‘Chelsea’ Defies the Typical Confines

After eight years at E!, Chelsea Handler is back with a series that defies the typical confines of “late-night talk shows.”

click to enlarge Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler

After eight years at E!, Chelsea Handler is back with a series that defies the typical confines of “late-night talk shows.”

Airing on Netflix Wednesdays through Fridays, each 30-minute episode of Chelsea (Series Premiere Wednesday, Netflix) can be streamed at any time of day. In moving to the platform, Handler’s famously “unfiltered” style can truly be uncensored — not only in terms of bleeps, but topics, too.

On Chelsea Lately, the pool of current event topics revolved around the latest Kardashian hairstyle change or Bieber arrest (hey, it was E!). Chelsea takes its host around the country and world to bring a more global mix of discussions to her guests and studio audience in LA. This move frees up Handler to not only interview celebrities, but also to tackle heavier issues like education, as in this week’s premiere, where she chats with U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King. And, no, Chuy didn’t make the move with her.

That doesn’t mean Chelsea is all serious. Thursday’s episode finds Handler in Mexico behind the scenes of a telenovela, and Friday’s features the cast of Captain America: Civil War having family dinner at the hostess’ house.

Between Samantha Bee (Full Frontal on TBS Mondays) and Handler, it’s clear women are finding their place in late-night talk, and they’re flipping the genre on its head.


The Path (Hulu) – Eddie brings Hawk along for a spiritual journey; Cal shares a secret about Eddie with Sarah and comes to terms with his violent side. When Nicole goes into labor and experiences problems, Sarah miraculously saves the baby.

Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – It’s Dede’s wedding! Manny convinces the family to travel via train, where Phil and Cam hope to spot their favorite writer and Claire and Mitchell prepare a toast.

Black-ish (9:30 p.m., ABC) – When the rest of the family comes down with the flu, Dre must take care of everyone while avoiding getting sick.

States of Undress (10 p.m., VICELAND) – Hailey goes to China, where she notices a shift from manufacturing mecca to a more creative hub.

Skin Wars (10 p.m., GSN) – Perks of having RuPaul as a judge: The artists paint swimwear onto drag queens.


Inside Amy Schumer (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – Amy plays the sax, tries to shop and is elected as the first female president.



aturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – Drake hosts and performs as musical guest.


The Family (Season Finale, 9 p.m., ABC) – OK, probably series finale. Claire visits the bunker where Adam and Ben were held; as Nina gets closer to Doug, Jane attempts to escape; and Hank faces his demons. And it all comes down to a phone call.

Game of Thrones (9 p.m., HBO) – Tyrion meets a Red priestess and makes a deal in Meereen as Jorah and Daario zero in on Daenerys in Vaes Dothrak. As the former khaleesi prepares to join the Dosh Khaleen, Drogon intervenes. In King’s Landing, Jaime and Cersei stand up to the Faith Militant. Moving on to the Starks,


a girl takes on a new role; Sansa finds familiarity; Jon receives a threatening message.


RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season Finale, 9 p.m., Logo) – The 12 queens of Season 8 gather to spill the tea, announce Miss Congeniality and crown America’s Next Drag Superstar. 


Woman (10 p.m., VICELAND) – Gloria Steinem brings viewers to Columbia, where female rebel fighters in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia attempt to re-enter society.

CONTACT JAC KERN: [email protected], @jackern

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