The A.V. Club‘s T.V. editor, Todd VanDerWerff, has been doing some extremely entertaining tweeting at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Events like this might be easy picking for funny comments, but regardless, he’s hitting it out of the park.

My favourites so far have been for the new midseason NBC sitcom, Are You There, Chelsea? The main topic of conversation has been the baffling name. Anyone familiar with comedian Chelsea Handler should be a little puzzled, too. Her book, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, is the basis for the show.

That title makes plenty of sense. Are You There, Chelsea? doesn’t. It makes the show sound like more of an existential journey then I think they’re going for. Why the change? According to Handler — and as quoted by VanDerWerff — the name change came because “not everybody likes vodka.”


VanDerWerff also notes

“Because we were a midseason show, we really had time to fine-tune the show,” says Laura Prepon… of the title change. #tca12 #doubt

Add in this gem:

This executive producer is comparing Chelsea Handler (the character) to Roseanne. Now, he calls her “half-male/half-female.” #no #tca12

That’s a heck of a lot of red flags for one show. Combine all that with the show it’s blocked with on the NBC schedule, Whitney, a show based on the comedy of Whitney Cummings that has been trying to revive uninspired relationship sitcom plots for a season to no avail. Handler has a huge following thanks to her talk show, Chelsea Lately, which she has built into a cable favourite. But wow does this ever seem hopelessly mismanaged.