OK, it’s official. I must be old because I’m about to say something only old people say….I can’t believe they put that on TV. Seriously. That’s the dialogue running through my head as I watch the previews for the new NBC show, “Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” which will air during the 2011–12 mid-season.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Chelsea Handler’s show on cable and I enjoy Laura Prepon is best known for her role on “That ‘70’s Show“. There’s also Jo Koy, a comedian who regularly appears on “Chelsea Lately“, and Chelsea herself – she plays the part of her sister on the show (although it’s a weird and disjointed performance where I feel like she’s trying not to laugh and stay in character – but she’s not doing it very well). There’s also the new quirky roommate that appears to have some promise, but there’s so much more that I’m just stymied by. It definitely feels like it belongs on Bravo and not NBC.
Why? Because it crosses the line so many times into what’s traditionally been segregated to cable over the years. Network channels have always been the stations that conform to higher standards for language and sexual innuendo. But evidently not any more. The language is actually shocking to me, as is the subject matter. No, not the lesbian kiss, or the sex on the first date, but the mocking of a DUI and drinking in general, and the overt sexual language. Granted, I’m hoping this is in the 10pm time slot so that children don’t see it, but teens will, and there’s nothing funny to me about the way they handle drinking.
Am I too old? Or is it because I live with a Fire Fighter who picks up the pieces after people drink and drive, drink and beat the crap out of each other, and drink and injure themselves? Maybe that’s why I don’t find it funny. It’s too bad, I appreciate the storyline with the seriously crazy roommate played by Lauren Lapkus, but I just don’t think I can sit through the rest. I guess sometimes books are best left on the page or in this case at the very least left to cable where raunchiness is expected.
Granted because I hated the show it will likely be a hit which is a shame. We don’t need people to have one more excuse to belittle the seriousness of drinking and driving.
Here’s a preview – what do you think? Am I being too harsh? Does this belong on network TV?
Inspired by the best-selling book from comedienne/talk show host Chelsea Handler (“Chelsea Lately”), the new comedy “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” follows the exploits of twentysomething bartender Chelsea (Laura Prepon, “That ’70s Show”) a strong-willed force of nature who is determined to live life to the fullest and make no apologies. Her friends are along for the ride but they all know it is Chelsea’s way or the highway. Mark (Jo Koy, “Chelsea Lately”) is a charming bartender whose wit makes him the perfect foil for Chelsea while Shoniqua (Angel Laketa Moore, “ER”) is a smart and sassy fellow waitress who looks out for Chelsea’s best interests. Close friend and fellow bartender Todd (Mark Povinelli, “Water for Elephants”) has a wry sense of humor that keeps her in check. Also starring are Natalie Morales (NBC’s “Parks and Recreation”) as Ivory, Chelsea’s feisty best friend; Lauren Lapkus (“The Middle”) as Dee Dee, Chelsea’s sheltered, shy roommate, and Lenny Clarke (“Rescue Me”) as Chelsea’s dad, Melvin. Handler has a recurring role as Chelsea’s sister Sloan, a happily married new mom who has little in common with her carefree sister.
“Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” is a production of Warner Bros. Television in association with Werner Entertainment and Borderline Amazing Productions. Dottie Dartland Zicklin (“Dharma & Greg”) and Julie Larson (“The Drew Carey Show”) are creators and executive producers. Handler serves as executive producer along with Tom Werner (“That ’70s Show”), Mike Clements (“The Life & Times of Tim“) and Tom Brunelle (“Chelsea Lately”).
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