What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this warmhearted sitcom is funny and smart, but its themes are too mature for younger kids. Chris' parents make empty threats when their kids get into trouble; these comments are portrayed in a comedic light and aren't meant to be taken seriously (in fact, the parents are strong role models overall, teaching their kids responsibility and helping family members learn from mistakes). There are jokes about drugs (becoming a "crackhead"), and the "N" word is used sparingly (usually to make a specific point). There's also some mild kissing and jokes about teen pregnancy.
What's the story?
EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS is about the trials and tribulations of teenage Chris (Tyler James Williams) -- and about many real-life issues, such as dealing with strict parents, constantly being picked on by a racist bully at school, and having a more popular, better-looking, taller younger brother. Based on comedian Chris Rock's childhood in Brooklyn, the early '80s-set show puts an unusual spin on the usual sitcom formula. Rock narrates, there's no laugh track, and stories deal humorously with real issues. Chris' parents work multiple jobs and still struggle to pay the bills, all while making sure their kids get a good education and stay on the straight and narrow.
Is it any good?
Chris doesn't shy away from addressing racial stereotypes. For example, much is made over the fact that Chris' father, unlike most other families on the block, is still around to support the family financially and emotionally. The show even goes so far as to mention the "N" word, which a conventional sitcom wouldn't dare utter without the program being considered a "very special episode."
Everybody Hates Chris is a prime example of how to take serious issues and approach them in a humorous yet thought-provoking way. The series is innovative, funny, and stereotype-defying -- enjoyable for teens and their parents.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the kind of issues explored on the show versus those on more conventional sitcoms. How prevalent is the type of obvious racism depicted on the show?
Are Chris' parents realistic about how they punish him and his siblings?
Can your kids point out what has changed, if anything, between the time in which this sitcom takes place and now?