Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Season Premiere of "Everybody Hates Chris"

Sunday night was the Season 2 premiere of "Everybody Hates Chris" on UPN The CW. At least I'm pretty sure it was the season premiere. Anyway, before I rant about the show itself, a few words about the new network: this The CW (and it's actually called The CW -- kind of like a television version of tOSU) might actually work. Before The CW arrived, here in the Southern California region the old WB network was KTLA channel 5 and UPN was channel 13. Or if that's too confusing:

KTLA = for white people
UPN = for black people

With the new The CW there's a nice blend of programming on channel 5 that caters to everyone. Check out its lineup: "Smallville," "Veronica Mars," "WWE Smackdown," "America's Next Top Model," "Everybody Hates Chris," "7th Heaven," "Gilmore Girls" and "Supernatural." Every demographic is pretty much covered. Well except maybe us Asians, but we do really want "All-American Girl Redux?" All in all, this seems like a winning combination, and maybe The CW will even contend with the big boys one of these days.

The same can't be said for channel 13, which is now relegated to the craptastic title My13. Too bad the network name isn't the only thing that stinks. I think there's a show called Fashion House, which is like a mediocre soap opera. Otherwise I don't know the hell My13 is going to do for new programming. Oh well, at least "Seinfeld" reruns are still in effect.

So back to the original topic: the season premiere of EHC. It was less than stellar. Jokes about being poor and old-school hip-hop references (Chris Rock loves his Whodini) were nice, but ultimately the show was a disappointment. The plot was ho-hum: Chris tries to ask out a girl, his brother is getting bombarded by chicks, and the mom and the new neighbor (played by Whoopi Goldberg) fight over who gets to run the Neighborhood Watch. Also, the episode relied too much on jokes that sidetracked. Something would happen, then the voiceover would make some joke about how it things turned out in the future. Cut to some pop culture snapshot. Hell, at one point there was the obligatory clip of OJ's Bronco speeding down the freeway. You know, cuz black folk are always getting chased by white cops. Groundbreaking material, I know. But more importantly, it was just random shit as opposed to humor coming from the characters and their predicaments.

Ultimately, a sitcom has to be situational and comedic, and this episode didn't do a good job in either category. Hopefully story- and punchlines will pick up once the season gets rolling.

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