This is probably one of my gravest TV mistakes: not watching the brilliantly-written Chris Rock comedy live. Everybody Hates Chris was an excellent coming-of-age family comedy based on Rock’s upbringing in New York. While most of the humor was settled in the harsh realities of 1980s black inner city life, it’s heart was in the dynamics between Chris (Tyler James Williams) and his family.
Terry Crews and Tichina Arnold were superb as Rock’s parents; the hard-working frugle Julius; and nurturing, but no-nonsense Rochelle. And the colorful cast of characters in his community – from his liberally racist white teacher to the neighborhood thief – made for a classically underrated series. Black teenage life on television is rarely shown, and Chris was an exceptional example.