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Everybody Hates Chris:        The Complete Series

                       review by Bobby Blakey

There is no denying that Chris Rock is one of the best stand-up comedians of all time, with his Bigger and Blacker special still holding up as one of the funniest ever. In 2005 he took not only his comedy but his life experiences to TV with the hit series Everybody Hates Chris based on his own childhood. Now you can relive all 4 seasons of the series with Everybody Hates Chris: The Complete Series.

The show follows the touching story of a teenager growing up as the oldest of three children in Brooklyn, NY, in 1982. Filled with dreams of being a cool teenager, Chris moves with his family from the projects to the "Bed-Stuy: Do or Die" neighborhood. As the family's emergency adult while his parents are working, he's responsible for taking care of his younger brother Drew, who's taller and more confident than Chris, and sister Tonya, who gets all the parents' attention. Chris' rough, cost-conscious father Julius works numerous jobs to properly support his family. Sassy mom Rochelle runs the household on a tight budget, is very strict, and works part-time in a small real estate office. With his mom determined to see him in a good school, though Drew and Tonya go to the same school in their old neighborhood, Chris reluctantly faces multiple bus transfers every day to attend Corleone Junior High in the fiercely Italian neighborhood, South Shore. Despite being an immediate target for bullies, Chris' innate charm and sharp wit enable him to make new friends, like Greg, another smart, nice kid... who can't fight, by the way.


The show featured a great cast including Tyler James Williams, Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, Tequan Richmond, Imani Hakim, Vincent Martella and narrated by Chris Rock himself. From the first episode of the series I was hooked. I admit I am late to the party on this show. I saw a few episodes when it was originally on, but not enough to really classify myself as a fan, but that has all changed now. Everyone in the cast are great and every episode is hilarious on numerous levels. The simplistic nature of real life with often over the top results makes for a great direction and one that is instantly relatable. The cast look to always be having a great time with the roles and all in making them pure perfection throughout the run of the series. The real heart of this show is of course Tyler James Williams whose role has to work or this show would have crashed and burned. While the show remained about him to the very end it was never afraid to let the supporting players get some moments to shine.


With these shows it always works even better when they create running gags and this series has a ton of them. None of them ever get old either, instead are just a part of living in the neighborhood and helps to give it character. This show was great all on its own, but the addition to so many guest stars added to the fun. This collection features all 88 episodes of the series as well as commentary, webisodes, auditions, interviews, deleted scenes and more. If you missed out on this show like I did then you have to fix this travesty now and check it out when Everybody Hates Chris: The Complete Series available now on DVD from CBS Video and Paramount Home Entertainment.  

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