Everybody Hates Chris: The Second Season (2006)

Genre(s): Comedy / Family
Paramount || NR - 420 minutes - $38.99 || October 9, 2007
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2007-10-14


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: Chris Rock, Vincent Martella, Tequan Richmond, Tyler James Williams, Tichina Arnold, Terry Crews, Imani Hakim


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Cast and Crew Commentaries
  • Everybody Hates the Cast and Crew Again
  • Everybody Hates a Day in the Life of Tyler James Williams
  • Everybody Hates Mr. Omar's Women
  • Everybody Hates Vincent's School Tour
  • Everybody Hates Stand-Ins
  • Everybody Hates Carusso-isms
  • Everybody Hates Mrs. Morello's Racism
  • Everybody Hates Wardrobe
  • Webisodes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

This DVD was a pleasure to review. I was always a huge fan of Chris Rock, in fact he's my favorite stand up comic so when this show first came out, I decided to give it a try. During the first season, I only watched the pilot and didn't watch too many others because it was on at the same time as several other shows I watched and for awhile, that was it for me and “Everybody Hates Chris”.

Then I got my own apartment and a DVR. All of a sudden, I could watch a LOT more TV shows at once. That and at the start of the show's second season, it moved to a less competitive timeslot and that's when the love affair began. Two months later, I got Season 1 on DVD for Christmas and the circle was now complete. I officially had a new favorite sitcom.

For those who haven't seen it, “Everybody Hates Chris” is a fictionalized account of how comedian Chris Rock grew up. The show follows his family and their daily trials and tribulations. There's Julius, Chris's father who works two jobs and is notoriously thrifty, Rochelle, Chris's mom who yells a lot and loves chocolate, his younger brother Drew who loves hockey and is great with women, and his youngest sister, Tanya who's obsessed with (now) washed up R and B singer, Billy Ocean.

The show also follows Chris at school (where he hangs out with his friend Greg and deals with a bully named Carusso) and through his neighborhood (working for the neighborhood grocer, Doc and dealing with various neighborhood weirdoes).

Season 2 is not much different than season 1 as every episode has the same basic setup. Chris has a problem of some sort (either in class, with a girl, with one of his siblings, with his job, or some other weird problem) and must find a way to solve it. During the same episode, his parents and siblings would usually have their own storylines for the episode going. The various storylines often intersected and would also feature various recurring characters popping up. Another unique thing about Everybody hates Chris is that jokes were often punctuated by cutaways (ala “Family Guy”) where Chris would say something and we'd cut to him or another character dressed as a vampire or something. You get the picture. The show is also narrated by Chris Rock himself in voiceover (although Rock never actually appears, at least not in this season of the show).

I think “Everybody Hates Chris” is one of the funniest and best shows on TV. The acting is very good (particularly in the parents and the goofy recurring characters) and the kids are no slouches either. I also love how all of the stories can appeal to everyone. Although the show features a black family, there are rarely ever "black" problems and I love that about it. This, like “The Cosby Show” before it, feels more universal (and for me, it means these black people are actually LIKE my family which I rarely ever see on other black sitcoms). The show isn't very dramatic but it doesn't have to be. “Everybody Hates Chris” is a very smart and funny sitcom and I can't recommend it enough.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Audio commentaries - There are 5 audio commentaries on the set. 2 of which are done by the kids from the show, 2 are done by the actors who play the parents and there is one done by the writer and director of that episode. The commentaries by the kids are enjoyable but uninformative. I think they would've been better with a writer or producer or something to keep them flowing better. The one with the writer (Ali Leroi) and director (Jerry Levine) is probably the best as it's the most informative and not slow in the least. The two with the parents are a mixed bag. Their first commentary is a bit dry but the second is much better.

Everybody Hates the Cast and Crew Again is a 30 minutes making-of special where exec producers Ali Leroi and Chris Rock, as well as the regular and recurring cast talk about how the show has progressed from season 1 to season 2 and some of the different episodes during season 2 and the genesis behind them. One comment during the making of I found particularly interesting was when Chris Rock said that he thinks of the show kind of like the Simpsons and that's why he and the other writers created so many goofy recurring characters. I think it was a great idea and I'm glad they did it. Usually, I find sitcom making-ofs to be kind of dull compared to ones for dramas and animated cartoons but this one is surprisingly upbeat and fun.

Everybody Hates a Day in the Life of Tyler James Williams is a 10 minute featurette where we follow the young actor who plays Chris through the set and how they shoot episodes.

Everybody Hates Mr. Omar's Women is an interview with actor Ernest Thomas who plays Mr. Omar, the local funeral director and womanizer. I really enjoyed this interview as Thomas was a childhood icon for me, having played Roger on the 70's sitcom “What's Happening?”.

Everybody Hates Vincent's School Tour is a short little tour provided by Vincent Martella who plays Chris' friend, Greg of the school that the kids who work on the show go to. It's kind of neat if you've ever wondered how child actors still go to school when they're working.

Everybody Hates Stand-Ins is a short side by side comparison of a scene shot first using the actors' stand-ins and then the final sequence using the actual actors. It was kind of weird how Tyler James Williams double is a short little chunky woman.

Everybody Hates Carusso-isms was a bit of a disappointment. I was expecting it to be an interview with actor Travis Fory about his bully character, Caruso. Instead what we get is 3 minutes of "definitions" of the various racial comments Carusso routinely flings at Chris is in the show. For example, Carusso might call Chris, a tar baby or something and in this featurette, they'll show that scene then freeze it and tell you what a tar baby is.

Everybody Hates Mrs. Morello's Racism was a hoot as it was an interview with actress Jacqueline Mazzarella who plays Chris's teacher. I'm a big fan of her on the show. She's an unintentionally racist teacher and she has a lot of funny dialogue in the show.

The Webisodes are interviews with the directors of that given episode. They're usually about 3 minutes long and give you an inside look at that episode and how it was constructed. My favorite webisode was for director Lev L. Spiro. Apparently, the kids on the show like to throw things at him.

The deleted scenes are sprinkled throughout the set and are accessible at the menu within each episode selection. Some of them are funny and some are just hard to understand because they're not accompanied by Chris Rock's usual narration and thus you don't know what's going on in them. The deleted scenes really could have used some optional commentary since they weren't all self explanatory.

Everybody Hates Wardrobe is a short featurette where we get a look of the different 80's era outfits the cast has to wear.

Gag Reel of bloopers. Standard stuff.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Looks good, sounds great. I thought it was kind of weird that the sound on the pictures was WAY louder than the episodes but that isn’t' really a big deal.



.::OVERALL::.

”Everybody Hates Chris” is the best sitcom currently on TV in my opinion and one of the best shows in general. I think it appeals to audience of every age, race, etc. and I can recommend it to just about anybody. The DVD is a nice mix of featurettes and commentaries. If you're a fan, it's a must buy and if you just like sitcom DVDs, pick it up then too.