Monday, March 20, 2006

Everybody loves Chris

Five looks to be onto a winner with its new sitcom 'Everybody hates Chris', which is just the kind of thing you would have, at one time, guaranteed to be on Channel 4.

The show, loosely based on US comedian Chris Rock's life growing up in Brooklyn, has already won critical praise in the US and it's easy to see why. It turns political correctness on its head with jokes about guns and gang bangers coming thick and fast.

As well as the young Rock, his parents in the form of his fierce ghetto-snob mother and huge, but nervous, penny-pinching father comes to life. A promised trip to McDonald's means one kid gets the burger, another the fries and the last the drink. One time, Rock only gets the ice cubes.

You can easily see the pitch "it's like the Wonder Years, but with black kids" and with the added benefit of being set in the early 80s, which seems to be riding an all-conquering wave of nostalgia.

Although you could expect the writers to pump some of their best material into the opening, the jokes came consistently throughout whether it was the one about school shootings being another thing that whites stole from black people or that being the only black kid on the bus no one would sit next to him.

It's better than 'My Name is Earl', which started well, but seems to have run out of steam pretty quickly, which leaves Five with some of the best comedy on the box. Except for 'Joey', obviously.

The good news for Five was that it managed to beat Channel 4's action free alien invasion show 'Invasion' with 1.7 million viewers.

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