Monday, March 28, 2011

Conversation Of The Day - After Lately

(Steve puts his bare foot up on the table of the writer's room)

Chris - "Oh Steve, that's a bold move buddy."

Steve - "Chelsea took my sneakers away."

Heather - "Where are your socks?"

Chris - "Who cares about the socks. Where is your dignity."

I make no apologies with regards to my love for Chelsea Handler. Her late night comedy/interview show never lets me down. It is pure genius to have Chelsea and a trio of stand-up comics riff on the news of the day. They skewer the stupidity that is celebrity culture in an honest way and we all know that the best comedy comes from a place of truth. Both Chelsea and her round table quest are not afraid to say what they really think. It's a refreshing counter punch to all the shows like 'Entertainment Tonight' who fawn over celebrities to such ridiculous ass kissing degrees.

In 'After Lately' we get to see the often bizarre going ons behind the scenes of the weekly show. It reminds you of the great 'Larry Sanders Show' in that respect. Each staff member has evolved into a 'character' over the years on 'Chelsea Lately' and 'After Lately' fully exploits there traits to great comic effect.

This is an anti-reality show. The situations may all be scripted but since each person knows their place in the Chelsea Handler 'universe', the show comes off as fresh improvisation. The best episodes of 'The Office' did much the same thing.

Chelsea is especially good at making fun of her image as a ball busting, difficult to get along with boss. If she doesn't like your hair or your teeth or you nationality she will tease you. She comes across as a bully and seems to enjoy making everyone around her jump to her commands. Everyone would rather walk on egg shells around her than call her to the carpet for what she says or does. They know listening to her rants are just part of the job.

They also can't get anyone to sympathise with them. For example, if Chelsea is ripping on Brad for his red hair, Chris knows well enough not to stick up for him. If he does then Chris will replace Brad on the hot seat.

I think the show works because the cast is fully in on the joke and allow their faults to govern how they react to the people they work with. They all fiercely compete for Chelsea attention and would gladly undermine another staff member to get it.

They also have to always be watching over their shoulder lest they become the next victim of a prank. If they say or do something stupid you know that Chelsea and the others will never let them forget it. For example one of the staff can't dive into the pool - people try to teach him but each time he ends up looking foolish. Chelsea made sure this was all on film so that she could make fun of this person on the air the next time she did a show.

'After Lately' reminds me of the conversations I used to have with my friends over lunch. Each of us trying to be funny while ripping on each other with a kind of put-down shorthand that everyone understands. It's teasing but it's also love. If you share a similar memory then this is the TV program for you. It airs Sunday nights on the 'E' Entertainment Network.


Stacy said...

CAL! Chris Franjola just shared this link on his Facebook page! Say whaaaaaa?

Kal said...

WHAT??? How does this happen? He's trolling for news or reviews of the show?

Stacy said...

Maybe! I don't know but that's super exciting!!!!

Kal said...

I went to his facebook page but I didn't see it. Thank you for letting me know regardless. I guess I rock.

Unknown said...

I just found this page via a link on "After Lately's" facebook page - you are about to get some serious hits - monestize everything - QUICK! LOL!
Great review though!

Kal said...

Thanks for saying that Shelley. It feels pretty good to see my goofy review posted somewhere else. They really must be desperate to spread the word but they don't need to. It's a funny show. I know I have to watch to see who the 'poopetrator' is.