Chelsea Handler is known for her troublesome comedic viewpoint’s of culture today, but in her recent Netflix offering, she puts aside the now for the big picture. On everything smoking with Willie Nelson to visiting plantations and confederate reenactments, Chelsea puts her own little spin on the aspects of the world she doesn’t understand.
When it was announced she was going to Netflix, Handler said she was going to do something she’s never done before. Her docu-series covers four topics that almost everyone deals with: Marriage, Silicon Valley (technology), Racism, and Drugs. She looks at all sides of each topic, and puts herself in the places that few people want to go.
In “Chelsea Does Marriage,” she has open discussions with people who are from all different types of relationships, from polygamy to arranged marriages. She talks with friends and family on why they are for or against marriage and what they’ve learned. A common factor throughout all the episodes is she talks with a therapist to learn about herself and these topics, asking the therapist why she has issues about marriage. The episode is a good way to show all the different types of relationships and how people feel about them. Mixed with her sarcastic humor, she approaches with an open mind, that does a lot of informing and doesn’t push the ideas onto you.
“Chelsea Does Silicon Valley” is mostly a showing of how technological illiterate she is. By learning about coding to trying out new devices that are still being developed, she shows how fast we are advancing our society, but also how bad she is at doing them. She also focuses in on how technology is changing how we focus, and how it is helping and damaging us. In the end she creates an app, that is actually a kind of great idea, that might not change the world, but is a convenience.
“Chelsea Does Racism” is probably the most serious and impactful one of the bunch. She openly talks about stereotypes and talks with people on both sides of racism and steretyping issues. While she is not the most politically correct person, she talks about how she feels and doesn’t put others down. (even the white supremacist who she very much wanted to) By having this conversation without guards up, she opens up a great dialogue this is super important for society. She puts aside her humor for other people, who tell their story of how racism has affected them and how it hurts the world.
“Chelsea Does Drugs” is like the racism episode where it has her humor and wit, but also real world aspects of it. She smokes weed with Willie Nelson and does a hallucinogenic in Peru, but her conversations with former drug addicts and nueroscientists show that drugs are dangerous. While she openly talks with people about her drug use and how she loves alcohol (a lot), she also doesn’t condone it, by showing what it’s done to people who have been in rehab multiple times.
While the true power of the conversations happen when Chelsea isn’t talking, the humor she brings to the powerful subjects make for an enjoyable viewing and is something that people who like to learn about the world (or need to) can do pleasantly.