TITLE: EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS - THE FINAL (FOURTH) SEASON
DVD Release Date: August 18, 2009 (CBS DVD)
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 459 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: approximately 110 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed-captioned
Special Features: Director Webisodes; Intro and Commentary; Gag Reel; Candid with the Cast featurette; Death in the Dining Room featurette; Give ‘Em Props featurette; “Juste Pour Rire” featurette; The “Key” to VFX featurette; Deleted Scenes
Everybody still hates Chris, but hopefully they love the series Everybody Hates Chris, which is back one last time for The Final Season on DVD. The four-disc DVD set gives viewers all 22 episodes from the final season of the series from The CW, along with some very nice special features. Narrated and based upon the real-life of comedian Chris Rock, the series is the story of the life of a family as told from the perspective of an adult version of one of the children, Chris.
In the fourth season, we go to 1986, where Chris is a little more grown up and finally in high school. He is finally in a school where he isn’t the only black student in school, which he is happy to see at first, until he finds out that the new principal at the high school put him in the only homeroom in the school with all white kids. Greg is off to another school now, but only for two episodes, at which point he ends up transferring to the same school as Chris. So with all of the changes, is everybody still going to hate Chris at the end of this series?
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Chris has his first day at high school in “Everybody Hates Tattaglia,” but it seems that not much has really changed from his middle school days. There is a hilarious spoof of The Cosby Show in “Everybody Hates Homecoming,” where Chris has to meet the well-off father of a girl that he wants to take to homecoming. Chris decides to cheat on a book report by watching what he thinks is a movie version of the book instead of reading it in “Everybody Hates the English Teacher,” but the plan backfires. Chris goes to excruciating lengths to hang out with the cool kids and Julius takes on a third job in “Everybody Hates My Man.”
In “Everybody Hates Snitches,” Chris sees a crime for which there is a large reward, but how can he get the reward without Rochelle knowing that he was out well past curfew? Julius is impressed when a black woman finally gets her own talk show in “Everybody Hates James,” but Rochelle believes that he is having an affair with this mysterious woman named Oprah. Chris is going to Times Square on New Year’s Eve with a pair of ex-convicts in “Everybody Hates New Year’s Eve.” Steven Landesberg plays the only white guy that still lives in the neighborhood in “Everybody Hates Mr. Levine,” where Chris makes ill-fated efforts to become friendly with him.
Chris and Greg attempt to get fake IDs to get in to the Fat Boys in “Everybody Hates Fake IDs.” Chris is under some serious pressure to do well on the PSATs in “Everybody Hates P.S.A.T.s.” Barry Livingston and Kadeem Hardiston guest star. In “Everybody Hates Lasagna,” Chris has to come up with a perfect plan to hide some weed, so what better to do than to put it in some lasagna? In “Everybody Hates Spring Break,” Greg breaks a leg, and Chris is the one to blame.
Chris learns that if you park a car on the street in his neighborhood, chances are it’ll be stolen in “Everybody Hates the Car.” Chris talks back to Rochelle and she amazingly does nothing about it in “Everybody Hates Back Talk.” In “Everybody Hates Tasha,” Chris learns that life with a girlfriend isn’t at all what he thought it would be like. Is Chris a terrorist? Perhaps he is in “Everybody Hates Bomb Threats.” The series ends with “Everybody Hates the G.E.D.,” where a single tardy could force Chris to repeat the entire tenth grade.
Of course, the series has many recurring guests from TV series in the past. Tisha Martin-Campbell makes her first appearance as Peaches this season, the ex-con who just got out of prison and just wants to be friends with Rochelle as if nothing ever happened. Todd Bridges, Jackee, Antonio Fargas, and Ernest Thomas all continue to make regular appearances as well.
As expected, we just have the standard DVD case for this set, just as we have with every other CBS DVD release. The cover has a snapshot of Chris and the family with a green background, and the back has a few family snapshots as well as a larger photo of Chris. Inside, we have the four discs (no artwork on them) and a listing of all of the episodes with original airdates and descriptions. Discs 1 and 2 contain six episodes each, and Discs 3 and 4 contain five episodes each, as well as the special features.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are standard on one hand, but they obviously did have a bit of work put into them. The main menu has the theme music playing along with video clips from the episodes, and lists all of the episodes, as well as a Play All option and a Set Up option. Additionally, Disc 4 has a Special Features option. Selecting an episode takes you to an episode menu, where you can watch the Webisode for the episode or Deleted Scenes (if any). Set Up allows you to change the audio from Dolby Digital 5.1 to Dolby Digital 2.0. Chapters are placed at all of the appropriate places.
Video and Audio Quality:
I didn’t see any real issues with video and audio, aside from the audio being a TEENSY bit low on the episodes. This is common with virtually any DVD set, though. The picture looked very nice on the big screen, and did not really present any issues of concern. The audio is available in both Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound (default) or Dolby Digital 2.0. Each episode is closed-captioned.
The episodes appear to be unedited, even though there is a disclaimer saying that the episodes could be edited. There is no music disclaimer on the set, and all of the recordings within the episodes appeared to be the original recordings. Each episode runs around 20:55 or so. Exact runtimes are as follows:
Everybody Hates Tattaglia (20:45)
Everybody Hates Cake (20:55)
Everybody Hates Homecoming (20:55)
Everybody Hates the English Teacher (20:45)
Everybody Hates My Man (20:55)
Everybody Hates Doc’s (20:54)
Everybody Hates Snitches (20:55)
Everybody Hates Big Bird (20:55)
Everybody Hates James (20:55)
Everybody Hates New Year’s Eve (20:55)
Everybody Hates Mr. Levine (20:55)
Everybody Hates Varsity Jackets (20:55)
Everybody Hates Fake IDs (20:55)
Everybody Hates P.S.A.T.s (20:55)
Everybody Hates Boxing (20:55)
Everybody Hates Lasagna (20:55)
Everybody Hates Spring Break (20:54)
Everybody Hates the Car (20:45)
Everybody Hates Back Talk (20:55)
Everybody Hates Tasha (20:55)
Everybody Hates Bomb Threats (20:55)
Everybody Hates the G.E.D. (20:54)
The episode “Everybody Hates Tattaglia” has a video introduction by producer Ali LeRoi (1:12) as well as an audio commentary. Both of these are pretty standard, and serve more or less as an introduction to the changes of the fourth season, specifically Chris starting high school.
We once again have “Webisodes” for every single episode on the set. These are two to three minute behind-the-scenes clips from the director of each episode discussing the episode. They are very nice to see, and give viewers a perspective of the “making of” each episode. The runtimes for each of these are as follows:
Everybody Hates Tattaglia (2:15)
Everybody Hates Cake (2:07)
Everybody Hates Homecoming (2:39)
Everybody Hates the English Teacher (2:29)
Everybody Hates My Man (1:56)
Everybody Hates Doc’s (2:08)
Everybody Hates Snitches (2:12)
Everybody Hates Big Bird (2:16)
Everybody Hates James (2:36)
Everybody Hates New Year’s Eve (2:30)
Everybody Hates Mr. Levine (2:28)
Everybody Hates Varsity Jackets
Everybody Hates Fake IDs (2:25)
Everybody Hates P.S.A.T.s (2:09)
Everybody Hates Boxing (2:20)
Everybody Hates Lasagna (2:32)
Everybody Hates Spring Break (2:23)
Everybody Hates the Car (2:04)
Everybody Hates Back Talk (2:15)
Everybody Hates Tasha (2:29)
Everybody Hates Bomb Threats (2:26)
Everybody Hates the G.E.D. (2:24)
There are deleted scenes (approximately six minutes worth total) scattered throughout the set on many episodes, although most of these really aren’t so impressive this time as they have been in the past. Some are as short as 10 seconds. Still, it is nice to have these.
There are many special features on Disc 4, starting with Gag Reel (5:19), which is exactly what it sounds like, a reel of outtakes and bloopers from the episodes. It is generally pretty entertaining to watch. “Candid With the Cast” (27:40) is perhaps the best special feature, as it goes back with the entire cast to reflect on all four seasons of the series. It is a nice way to wrap up the series. “Death in the Dining Room” (6:00), is where the cast and crew talk about the challenges of filming the cast member dining room scenes. Believe it or not, it is very difficult to do, as the dining room is very small and confined. “Give ‘Em Props” (6:15) talks about a lot of the different props that are used on the series. In “Juste Pour Rire = Just for Laughs” (7:27), we see an entire scene from an episode redubbed in a French accent. As the title suggests, it is really just for laughs, although maybe not incredibly funny. Finally, the last “announced” special feature, “The Key to VFX” (4:30), talks a lot about the green screen technology which the series uses extensively, and how it is all done. They do side-by-side comparisons with the green screen and with the replaced background for many scenes here.
Finally, on Disc 4, you will find some Easter eggs. I won’t tell you where to find them, but among them, you will find opening credits for every season (2:11) and a “Finger Wars” featurette (0:50), which is, as it sounds, a finger wars battle between the directors. It is silly and pointless, but hey, it is an Easter egg. The only hint I’ll give you for finding these is to “search for the stars.”
After watching this season, it really frustrates me that this is the end of the series! I’ve only experienced this series through DVDs, and it seems to me that this show has evolved from a decent show in the first season to an excellent series by the fourth (and final) season. The series, in my opinion, was really hitting a high point. It is very difficult for a show that is focused on a child to do that as the child gets older, yet this series managed to do so. It is even nicer to see such a great DVD set for the series.
If there is ever a show that was underappreciated, this show definitely fits that bill. Part of the problem was that it really didn’t fit in on The CW. I guess it is true: everybody really does hate Chris. But these episodes certainly deserve some love from those that care about quality entertainment.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 08/06/09
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