Everybody Hates Chris - Sunday July 8

everybody hates chris
everybody hates math (21/22);
everybody hates the last day (22/22)

Concluding its second season on Five tonight is comedian Chris Rock’s acclaimed semiautobiographical sitcom set in Brooklyn, New York. Chris Rock narrates the action, which takes place in the 1980s and revolves around the antics of 14-year-old Chris and his family.

In tonight’s first episode, Chris must brush up on his algebra if his class is to have any chance of winning a pizza competition; Julius takes on a less-than-reliable employee; and Tonya gains blackmailing power over Drew when he accidentally breaks Julius’s chair.

Chris’s maths class is buzzing with anticipation over this year’s algebra competition. The class with the best score will win a pizza – but Chris’s wayward grasp of algebra could cost his classmates dear. Chris’s patronising teacher Ms Morello informs him that he needs to raise his game: “If you don’t get algebra, we don’t get pizza,” she says.

When Chris turns to Rochelle for help, she decides to tutor him –despite the fact that her mother, a retired maths teacher, is more qualified. Stubborn Rochelle refuses to ask for help: “I don’t want my mother thinking my kids are dumb,” she says. But before long, Rochelle’s hectoring style is driving Chris to despair: “When I’m working with her, I never learn anything!” he tells Greg. Chris goes behind Rochelle’s back to call on his grandmother’s help, but his progress is arrested when his mother shows up at the apartment. What will Rochelle say about Chris’s defection?

Julius, meanwhile, has hired local spiv Risky to help him with his newspaper delivery business. Unable to make a living selling knocked-off goods, Risky has reluctantly sought out a steady job. But Risky is not one to miss the whiff of a business opportunity, and when he starts using Julius’s van to transport “hot” items, Julius is less than impressed: “I can’t drive around with a truck full of stolen goods!” he exclaims. Can the unlikely pair reach a compromise?

Tonya is another person able to sense a golden opportunity, and when Drew accidentally breaks Julius’s favourite chair, she seizes the chance to blackmail him. Tonya willingly takes the blame for the chair and is forgiven by Julius, only for her to turn on Drew: “You’re going to do whatever I tell you to do,” she says. “And if you don’t, I’m going to talk.” Once again, the hapless Drew finds himself at his little sister’s beck and call.

Tonight’s second episode is the season finale, directed by ‘Fraiser’ star Kelsey Grammer, in which Chris plots revenge on Caruso; Julius has little luck fixing Mr Omar’s sink; and Drew earns Rochelle’s wrath by wearing his graduation robes about the house.

With the last day of term approaching, Chris decides to get his revenge on school bully Caruso for making his life a misery. Chris casts about for ideas until loopy ex-military man Monk advises him to “know your enemy”. To this end, Chris studies Caruso until he learns that the gingerhaired bully is a cat lover: “It was like finding out that Saddam Hussein collected Cabbage Patch Kids!” Chris says. With the help of some cat food and the school thermostat, Chris sets “Operation Caruso Revenge” in motion, and successfully frames his nemesis for a particularly unpleasant prank. But will Chris really have the last laugh?

Elsewhere, Julius is occupied fixing upstairs tenant Mr Omar’s blocked drain, but ends up making the situation worse and gets reported to the housing authority. And Drew cannot resist wearing his cap and gown around the house and out to play, despite Rochelle’s strict orders not to put them on before graduation.

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