Chris Rocks' new show:
The Hollywood Reporter's observation that "race and class melt away in the presence of these relatable characters" reminds me of something my unconsciously biased grandfather once said after seeing Ben Vereen on TV: "He was such a good dancer I didn't even notice he was black." Everybody Hates Chris isn't strident or preachy about racial issues, but it's an unabashedly black show, constantly aware of social and economic context and the way discrimination and poverty shape the lives of minority families. One of the pilot's most moving details is served up as a total throwaway: When Chris wakes his father up at 5 p.m. to begin his double shift, the big man stretches and yawns before asking dazedly, "What job am I going to?" "You're driving a truck," his son reminds him gently. This unsentimental glimpse at the daily grind of work is a rare thing in the usually class-blind world of the American sitcom.