Are You There, Chelsea?

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Are You There, Chelsea? TV Poster Image
Handler-inspired comedy has edgy humor, lots of alcohol.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series chronicles the wild life of a 20-year-old woman with a pretty unapologetic stance on heavy drinking and sexual promiscuity. But it does also highlight the importance of family throughout the journey of growing into adulthood.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Chelsea claims to want to change her life, but she still engages in some wild behavior. She and her sister are an example of two very different people getting along well.


Sloane's husband's is fighting in the war in Afghanistan.


Many references to sexual acts, like "dry humping"; crass words like "boners" are also used. Women are shown in their underwear and with partners in bed. Kissing. One roommate is a self-professed virgin.


Words like "hell," "ass," and "bitch" are used.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine, hard liquor, and mixed drinks are frequently visible. Chelsea works at a bar, likes to drink (a lot), and often prays to vodka. She's arrested for a DUI; continual references are made to the amount she drinks. Cigars are passed around when a baby is born.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this comedy series is based on edgy late-night comedian Chelsea Handler's best-selling autobiographical book. It's milder than her signature late-night show but still includes some of her typical humor, from strong language ("bitch," "ass") to crude sexual references ("boner, "slut"). There's also lots of drinking and references to intoxicated behavior, including a DUI. Despite all of this, the show highlights some positive themes, like the importance of a loving family relationship and close friendships.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMatterofFactIdo February 21, 2012

Disgrace to Society

I think this show is disgusting much like her other show just typical promoting sex, drugs , alcohol and herself this is nothing for children to see she is a di... Continue reading
Adult Written byJanicew February 21, 2012

Go to rehab

This show is rediculous and chelsea needs rehab she is clearly promoting being a drugged out and boozing all the time she looks like shes in her 50s acts like a... Continue reading

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What's the story?

Based on Chelsea Handler's best-selling book, Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea... the sitcom ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA? stars Laura Prepon as Chelsea Newman, a wild twentysomething barmaid who decides to turn her life around after being arrested for a DUI. Despite her best efforts to calm her life down, things sometimes get a little crazy thanks to her friend/boss, Rick (Jake McDorman), and co-worker Todd (Mark Povinelli). Friend Ali Wong (Olivia) and new roommate Dee Dee (Lauren Lapkus) are pretty eccentric, too. But her close relationship with her family, which consists of her loving but colorful dad (Lenny Clarke) and her ultra-religious but sarcastic sister Sloane (Handler), reminds Chelsea what's important in life.

Is it any good?

This loosely autobiographical series calls attention to some of Handler's own experiences during her wild 20s by highlighting endless sexual encounters and lots of drinking. But it also creates a strong family that's relentless in their support of each other, despite their differences in lifestyles and belief systems.

Are You There, Chelsea? is funny -- and definitely a milder version of the comedian's traditional fare -- but its humorous approach to alcohol use, especially, makes it inappropriate for most teen viewers. Nonetheless, the series has enough sharp wit and crass humor to make it feel genuine, and even non-Handler fans (as long as they're old enough to handle it) may find it entertaining.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way women are portrayed in TV comedies. Does Are You There, Chelsea? do anything different with its female leads? Are any stereotypes challenged or reinforced in the show?

  • What's the show's attitude toward alcohol use? Do you think it's OK to make light of getting a DUI or binge drinking? What are the real-life consequences of drinking lots of alcohol regularly?

  • What kind of changes have to be made in order to make a book into a successful show or movie? Who makes these changes? Have any of your favorite books been adapted to TV or film?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Themes & Topics

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