During the opening monologue of her first episode Chelsea Handler proclaimed that she was "finally getting to do the exact kind of show that I’ve always wanted to do" and that she would be treating the show like "the college education she never got."
We were promised something new from the late night format, as much a learning experience as entertainment, and something new from Netflix who had never done a weekly series or a talk show before.
We’re now six weeks in, so how is Chelsea getting on?
It is early days, but the show is struggling to gel. It has not yet figured out how to transition smoothly between segments without the natural breaks created by ads.
The segments (a mix of interviews and pre-recorded video clips) themselves don’t always fit together. In one episode you had Lizzy Caplan being interviewed about magic and her film Now You See Me 2, followed by an interview with scientist Bill Nye on the topic of GMOs. Another episode saw a political journalist discuss the US system of super delegates, and then a truly bizarre interview with Megan Fox on astrology. A recent episode had Wiz Khalifa being interviewed alongside the Lieutenant Governor of California on the topic of marijuana legalisation.
The video inserts are also hit and miss. The dinner party episodes (one about Marvel, one about parenting) worked particularly well, while others seemed shoehorned in just to fill up time. There is a reoccurring 'financial advice' segment with DJ Khaled, which although entertaining, adds little value to the show.
Despite these flaws, the show is attempting to do something new, and has a distinctive voice different to other late night shows. Each episode is based around a loose theme, and tries to give the audience new found knowledge on that particular subject. It doesn’t always come together, but it is trying.
Ultimately, your enjoyment of the show will depend on your opinion of Chelsea Handler. Fans of hers will overlook the shows issues and watch for her personality. If you aren’t a fan, you might not find much to draw you in.
New episodes are released on Netflix every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.