Everybody Hates Chris: The First Season

Everybody Hates Chris: The First Season
It’s been billed as The Wonder Years with Chris Rock, which is a fairly accurate description of this fantastic show chronicling the childhood of the comedian, as Everybody Hates Chris has just as much warmth as the Fred Savage series. Set in Brooklyn in 1982, we follow a young Chris Rock (played by Tyler James Williams) as he does battle with an incredibly racist bully and faces various other dilemmas in an all-white high school on the other side of town. He also has to cope with the hassles of neighbourhood thugs and his own family when he returns to his Bedstuy apartment. The series is carried on the shoulders of Williams and he does an incredible job, as you can’t help but fall in love with him — even when he makes horrible misjudgements you know he’s just a young man growing up in a hostile environment doing his best to pick up the pieces. This introductory season balances hilarious comedy and touching family moments with ease, including recurring character traits such as Chris’s mother (Tichina Arnold) constantly trying to stay proud and shield her family’s poverty from her friends, while her husband (Terry Crews) can miraculously estimate the cost of wasted food down to the nearest cent. It is one of the best family comedies in ages. The DVD is loaded with extras such as a substantial featurette on the history of the show — from its conception to the final episode — focusing on every detail you could ask for, such as the crew trying to manoeuvre cameras around the miniscule Rock household. There are view-worthy deleted scenes, bloopers and auditions to add even extra padding to an already rich DVD thanks to the pure quality of this slept on series. Plus: cast and crew commentaries on select episodes. (Paramount)