I love Chelsea Handler. I'm told some people don't love her as much as I do, but anyone who takes issue with Handler probably frowns upon things like drunken one-night stands, and why would I care what somebody like that thinks? Yawn.
Anyway, I love Chelsea, and that's why I got kind of worried when I heard the news that producers of her upcoming NBC sitcom Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea fired nearly half of the show's cast over the weekend (among the axed: Natalie Morales, Angel Laketa Moore, and Jo Koy). Laura Prepon is still on board to play the main character (a younger Chelsea), and Chelsea will still be playing her own sister. But apparently the entire premise of the show is getting a makeover, and those eleventh-hour re-tools are rarely a good sign.
Sitcoms-as-vehicles for comedians are always a gamble. I mean, sure, there are the huge success stories: Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Roseanne. But then you have the epic fails, like According to Jim and All-American Girl starring Margaret Cho, with Cho's sitcom nightmare the most relevant cautionary tale for our purposes. Like Handler, Cho is an unapologetically raunchy, tell-it-like-it-is kinda gal (my favorite kind). But instead of letting Cho's style dictate the sitcom's direction, the network hijacked the show and dragged it off into safe-for-primetime, let's-not-piss-off-the-censors land.
If the producers of Are You There Vodka ... take a similar approach, the show will rapidly disintegrate into what Handler would call "a hot mess." And because I want Handler to consistently kick ass, I'd hate to see that happen.
Although, she'd definitely get some stellar stand-up material out of the experience.
Do you think Chelsea Handler's sitcom will turn out to be as funny as she is?
Image via Getty/Jason Merritt