Did I just see a cliffhanger? I must have, because that’s what “Everybody Hates Corleone” felt like. For this episode, Chris (Tyler James Williams) got fed up and decided to find a way out of Corleone Junior High. The plot felt big enough to be a season finale, but it felt like it was re-written half way through because it seemed anti-climatic.
Chris got bullied everyday by everyone — that included Joey Caruso (Travis T. Flory). If your kid was bullied that much, there would be only two options: either the school does something about it, or the parents will. The choice given to him by Chris’s parents is that he must learn to deal with it. Julius (Terry Crews) even used black leaders and heroes of the past to cement his reasoning. It would have seemed like a smart-mouth line, but I would have said, “Not everyone is Martin Luther King, Jr” in response to his parent’s suggestion. I guess those frustrations are nothing compared to ones I had about the episode’s sub-plot.
Julius finally got a new job during the day working at a local fish market. The only problem — he comes home smelling like his work. His children and his wife Rochelle (Tichina Arnold) can’t stand the smell. The situation becomes so bad they nearly kick him out of the house. This is comedy and it was a funny plot, but there’s something strange about kicking a man out because he takes a good job during the day.
I used to work a night job — that’s why I’m up all hours of the early morning writing. I hated it, and I hated being tired at the end of it only to then have to take the bus all the way back home. Five years of sore feet and a sore personality took its toll on me, so I quit. Then in sheer brilliance, I took another night job — full-time! I’ve eventually come to the conclusion it wasn’t for me. If I was gonna work, I might as well do it to suit what I like — Me? I like sunshine and normal sleeping hours.
The episode concluded with Julius quitting his day job and going back to working two jobs — the one at night and the one in the morning. Chris ended up staying at Corleone after he visited a school closer to home. Like at Corleone, he was bullied there, too. I believe leaving his previous school would have meant the end of Greg (Vincent Martella) and his relationship with Chris, which was probably the whole point of toying with Chris leaving. Greg was his partner — or victim — in crime and made him feel like he wasn’t the only one dealing with the bullies in school.
Although Everybody Hates Chris was primarily made for an African-American audience, the show has never been afraid to ask questions of the community that aren’t asked a lot. Do we leave schools that don’t want us? Do we work jobs that suit us more than those jobs that suit our needs? Do we do what’s right for our families? No television show will get credit for answering all of these questions. That being said, I like Everybody Hates Chris for asking them.