Everybody Hates Chris (but I don’t!)

UPN’s Everybody Hates Chris is the best sitcom that’s come along in quite some time.

NBC’s quirky and funny but short-lived Committed was the last sitcom I really liked, but it only lasted 13 episodes before being cancelled. Chris has already been picked up for the 2006 fall season on the new CW network, though, and I’ve got a feeling this show will stick around for quite awhile based solely on the stature of its creator, comedian Chris Rock.

The show could stand quite well on its own even without Rock, though. It’s well-written and features an excellent comic ensemble led by Tyler James Williams as Chris; Tichina Arnold (Martin) as the mother, Rochelle; and Terry Crews as the father, Julius. The lively and expressive Crews, who can often communicate more through three seconds of body language than half a page of dialog, is especially fun to watch.

Everybody Hates Chris isn’t meant to be autobiographical, but it’s inspired by the childhood experiences of Rock, who grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Set in 1982, the program focuses on the daily exploits of 13-year-old Chris, while the adult Rock provides narration (a la The Wonder Years, but funnier).

It’s a great show and, since it’s not on the network run by complete morons (NBC), maybe it’ll actually stick around for a few years. I know I hope so.

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