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CHELSEA DOES is a fairly insightful series


I realize Chelsea Handler is one of those love or hate characters, and I find myself somewhere in the middle still. However, I do find her Netflix show Chelsea Does to be insightful in terms of presenting a topic from more than one point of view, as well as showing a celebrity who tries to go outside her comfort zone. The docuseries has four episodes, each revolving around a topic of interest for Chelsea: marriage, technology, racism, drugs. Not each episode goes as deep as you'd hope, but altogether, it's not a waste of time and space, though this format is slowly, but surely becoming out-of-fashion.

That, said check out some of the thoughts going around people's head, they're quite mixed:

"They’re wildly diverse subjects, but each episode has a similar structure. The marriage episode is structured around whether or not Chelsea should get married. The race episode’s central question is why people think Chelsea is racist! The tech episode is, in a meta fashion, about Chelsea’s anxieties about doing a show for Netflix. And the drugs episode is about how people think Chelsea is an alcoholic, but she’s not. (“I glorify the lifestyle that I lead, I definitely glorify it,” she says. “I think it’s glorifiable.”)

These loglines are facetious, sort of. Handler and her team wrangle genuinely impressive interviews, like former Israeli president Shimon Peres and the family of South Carolina shooting victim Walter Scott, for the race episode. But Handler, an avid reader who generally uses press interviews to attempt to dispel the notion that her actual personality is the one we see on TV, invariably brings the conversation back to herself. The “marriage” episode, for instance, features When Harry Met Sally-style interviews with married couples speaking directly to camera about how their relationships work. It’s perfectly cute. But by episode’s end, these interviews are revealed to be building toward questions about what the couples think of Chelsea’s marriage chances." (Time)

"Put simply, “Chelsea Does” contains a lot of filler, much of which reaffirms the self-congratulatory myopia and cluelessness that afflicts much of America and certainly Hollywood as well.

Viewers would likely be best off skipping the first half of the second documentary, “Chelsea Does Racism.” There’s no better demonstration of condescending obliviousness than listening to a wealthy white woman complaining about how accusations of racism hurt her, even as she giggles mischievously about how amusing and often true racial stereotypes are. That kind of unfortunate material, which is sometimes found in the glib roundtables with famous friends that are scattered through each of the four documentaries, does nothing to either entertain or deepen what should be vital discussions of difficult and relevant topics.

However, in the second half of “Chelsea Does Racism,” an interesting and not entirely unpredictable thing happens: The less Handler talks and the more she allows a wide array of Americans to share their experiences with race, bias and prejudice, the more effective the documentary becomes. Handler takes a back seat in various interviews with white supremacists and Civil War aficionados who roll out the “heritage not hate” arguments, and she needles them in ways that highlight the preposterous elements of their arguments. " (Variety)

Watch the trailer below.

"Chelsea Does is indulgent and self-obsessed, but so is stand-up comedy. The kind way to describe that is self-knowledge, and the less-kind way is self-absorption, but either way, good stand-up, more so than other comedy formats, relies heavily on an individual point of view. In her four-episode Netflix documentary series, Chelsea Handler travels and interviews people and witnesses various facets of the global human experience, and still turns all of that into, “So, what do I, Chelsea Handler, have to say?” That’s her job as a comedian. And yet in Chelsea Does, it’s in spiritual conflict with the documentary, almost newsmagazine format, and with the show’s occasional explainer tone. Is episode “Drugs” about cultures that surround psycho-affective experiences, or about what Handler thinks about drugs? It skews heavily to the latter, but it includes enough of the former that you can’t write it off as “for Chelsea Handler superfans only.” It’s a tension the show never quite resolves, but sometimes it adds to the appeal." (Vulture)

Tags:   netflix, news, television, film news, Chelsea Does, docuseries

Related:   Chelsea Does



  • AntMan2018   239 posts
    4 months ago
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