TITLE: TYLER PERRY'S HOUSE OF PAYNE - VOLUME FIVE - EPISODES 81-100
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010 (Lionsgate)
Color / 2008
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 20
Running Time: approx. 440 minutes
Runtime of Special Features: approx. 8 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English and Spanish subtitles; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: Calvin Character Profile; Bloopers
It’s time for a little more “Payne” with Volume 5 of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne! The three disc set contains 20 more episodes, which aired in summer 2008 on TBS. The series is Tyler Perry’s own, about an intergenerational family all living under one roof. In this set of episodes, son Calvin (Lance Gross) is getting ready to march down the aisle with Miranda (Keshia Knight Pulliam), but there are of course going to be a few snags along the way. That’s how it all goes in the House of Payne!
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Everybody gets stars in their eyes when a popular actor begins frequenting the barber shop in “And... Cut” Ella is going through menopause in “Fired and Desire.” The series deals with a soldier returning from Iraq in “Unsung Heroes.” The barbers find out that Delante has been living in the barber shop in “Pissed, Poor, and Paranoid.” In “True Lies,” one of Calvin’s friends pretends to be a Payne to impress a lady. Curtis has a heart attack in “Meet the Lucases.” Calvin wants to propose to Miranda in “Can’t Buy Me Love,” but is worried that he isn’t wealthy enough for her.
Jazmine gets a perfect score on an aptitude test in “Unexpected Results.” C.J. and Janine get held up at the barber shop, leaving Curtis and Malik to chaperone Jazmine’s slumber party in “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.” Ella becomes a controlling future mother-in-law in “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?” In “Party Over Here!,” Calvin’s bachelor party happens anyway, even though he promised Miranda it would be canceled. The set ends with “We’ve Come This Far by Faith,” a two-part episode where Calvin and Miranda may finally be getting married.
The packaging is the same as it has always been, with a double thick keep-case with a cardboard sleeve on the outside. Both the keep-case and the sleeve have the exact same artwork, with a family photo, the series logo in orange, and a line sketch of a city skyline in the background. There is another (different) family snapshot on the back, as well as a listing of the episodes contained on each disc. This is the only place where you’ll find any type of episode list on this set. Inside, we have the three discs, with Disc 1 having a picture of Ella and Curtis, Disc 2 having a picture of Malik and Jazmine, and Disc 3 having a picture of Calvin and C.J. Disc 1 and Disc 2 each contain seven episodes, while Disc 3 contains six episodes and the special features.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu on each disc has the theme song playing with a family snapshot (the same as the one on the cover art) and options of Play All Episodes, Episode Selections, Set Up, Also From Lionsgate (Disc 1 only), and Special Features (Disc 3 only). There is some narration on the menus (I think it may be Tyler Perry himself, but I’m not sure) telling you “Welcome to Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” and some prompting you to make a choice. Episode Selections takes you to a menu where you can select the episode that you want to see, with four episodes on each screen. There is a snapshot from each episode on this menu as well. The “Also From Lionsgate” option on Disc 1 is basically just a bunch of trailers for several Tyler Perry movies. Chapters are placed throughout each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
Once again, this set suffers from unimpressive video and audio quality. I still fail to see how a series this new could look and sound as bad as this one does on DVD! That isn’t to say it is a disaster, but a newer series should have very clear video and audio. There some to be a lot of compression issues, and just as has been the case with previous releases, some of the video is out of sync with the audio. Also, since this series is produced as cheaply as possible, the episodes are not in high definition, and are presented in full screen standard definition. Is the production company serious? Are they really making new episodes of a sitcom in standard definition? It isn’t even a high quality standard definition picture, and has a very early 90s feel to it. The episodes are all presented in stereo, and each episode is closed-captioned and subtitled.
There don’t appear to be any problems with episode runtimes. Runtimes for each episode are as follows:
And... Cut! (21:23)
Old School vs. New School (21:12)
Fire and Desire (21:32)
Unsung Heroes (21:32)
Pissed, Poor, and Paranoid (21:32)
True Lies (21:32)
That Sounds Sweet (21:32)
Meet the Lucases (21:32)
Out on a Limb (21:32)
Can’t Buy Me Love (21:30)
To Have and to Hold (21:32)
Unexpected Results (21:32)
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble (21:31)
Father’s Day (21:32)
Whose Wedding is it Anyway? (21:31)
All Is Not Lost! (21:30)
Party Over Here! (21:27)
The Last Supper (21:29)
We’ve Come This Far By Faith, Part 1 (21:26)
We’ve Come This Far By Faith, Part 2 (20:45)
The special features list for this set isn’t too impressive, but there are two minor ones included, both of which can be found on Disc 3. First, we have bloopers (3:25), which are exactly what they sound like--bloopers from the episodes on the set. Sadly, if you are going to laugh at anything on the set, this is probably going to the only thing you do laugh at. The other special feature is a Calvin Character Profile (4:17), where we find out more about the character of Calvin by interviews with Lance Gross (who plays Calvin), along with brief appearances from other cast members, including LaVan Davis, Cassi Davis, and Allen Payne. There isn’t much in here that those who have watched the show don’t already know.
Commentaries would be nice for this set, but there really isn’t much that happens on the episodes that would be eventful and worth discussing. It would be really nice to see Tyler Perry take part in some of the special features on future sets.
Normally, I limit my complaints with DVD sets to problems with the actual DVD itself and not the quality of the series. But for the sake of full disclosure, I think it is necessary for me to say that this series has gone from okay to mediocre to awful as it has progressed. The series wasn’t too bad at the beginning, but with the production schedule consisting of making three times the normal number of episodes a year with a much smaller budget than the series making 1/3 as many episodes, the series has become just a lot of idle noise with plots that are overstretched. It is an awful show, and these comments come from a reviewer that has a capability of enjoying almost anything. Tyler Perry is, in my opinion, a creative genius, and it seems almost shameful that he is willingly and happily allowing his legacy to be tarnished by this awful series. The worst part is that this series could have the potential to be a great series. It has a great setup, and a standard good-natured family sitcom, particularly one featuring an African American family, is very much needed on the air these days. In fact, the set up for the series (but not the execution) is much like Family Matters, which actually was a good show. But when the series contains poor plots, unfunny jokes, and a boring cast, the formula falls apart. It is important to mention that my opinions about this series are not isolated. I hear these same complaints about the series no matter where I go.
Still, this series does well for TBS, so well in fact that it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. And any show that has enough fans to keep it on the air will also have fans to buy it on DVD. So this set of disappointing episodes is available for those who are really interested in the series. But if you’ve never seen the series, this set is too risky to take a blind buy on to see if you like it. Try watching a few episodes on TBS, and if by some chance you are not in “Payne” after watching them, then pick up this set. Otherwise, spend your money on something else--anything else.
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 01/25/10
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