler will be able to craft something that is wholly her own, totally unique, and actually original. And we, for one, couldn't be more excited about the prospect.