TITLE: TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE - VOLUME FOUR - EPISODES 61-80
DVD Release Date: June 16, 2009 (Lionsgate)
Color / 2008
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 21
Running Time: approx. 440 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: approx. 10 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English and Spanish subtitles; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: C.J. Character Profile; “Welcome to My House” featurette; Bloopers
What do you get when you have several generations of one family under one roof? You get the Payne household from the TBS hit sitcom House of Payne! House of Payne is a throwback to the older family style sitcoms of the past, and the Payne family experiences their fair share of problems just like families did in the older sitcoms. House of Payne: Volume 4 brings you episodes 61-80 of the sitcom, all of which aired in 2008, on DVD with a three disc set.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
C.J. and Janine have new partners in their love life in "Stop Being So Funky," but whose partner will win over the kids? Ella finds a lump in her breast in "Can I Get a Witness?" Calvin tells everybody that he is about to graduate from college in "Commencement Day," but it all backfires when he may not be graduating after all. One of Malik's friends may be facing his own death while staying at the Payne house in "Shock to the System." Curtis may have a new job, but it is across the country in "Compromising Position."
C.J. comes across a large amount of money in "Moral Dilemma," so does he keep it or find the rightful owner? Janine's mother comes to visit in "Living With Liz," but she isn't a pleasant person to live with, at all. The series deals with the issue of domestic abuse in "Beat Down," and the Payne family won't deal with it. Malik finds the best way to meet attractive cheerleaders in "Cheer," by becoming a cheerleader himself.
Calvin is babysitting, and it is a nightmare in "Driving Me Crazy." The house is torn apart by a four letter word in "What the...?" The guys are going camping, but the girls are going to have a good time at home in "Guys' Night Out, Girls' Night In." Curtis is concerned that Ella may be having an affair in "How Do You Spell... It's All About Me?"
Basically, the packaging is the same style that is used for the first three volumes. The outer case is a thick Amaray style case with a cardboard sleeve over it, which has a picture of the entire family standing on a drawn-on see-saw. On the back of the case, we have a listing of all of the episodes on each disc. Inside, we have the three discs, which have pictures of each of cast members on them. Disc 1 contains seven episodes, Disc 2 contains seven episodes, and Disc 3 contains six episodes and the special features.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are pretty basic, with the theme music playing in the background and the same family snapshot that we see on the cover art. We have options of Play All Episodes, Episode Selections, and Set Up, as well as Special Features on Disc 3. Play All Episodes and Special Features are self-explanatory. Episode Selections takes you to a menu where you can choose the episode (and you are given a snapshot from each of the episodes). No scene selection menus are to be found, but chapters are placed throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
How could the video quality go wrong on such a recent show on DVD? That is a question that I ask, and it isn’t a rhetorical one either. The video quality on this set is very unimpressive and suffers from some compression issues. The same can be said about the audio. To make matters even worse, the set suffers from the audio being somewhat out of sync with the video at times. There really aren’t any issues other than that, but those issues are pretty prominent on the set, and it is pardon the pun, a real “payne.” Every episode is presented in full screen (why are we still producing sitcoms in full screen in 2009?), and is in stereo (almost surprising given the quality of this set) with closed-captioning and subtitles available for each episode.
Stop Being All Funky (21:32)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (21:32)
Game Over (21:32)
Can I Get a Witness? (21:32)
Commencement Day (21:32)
A Shock to the System (21:30)
Compromising Positions (21:32)
Moral Dilemma (21:32)
Sex, Lies, and Videotapes (21:32)
Time to Clean House (21:32)
Living with Liz (21:31)
The Beat Down (21:18)
R-E-S-P-E-C-T Me (21:09)
Driving Me Crazy (21:29)
Reunited… And It Don’t Feel Good (21:18)
What the --? (21:17)
Guys’ Night Out, Girls’ Night In (21:32)
How Do You Spell… It’s All About Me? (21:32)
When I first looked at the back of the box on this set, I was impressed by a long list of special features. Of course, I didn’t read that long list at first, and then I realized that some of our great special features include “English audio” and “4x3 Full Screen Episodes.” Oh well. But we do have a few special features on Disc 3, beginning with “C.J. Character Profile” (3:30), where Allen Payne talks about the character of C.J. on the series. It isn’t all that impressive, though. “Welcome to My House” (4:38) has LaVan Davis introducing you to his house, where he talks about the set of the TV series. Finally, we have Bloopers (1:48), which shows us bloopers from this set of episodes.
I can’t understand why they don’t have commentaries or original promos for the episodes. It would seem that these would be easy to obtain.
I can’t say that I am too impressed with this show as a series. I’ve tried watching it over and over again, but the series feels incredibly cheap and also feels as if every episode was rushed through production way too fast. Perhaps this is why the producers of My Name is Earl were unable to come to an agreement with TBS regarding production of new episodes. Still, it is nice to see a true family sitcom on the air in this era of nothing but single camera sitcoms that are all about the adults and nothing else. I feel that the series would be best served by a major retooling, starting with doing fewer episodes on a respectable budget rather than doing over 50 episodes a year on a shoestring budget.
With that aside, even fans of the series are going to be disappointed with the quality of this set. We almost never see poor video quality on such recent TV series, but we definitely do see that here. The special features, while I hate to complain about a DVD set when at least an effort was made to include special features, are mostly unimpressive and highly disappointing. The bottom line is that truly dedicated fans of the series (which there are plenty out there, no doubt) will enjoy this set, but I really wouldn’t advise anybody else to bother with it unless they truly enjoy the series.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 3/5
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Special Features: 1/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 06/15/09
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