'After Lately' review: Hilarious for 'Chelsea Lately' fans, terrifying for H.R.
"After Lately" premieres this Sunday (Mar. 6) on E! and gives us a peek into the "Chelsea Lately" offices, which are clearly not for the faint of heart.
Show writers Brad Wollack and Chris Franjola, who also star on the new show and often sit on the "Chelsea Lately" round-table, tell Zap2it that the semi-scripted comedy could be considered "groundbreaking."
"Not to toot my own horn, but it's really funny," Franjola tells us. "I don't like to use the term groundbreaking, but... no one's done anything like this before."
Each show will follow a 30-minute story arc in which the staff-members reenact some of the craziest behind-the-scenes shenanigans that they've encountered over the years. We're told the first season will feature at least two "unexpected" celebrity guests, who will re-live a few hilarious situations involving the daily guest appearances. We're hoping for 50 Cent, but that would be too obvious.
"It's semi-scripted, but with a lot of ad-lib," the writers explain. As for the format of the show, it can best be compared to the style of "The Office," but with a lot more inappropriate jokes. We're not complaining.
The first episode introduces us to some of the key players in the office, including Wollack, Franjola, Heather McDonald and Sarah Colonna among others. If you're hoping to see Chelsea's little nugget Chuy, he only makes a brief appearance. But not to worry -- we're told he will still hold a prominent role in the series.
While we often see Chelsea lambasting her co-workers on air, we don't usually witness the level of inter-office abuse that the rest of her staff members partake in. Though Wollack tells us that he often suffers the most abuse, we actually see writer's assistant Jiffy bearing the brunt of attacks from almost everyone on staff.
Behind all the practical jokes, we watch the Chelsea crew vying for a spot on a private jet heading to Cabo. Only 10 people can fit on the plane and it becomes a dog-eat-dog office as the staff members jockey to improve their stock and get an invite on the trip.
We already knew this cast would have amazing chemistry and bring on the laughs, and we're plenty satisfied with our first look at the show. It looks promising for the future, so long as the insults stay fresh and in our professional opinion -- they should introduce more booze into the show.
We don't think "After Lately" will garner any new fans who aren't already avid "Chelsea Lately" watchers. Viewers who aren't familiar with the round-table dynamic of Chelsea's writers might not understand or relate to the antics on the show, but we will say if you've ever found yourself laughing while watching the round-table, this new venture will have you cracking up without a doubt.
While watching the show, we were reminded of one quote from our interview with Franjola -- "If you don't already know your faults, you'll figure them out real quick working in this office." Now thanks to "After Lately," the rest of the world gets to see those faults as well.
To read more from our interview with Franjola and Wollack, click on over to Pop2it.
Watch the show Sunday's at 11 pm on E!.