Image Credit: Brandon Hickman/E!Just one thing concerns me about the upcoming NBC series based on Chelsea Handler’s best book to date, 2008’s Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea: I’m worried that the focus group-approved Chelsea will turn out to be a perky, hysterical, and rom-com-y character, instead of the awesomely mean, promiscuous, and lazy Handler we get from the books. I remain cautiously optimistic, though, since Handler will executive produce the show — and because her books are so freaking funny. So, as a Handler fan, I give you a few deliciously mean and hysterical chapters from Vodka that I really, really hope the show covers:
“Prison Break”: It’s unfortunate that the show won’t be on HBO, because this story is like the female version of a cross between The Wire and Oz. Due to her belligerence and a big misunderstanding, Chelsea spends the night with some rough characters at a women’s correctional facility. I have no idea how NBC would base an episode on this not-suitable-for-primetime story, but I hope they try. I will never think of ham and cheese sandwiches, hammers, Smurfette, or Game Boys the same way ever again.
“Big Red”: I hope they turn this story into a two-parter — it’s so rich. There’s potential for an A-, B-, and C-plot here: Chelsea attempts to overcome her own prejudices by dating a Ginger; in the meantime, she kidnaps a goldfish and two-times the Ginger with a B-list actor who lives in her building. It’d be funny (but disturbing) if they cast Carrot Top — or Brad Wollack — for the titular role.
“Re-Gift”: This isn’t as laugh-out-loud funny as other stories in the book, but it’s a work of art. It’s full of Seinfeld-ian misanthropy, and so many different threads and characters converge to create the perfect comedic tableau. Handler’s long-winded pal Aubrey is such a crazy, complex character. I imagine Judy Greer playing her well.
PopWatchers, which of Chelsea’s stories–and let’s open the pool to all three of her books–would you want to see as episodes of the new series? And how can NBC make them good?