TITLE: EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS - THE FIRST SEASON
DVD Release Date: October 10, 2006 (CBS DVD/Paramount)
Color / 2005-2006
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
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
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."
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.
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
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"
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.
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
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 10/14/06
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