Chelsea Handler's Netflix Talk Show Will Finally Give Her the Freedom She's Earned
When we heard that Chelsea Handler was leaving E!, our reactions ranged from oh no! to it's about damn time. After all, Handler's decision to leave E! was a personal one made because she wanted a challenge, wanted to exercise her brain, and she wasn't getting enough of that from the E! Network. One only needs to tune into 30 seconds of Chelsea Lately to figure out that Handler has a boisterous personality and a raunchy sense of humor, so, in a lot of ways, it's a wonder that the show has managed to last this long. What we saw on Chelsea Lately was Handler toned down — and now she never has to worry about that again. Chelsea Handler is getting a talk show on Netflix and that's so much better than network television.
"If I was going to continue working in this industry, I knew I had to do something outside the box to keep myself interested,” said Handler of her decision. “I wanted to sit with the cool kids at lunch so I approached Netflix to make sure they were as cool as I thought they were, and when I confirmed my suspicions, like with any other future lover, I made my move."
In case that quote didn't convince you that Chelsea Handler and Netflix are a match made in talk show heaven, there's more than one reason why you should be waiting impatiently for the very first episode.
She'd fit right in with their original content.
Handler would fit right in with Netflix's original content. Currently, their biggest hit show is Orange is the New Black, which follows the smart-talking, foul-mouthed, frequently raunchy lives of female prison inmates of different ethnicities. If smart-talking, foul-mouthed, and frequently raunchy aren't all words that describe Chelsea Handler, then we must not have been watching the same show. Of all the talk show hosts out there, she's the one who would fit in best among the likes of Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.
She can interview whoever she wants.
Another failing of network television is its timeliness. Coordinating with a celebrity to have them on your show sounds like a constant balancing act rife with desperate phone calls and confirming and re-confirming schedules. With her show broadcasting from Netflix, Handler has a lot more range with her celebrity interviews that would allow her to stress less about fitting herself into someone's schedule. It's currently unknown how often her Netflix talk show will be broadcasting, but as long as it's not daily then Handler will have a lot of breathing room.
She never has to edit her jokes.
Perhaps the most important advantage that Netflix has over network television is that Handler will never have to edit or censor herself. Her jokes on Chelsea Lately may have been outrageous, but they were only outrageously appropriate for her TV-14 rating. Netflix awards her the freedom of unrated, unfiltered entertainment, which means that her show and her stand-up will have a lot more in common than just her presence. And if her stand-up is any indication of what her Netflix show will be like, then this has been a long time in coming.
She'll tap into the viral market.
Never underestimate the power of viral marketing. The reason that Netflix is such a huge website that they can now put out their own original programming is that many people just plain don't have the time to watch things on television anymore. A Netflix show you can watch around your own schedule while a network show forces you to have to be in front of a television at a certain time, which some people simply can't do. By enabling people to watch at their own leisure, Handler will increase her fan base even further.
She has all the power.
Netflix might seem like a step down to some people since it's nowhere near as high-profile as some of the other talk show gigs and shuffles we've heard news of in the last few months. However, Handler has the advantage of intellectual freedom, something that Stephen Colbert won't have on The Late Show and that John Oliver left The Daily Show to achieve. Handler might be relying entirely on viral marketing and her own fan base to maintain her buzz when she leaves E! for Netflix, but she'll have more intellectual freedom than any other talk show host out there. And that's the greatest victory of all.