Everybody Hates Chris: The Final Season (2008)

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama
Paramount || NR - 440 minutes - $39.98 || August 18, 2009
Reviewer: Kushmeer Farakhan || Posted On: 2009-08-31


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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): Ali LeRoi (created by)
Cast: Chris Rock, Vincent Martella, Tequan Richmond, Tyler James Williams, Tichina Arnold, Terry Crews, Imani Hakim


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Intro and Commentary
  • 4 Featurettes
  • Director Webisodes
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes


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

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.::THE FILM::.

Another season of Everybody Hates Chris means another DVD review. “Everybody Hates Chris” is a show I've enjoyed from the get go and have followed it through to this, it's final season. For your reading pleasure here are links to my reviews of season 2 and season 3.

As I did during my season 3 review, here's the main premise of the show I wrote for my season 2 review...

Premise (from the season two review): 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).

As with the change from season 2 to 3, there aren't many changes in the show's basic formula but there are a few notable ones that make this season standout from the others. The biggest is that Chris ends up going to a new school (Tattaglia High) after transferring from Corleone which he attended the first 3 seasons. While in Corleone he was the only black student, here the school is more integrated and he's not alone opening things up for different storylines than before. Other small but important changes include: teacher Mrs. Morello from the old school now being the principal at the new school. Sister Tanya being obsessed with Danny Glover instead of Billy Ocean, Greg being (briefly) popular, Chris finally having some luck with women, and just general everyday advancements in the life of Chris based on being older.

Therein lays the strength in season 4: advancement of storylines. In "Everybody Hates Homecoming" and "Everybody Hates Big Bird", Chris finally gets women to like him. That point is driven home even more during the last handful of episodes when Chris finally gets the girl he's wanted for most of the series, Tasha in "Everybody Hates Tasha".

Other notable episodes include "Everybody Hates James" (Chris's Dad Julius begins regularly viewing The Oprah Winfrey Show when it was new and all the men in the neighborhood follow suit. If you know any middle aged black men, ask them about it. It was a big deal at the time lol. My own dad will tell you. They felt like someone was giving them all secret codes to the mind of black women.), "Everybody hates back talk"(Chris refuses to do what his mom tells him to do because he knows it isn't right and the resulting chaos that results from that argument. I think that happens to all kids at some point), and finally the series finale, "Everybody hates the G.E.D." (Chris is faced with the idea of repeating the 10th grade but decides to drop out and take the G.E.D. instead). The final episode is particularly interesting because it kind of follows what happened to Chris Rock in real life (at least according to a handful of interviews I've seen about how he first started doing comedy and such). It also contains a spoof of the Sopranos final episode.

My biggest and only complaint really about this season is that it ends too abruptly. By that I mean that the first 21 episodes feel like "season 4" and the last episode feels like a series finale that shouldn't have aired for another 2 or 3 seasons. It feels too soon. We didn't get enough of a buildup to a true series finale. Now, sitcoms are rarely afforded that luxury so what we got for a finale in terms of plot is an achievement in a way but it's not as satisfying as it could or should be. Still, the vast majority of the season is fun and almost as great as its phenomenal first 2 seasons.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Intro and commentary by Exec Producer Ali Leroi on "Everybody Hates Tattaglia" – Co-creator and exec producer does a commentary on the season 4 premiere. Lots of little funny anecdotes and such. There's only one problem: It's the ONLY commentary on the set. Considering that this is the final season, they should've at least put one on the final episode.

Director Webisodes – These appear on just about every episode as they have on previous season box sets. They're just the director of that episode(and sometimes one of the actors) being interviewed on the set about that particular episode. Some are better than others.

Gag Reel – Five minutes of bloopers.

Candid with the Cast – this is a group interview with the the main cast of the show as they reminisce about their time during season 4 and over the past 4 years in general. Sadly it's clear that nobody is aware of the show's cancellation when this thing was being taped as they all seemed to be confident about a fifth season.

Death in the Dining Room – is a cute little piece about how much the cast and crew hate shooting scenes in the family dining room set.

Give 'Em Props - A brief featurette about some of the various props used on set (everything from fake magazines to fake food).

The "Key" to VFX – a very neat little feature that talks about the art of keying people and objects into green screen footage. I had no idea this show had so much CGI stuff going on.

"Just pour Rire"=Just for Laughs – I honestly have no idea what this was. It seemed to be a small chunk of an episode of the show redubbed with people speaking some English and some French with French accents. I didn't think it was funny, it was just strange. It felt like an inside joke that somehow was thrown on the box set for kicks.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Good. Not much to say. It's a modern day TV sitcom. We just expect it to look decent and sound okay. The disc didn't have any kind of artifacting and the colors looked right.



.::OVERALL::.

“Everybody Hates Chris: The Final Season” is funny from beginning to end. It's a little unsatisfying just because it feels like the show was a season or two away from ending with a sense of completion. Ending it here feels too soon. As a box set, this wasn’t' quite as big an effort as the previous three seasons but there's still enough here for fans of the show to be satisfied. I can easily recommend this to fans of the show and it's definitely a great funny time killer for the casual comedy fan.