TITLE: TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE - VOLUME THREE - EPISODES 41-60
DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009 (Lionsgate Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 20
Running Time: 438 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English and Spanish subtitles
Special Features: Ella Character Profile; “Everybody Loves a Player” featurette; Bloopers
Once again, it’s time for the Payne family on DVD! Volume 3 of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne brings another twenty episodes of the TBS original sitcom to DVD, beginning with the three part episode “Trial By Fire” and concluding with the episode “Wife Swap.”
Tyler Perry’s House of Payne is a rarity as far as modern sitcoms are concerned. Unlike most of the sitcoms of the modern era, it is a sitcom about a family, almost a throwback to the sitcom styles that we knew and loved in the 1980s. But you can’t just put a random family together and make a sitcom. There must be some “angle.” In this series, the angle is that several generations of a family--the Payne family--have come together under one roof after having their fair share of problems. But Curtis, or “Pops” as he is known, is the head of the household and is determined to make the family strong in spite of past situations. He is determined to see success in everybody. Will he find that? Find out in this three disc DVD set!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Considering the pace at which the series goes (50 episodes per season), it is hard to really create that “one special episode” that stands out with this series, but there are many episodes worth noting on the set, beginning with the three part episode “Trial by Fire.” In this episode, where the fire company is on the search for one of their own during a fire--C.J. He has become trapped and lost in a burning structure. The firehouse becomes part of a reality TV series in “Reality Check.” In “There’s No Place Like Home,” Janine is out of rehab, but ends up in the Payne house.
Janine’s return home proves challenging for Malik at school in “Mommie Dearest,” as his classmates find out about her problems. In “Aches and Paynes,” Jazmine has a toothache, but what’ll it take to convince her to see a dentist? One of Janine’s former drug dealers arrives and wants his money in “The Big Bang Theory.” Curtis has to become the little homemaker of the Payne house when Ella gets the flu in “Bad Influence.” C.J. and Janine go to a party, as a couple, in “It’s Getting Hot in Here.” The family wants to know what is next for C.J. and Janine in the following episode, “Don’t Get It Twisted.”
The packaging used here is essentially very similar to the first two sets. It really isn’t that exciting at all. The cover art has the show title and a family snapshot, and the back gives basic information about the set. There is a cardboard sleeve on the set, but when you take the cardboard sleeve off, you’ll find the exact same artwork inside on the large Amaray style case. It isn’t one of those nice and thin ones, it is one of those unnecessarily large ones. It contains three discs, which have snapshots of the Payne family on each of them. Disc 1 contains episodes 41-47, Disc 2 contains episodes 48-54, and Disc 3 contains episodes 55-60 and the special features as well. The set does not include a nice episode guide or anything like that, just a mere listing of the episodes on the back of the DVD case.
Menu Design and Navigation:
Ehh, they aren’t that impressive. You just have the theme song and video from the episodes playing on the main menu, with options of Play All, Episode Selection, and Set Up. Disc 3 also gives you a Special Features option. Everything does pretty much what you’d expect, with Episode Selection giving you a menu that has pictures from each of the episodes. Set Up allows you to switch between the Dolby Digital 5.1 standard track to the Dolby Digital 2.0 track, and also allows you to turn on English or Spanish subtitles.
Video and Audio Quality:
The first thing that’ll leap out at you is that this is a modern sitcom and... the video and audio does NOT leap out at you. In other words, it is very standard and honestly a little disappointing considering how recent this series is. The episodes are all presented in full-screen (as TBS airs them), which is much different from the widescreen format that we are used to seeing sitcoms in these days. The audio doesn’t really have anything special to it, but you can use a Dolby Digital 2.0 or a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. Additionally, there are English and Spanish subtitles, as well as closed captioning.
This show has very little variation on episode runtimes, and I mean very little. All but two ran at exactly 21:32. Runtimes for all of the episodes are as follows:
41. Trial by Fire, Part 1 (21:17)
42. Trial by Fire, Part 2 (21:32)
43. Trial by Fire, Part 3 (21:32)
44. Crazy in Love (21:32)
45. Reality Check (21:32)
46. Piece of Mind (21:32)
47. There’s No Place Like Home (21:32)
48. Mommie Dearest (21:32)
49. You Big Dummy (21:32)
50. It’s a Boy (21:32)
51. Aches and Paynes (21:32)
52. The Big Bang Theory (21:32)
53. Step it Up (21:32)
54. No Payne, No Gain (21:32)
55. Devil in a Blue Suit (21:32)
56. Bad Influence (21:32)
57. Play on Playa (21:24)
58. It’s Getting Hot in Here (21:32)
59. Don’t Get It Twisted (21:32)
60. Wife Swap (21:32)
There have been special features on every set for this series. That is the good news. The bad news is, they’ve been, well, somewhat lame. They are all on Disc 3 for this set once again, beginning with “Ella Character Profile” (3:35). Remember the Character Profile for Pops in Volume 2? Well, basically this is the same thing, just a few clips and interviews talking about the character of Ella. “Everybody Loves a Player” (2:31) where Lance Gross (Calvin) talks about, well, how to be a “player.” There isn’t much else to it. Finally, we have some bloopers (2:26). That is just what it sounds like--various outtakes from the episodes contained on the set. There isn’t really anything too outrageous here, and they probably could have found more bloopers than what they included. Oh well. I don’t understand why we don’t have commentaries on these sets, as well as more interviews besides the 30 second snippets that are found on the set.
They really are cranking out the episodes of this show at a very fast rate! The series has been on for about two years, and in that time period, TBS has managed to air over 100 episodes and 60 of them are already on DVD. How often do you see that happen? Although, I think that the series would probably be better served to go at a slower pace on making the episodes, because a lot of the plots in the episodes seem to be rushed together and put together haphazardly.
Still, the series remains, as the sticker on the packaging says, the “#1 Cable Sitcom,” and although the competition isn’t really that broad for cable sitcoms out there, the series didn’t just earn that distinction for no reason at all. It obviously has a large share of fans out there that enjoy the series, and those fans will, of course, enjoy it on DVD. It isn’t exactly a show that I fully enjoy, but it is nice to see a family sitcom in the modern era. We don’t get too many of those anymore. So you may want to bring a little bit of Payne into YOUR home.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 1.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 01/15/09
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