TITLE: EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS - THE SECOND SEASON
DVD Release Date: October 9, 2007 (CBS DVD/Paramount)
Color / 2006-2007
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 7 hours, 37 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: approx. 70 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Commentaries (4 episodes), Deleted Scenes, “Everybody Hates the Cast and Crew Again,” “Everybody Hates a Day in the Life of Tyler James Williams,” “Everybody Hates Mr. Omar’s Women,” “Everybody Hates Vincent’s School Tour,” “Everybody Hates Stand-Ins,” “Everybody Hates Carruso-isms,” “Everybody Hates Mrs. Morello’s Racism,” “Everybody Hates Wardrobe,” Gag Reel
Everybody hates bad TV shows, but who can hate Chris? Well, apparently everybody DOES hate Chris if you read the title of the show, but it is hard to hate him on this show! The Second Season brings us 22 episodes from the series second season (and its first season on the now year-old CW network) as well as plenty of special features in a four-disc set.
The show picks up where the first season left off, with the family life continuing as it has... but to make the series more interesting, the series has been enhanced with supporting characters. And they go all the way to bring back all of our favorite actors and actresses for this season, including Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), Jackee (227), Whoopi Goldberg (The View), Ernest Thomas (What’s Happening!!), Antonio Fargas (Starsky & Hutch), and Todd Bridges (Diff’rent Strokes)! Who can hate a show with all of these people?
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Whoopi Goldberg guest stars in “Everybody Hates Rejection,” where Chris learns the first rule of love: you’ll get rejected. Chris has to make the perfect campaign speech when he is running for class president in “Everybody Hates Elections,” except his opponent has stolen his speech! Chris tells everybody about his new girl in “Everybody Hates a Liar,” except she isn’t even his girlfriend… at least not yet. Jason Alexander makes his first appearance as the principal in “Everybody Hates the Buddy System,” where he comes up with a way to make Chris and Caruso friends.
Chris could be facing impeachment as class president in “Everybody Hates Promises.” Wayne Brady plays Julius’ brother in “Everybody Hates Thanksgiving.” Chris has to take care of an egg for a week (as if it were his child) in “Everybody Hates Eggs.” It’s a snow day, but Chris doesn’t know and shows up at school anyway in “Everybody Hates Snow Day.” Chris decides to cut school to go see the movie Ghostbusters when his teacher doesn’t show up at school in “Everybody Hates Cutting School,” but do you care to guess where his teacher actually does show up? In “Everybody Hates DJs,” Chris becomes a DJ--and scratches Rochelle’s James Brown album. The season ends with “Everybody Hates the Last Day,” where Chris decides it is finally time to get revenge on Caruso. Does he succeed?
Somehow, this DVD set has managed to SOMEWHAT escape the cheapened CBS DVD packaging that has been used lately! We have double slim cases! The front of the box has Chris and the other cast members on it, and we have pretty much the same thing inside on the slim cases. However, inside the slim cases, we DO have the standard CBS DVD artwork, which consist of nothing more than plain gray discs with the title of the show on the disc. Pretty boring, really. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6, Disc 2 contains episodes 7-12, Disc 3 contains episodes 13-17, and Disc 4 contains episodes 18-22 as well as the special features.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are pretty much the same as they were on the first season, with the main menu presenting you with a listing of the episodes, a Play All option, and a Set Up option, while the theme song plays in the background. Disc 4 contains a special features option on the main menu as well. When you select an episode, you usually get a submenu with options to turn on commentaries, see deleted scenes, or watch the webisode related to it. However, if the episode contains none of those things, the episode will play right away. Chapters are placed appropriately throughout all of the episodes.
Video and Audio Quality:
New shows are hardly ever a problem as far as video and audio quality is concerned, and that is the case for this show. Every episode is presented in widescreen format and the audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, although there is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound track available on the set. Every episode is closed-captioned.
As often is the case, our friends at CBS DVD have given us their infamous disclaimer: “Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions.” I don’t know what could possibly be edited, however. From what I can tell, all of the music appears to be intact, but I have a feeling that something somewhere is missing within one or more of the episodes. It isn’t a serious issue though, because everything appears to be okay. All of the episodes run at approximately 20:55, with the exceptions of “Everybody Hates Hall Monitors” and “Everybody Hates Chain Snatching,” both of which run at about 20:15.
They’ve done it again, bringing us plenty of special features for this set! Let’s begin with commentaries… you’ll find them on “Everybody Hates the Class President,” “Everybody Hates Promises,” “Everybody Hates Thanksgiving,” and “Everybody Hates Chain Snatching.” In fact, “Everybody Hates the Class President” actually has two separate commentary tracks. Some of the tracks are by the cast members, some are by producers, but the best ones (in my opinion) are the ones where just the kids do the commentaries--that is the kids that star on the show. It brings an interesting perspective to the commentaries.
Next, we have deleted scenes, which are just scenes that were removed from episodes (due to time constraints it appears in most cases). There are a lot more this season, in fact only a few episodes lacked them this time. In many cases, it is understandable as to why the scenes were deleted (they often were unnecessary for the episode and take up valuable time that could be used for commercials), but it is still nice to see them included on the set. There is a total of about 15 minutes worth of these throughout the set.
We have several webisodes on the set, which are basically just behind-the-scenes clips based upon certain episodes that feature a guest star or producer of the series. These are included on “Everybody Hates Malvo” (1:51, featuring Debbie Allen), “Everybody Hates Eggs” (2:12, featuring Jerry Levine), “Everybody Hates Chain Snatching” (1:53, featuring Lev L. Spiro), “Everybody Hates Baseball” (2:06, featuring Ali LeRoi), “Everybody Hates Gambling” (1:56, featuring Jason Alexander), and “Everybody Hates the Last Day” (1:53, featuring Kelsey Grammer).
Now, onto the featurettes on Disc 4… there are a lot of them! Basically, we have 46 minutes worth of stuff, beginning with “Everybody Hates the Cast and Crew Again” (20:24). It is exactly what it sounds like: the cast and crew talk about the series and the things that had to be changed for the second season. We pretty much get all of the cast members and producers doing their part in this featurette, and we also get the man himself, Chris Rock, talking about how it is important that the show stays a family oriented show. We even see some of the actors that aren’t part of the main cast in this featurette, including Ernest Thomas, Todd Bridges, Loretta Devine, They discuss a lot about how using these (and other) well-known actors in parts of the extended cast make the series even better.
In “Everybody Hates a Day in the Life of Tyler James Williams” (4:31), we get to, well, take a glimpse into the life of the actor that plays young Chris in the series. It is basically what it sounds like--cameras follow him through a day and he talks about the day.
If you didn’t get enough of Ernest Thomas earlier, there is another special feature devoted to his character in “Everybody Hates Mr. Omar’s Women” (3:54), where Ernest Thomas talks about his character and how he has a way with the women in the show. Sometimes it is hard to tell when he is in character and out of character in this interview.
If you’ve ever wondered how TV children get educated, you can find out in “Everybody Hates Vincent’s School Tour” (2:48), where Vincent Martella takes us on a tour to the “school” where the children of the series attend (which is actually just a room on the set).
Next, we have a very interesting featurette, “Everybody Hates Stand-Ins” (2:07), where we get to see what it is like to have a fake family sit down at the dinner table while the cameramen rehearse a shoot at the kitchen table... and we have a girl standing in for Chris on here! Right after the clip, we see the real thing, and how similar (and different) it turned out to be.
“Everybody Hates Caruso-isms” (2:30) explains in plain English everything that Caruso says in the series... basically he’ll say a line and then a pop up (somewhat like Pop Up Video) will come up with a narrator explaining the significance of what was just said. It is a fun featurette to watch.
We have a featurette devoted to Chris’ teacher, Mrs. Morello, in “Everybody Hates Mrs. Morello’s Racism” (2:26) where she talks about all of the racist things she says in the series... of course, it isn’t the type of racism that is over the top as in KKK style racism, but mostly a result of incorrect stereotypes.
In “Everybody Hates Wardrobe” (6:21), we basically have the series costume designer talking about the wardrobe for the series... and how he selects the fashions for the episodes.
Finally (yes, there is one more thing!), we have the Gag Reel (2:38), which is exactly what it sounds like it is.
Everybody may hate Chris, but who can hate this DVD set? It brings 22 more episodes of this show that is probably among the most underappreciated sitcoms on television today to DVD for all of us to enjoy. It reminds me more of those 80s sitcoms where the story was about the family and not about the relationship of some couple or life at a given workplace. We need more sitcoms like this on the air, but unfortunately, the powers that be prefer to focus on more grown-up sitcoms. This show really is too good for The CW. Hopefully the show will go on for a few more years and we’ll get more seasons on DVD... and people, stop hating on Chris!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 09/30/07
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