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Everybody Hates Chris - The First Season


TITLE: EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS - THE FIRST SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: October 10, 2006 (CBS DVD/Paramount)
Color / 2005-2006
MSRP: $49.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: approx. 483 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: approx. 70 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Commentaries (4 episodes), Deleted Scenes, Audition Videos, "Everybody Hates the Making of Everybody Hates Chris," "Everybody Hate Tichina's Theme Song," "Everybody Hates the Music," "Everybody Hates the Set," "Everybody Hates Video Cameras," "Everybody Hates Ali's Photos," and "Everybody Hates Bloopers."


Introduction:

Everybody loved Raymond, but everybody hates Chris! Well, at least that is the title of the show—if you watch it, you may find that you actually like Chris. The first season of Everybody Hates Chris, that is, the show that was a hit for UPN last season, before UPN ceased to exist. And now, that first season is on DVD in a four disc set.

Everybody Hates Chris is basically (well loosely, anyway) about the life of comedian Chris Rock (played in the show by Tyler James Williams). And when he was growing up in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn--and going to school in a white neighborhood that is nowhere near Bed-Stuy. At school, he has only one friend, Greg (Vincent Martella), because everybody else at school just wants to beat up Chris. Tichina Arnold plays Rochelle, Chris' mom; Terry Crews plays Julius, his dad; Tequan Richmond plays Drew, his brother; and Imani Hakim plays his sister, Tonya. And Chris Rock narrates the show himself.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

I have never seen the show before, so I really don't know what would be a memorable episode or guest star. But, of the many episodes that I watched, I have to say I was generally satisfied with the show and found a few that I thought stood out from the rest.

"Everybody Hates the Pilot," is, of course, the first episode of the show, that sets up what is going on and why Chris is at the school that he is going to. It is helpful to watch this before any of the other episodes. In "Everybody Hates Sausage," Julius decides to buy a huge crate of sausage, and now all the family has to eat is sausage, over and over and over again. And Tonya just doesn't like sausage, but Rochelle is determined to make sure she eats it, so how will the family get through this crisis? It's Halloween and Julius and Rochelle are fighting over whether to give out M&M's or the off-brand M&N's in "Everybody Hates Halloween."

Julius finds $200 worth of food stamps in "Everybody Hates Food Stamps," and Rochelle sees this as her big opportunity to go to the grocery and buy name brand food for once, and she splurges—which is fine until she runs into a friend in the checkout line and decides to pay with cash instead because she is too proud to use food stamps. Rochelle and Julius can afford Christmas presents for everybody... except Chris... in "Everybody Hates Christmas."

In "Everybody Hates the Gout," Julius has gout and is forced to stay at home and rediscovers one of his old loves--The Young and the Restless. Meanwhile, Chris gets a bad grade at school and decides to get a forged report card, which will work well if he just doesn't get caught. Rochelle's father (played by Jimmie Walker) dies in "Everybody Hates Funerals," but what is really upsetting Rochelle is her mother (played by Loretta Devine) who is a condescending control freak. Tim Meadows guest stars in "Everybody Hates Corleone," where Chris tries to get himself expelled from school because he hates the white kids school.

Jackee guest stars in "Everybody Hates Drew," where Chris tries to be better than his brother (for once!). Chris brings one of Julius' magazines to school in "Everybody Hates Playboy;" can you guess what magazine it was? The only thing Julius wants for Father's Day is to be alone in "Everybody Hates Father's Day."


Packaging:

The packaging is pretty much the standard Paramount (or CBS DVD, whatever they are calling themselves these days...) packaging, with the four discs and double slimcases. The front of the outer box is basically just a cast photo and the back has more photos, nothing that really stands out necessarily. Inside, as already mentioned, there are two slimcases, the first of which holds Discs 1 and 2 and the second of which holds Discs 3 and 4. The slimcase for Discs 1 and 2 is green (and the discs inside are green with basic cast photos) and the slimcase for Discs 3 and 4 is purple (and the discs inside are purple with basic cast photos). The back of each slimcase includes episode information for all of the episodes on the discs with brief descriptions and airdates for each episode. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6, Disc 2 contains episodes 7-12, Disc 3 contains episodes 13-18, and Disc 4 contains episodes 19-22 as well as a majority of the special features.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus were very nicely done for the most part. Basically, the main menu on each disc gives you a listing of episodes, as well as a Play All option and a Set Up option with the theme song continuously looping in the background, and video from episodes of the show on the left-hand side of the screen. Additionally, Disc 4 has a Special Features option. Basically, once you select an episode, the episode begins to play right away—unless there are some episode related special features such as commentaries or deleted scenes. If these exist for the episode you select, you get a submenu where you watch these.


Video and Audio Quality:

This is a new show, with many episodes on the set being less than a year old, so the video and audio quality is basically about what one would expect--mostly perfect. The set presents all of the episodes in 16:9 widescreen format and each episode has two English audio tracks, one in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and the other in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound. Some people may think that there is no difference between those two audio tracks, but the Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound works better for those that aren't using very high tech equipment. If you use the Dolby Digital 5.1, you are going to hear a hissing noise in the background unless you are using good audio equipment. The episodes are all closed-captioned for those that require it.

Each episode is mostly unedited running at 21 minutes per episode. Mostly unedited? You are probably wondering what I mean by that. Apparently, the music editing bug has hit this set! I would have never expected that a modern show, with producers knowing DVD is a reality, would have music that could not be cleared for DVD, but apparently there is some. Now what is the replaced music? I have no clue, because I have never seen the show before and to be honest, there is so much recognizable music on the episodes in the set that I don't think much has actually been replaced. However, the packaging itself clearly says that some music has been edited, and I really don't think they would put a disclaimer like that on a package unless there really IS some replaced music.


Special Features:

There are plenty of special features to go around on this set! First, there are commentary tracks on four of the episodes. The episode "Everybody Hates the Pilot" includes commentary from Ali LeRoi, Chris Rock, and Reginald Hudlin; the episodes "Everybody Hates Keisha," "Everybody Hates the Babysitter," and "Everybody Hates Greg" have commentaries from Imani Hakim, Tequan Richmond, Tichina Arnold, Terry Crews, Tyler James Williams, and Vincent Martella (except Martella is not present for the "Everybody Hates the Babysitter" episode).

There are plenty of miscellaneous deleted scenes to be found on the set... well the episodes on Discs 1 and 3 anyway. Some are interesting, others are not so interesting. The episodes that include the deleted scenes are "Everybody Hates the Pilot" (1:38), "Everybody Hates Keisha" (0:38), "Everybody Hates Sausage" (0:35), "Everybody Hates Fat Mike" (0:24), "Everybody Hates Halloween" (1:19), "Everybody Hates the Lottery" (0:38), and "Everybody Hates the Gout" (0:43)

Disc 4 has lots of other special features, such as "Everybody Hates the Making of Everybody Hates Chris" (24:17) which, well, as it sounds, talks about the making of the show with plenty of interviews to go around. "Everybody Hates Tichina's Theme Song" (1:50) talks about the theme song, which Tichina Arnold actually came up with herself, "Everybody Hates the Music" (5:12) talks about the music within each of the episodes, "Everybody Hates the Set" (3:02) talks about the set, "Everybody Hates Video Cameras" (5:32) has footage that Tyler James Williams taped himself while walking around the set (I really enjoyed this special feature to be honest), "Everybody Hates Ali's Photos" (4:19) talks about the many photos that Ali LeRoi takes on the set, and "Everybody Hates Bloopers" (3:51) has a series of bloopers from the season.

Finally, there are audition videos for all of the stars of the show (16:40), which you can watch for each star individually or play them all in a sequence.


Final Comments:

As I stated previously, I had never seen this show before, and my expectations for this show were kind of low. However, after having actually seen the show, I think I can honestly say that I think this is a pretty good show and now I wonder why I totally ignored the first season (maybe it had something to do with the fact that UPN aired it; seriously, how could you take ANYTHING on UPN seriously?). The special features are plentiful and provide much insight on what the show is all about. So don't hate Chris, try watching the show on The CW if you have to, and if you like what you see, pick up this set!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 10/14/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000HDR87S/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=185305


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