One of the biggest buzz shows for the new season is Everybody Hates Chris, Chris Rock narrating a fictionalization of his own childhood. And I can see why. It’s slickly produced, well acted, honest, and verging on touching.
But judging from the first episode, it’s also obvious, predictable, and not that funny.
It could become funny. It could build its rhythms that the viewer will invest in.
Young Chris is the eldest of three offspring of a loving-but-harsh mother and a loving-but-befuddled dad. He is bussing out of the generally dangerous Bed-Stuy to a common high-school danger-level high school a few neighborhoods over, where as the sole black face in the sea of white, he is the obvious target for what dangers exist. Being responsible for siblings he cannot control and dealing with the normal struggles of sliding into the teenage years, yes, yes, it’s all well and good. Heck, I can care about this character.
But it’s not dramatic enough to carry just on that. And this oen, anyway, was not funny enough to make it great. Watchable, yes, but I actually got more laughs out of each half hour of tonight’s season opener of Joey, a notoriously disappointing show.