DVD Release Date: June 14, 2011 (Lionsgate)
Color / 2010
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Special Features: None
It’s time for another trip to the suburbs of Atlanta with the Payne family in volume eight of the hit sitcom Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. The show is currently in its seventh season on TBS, and this DVD set presents the final episodes of season six. They all originally aired in early 2010.
The Paynes were created by Tyler Perry, probably more famous for the “Madea” character. The Paynes are a modern African-American family living in the suburbs of Atlanta, who experience the trials and tribulations that a normal family does... or at least that’s what you’re supposed to believe. Sometimes the show seems more like a soap opera than a sitcom, but I digress.
The set is filled with 24 more episodes, catching us up to the current season airing on TBS. This set covers more family-oriented topics including marriage, birth, and even getting in trouble with the law.
The set opens up with “Matured Investment” in which Calvin discovers he is good with kids, and new opinionated neighbors move in next door. In “Who’s Your Daddy, Now?” CJ meets his long lost father for the first time. Some lighter comedy in “Date Night x3” in which the Payne men take their wives out for a triple date that ends up being disastrous. In “Drinking Game,” Malik and a young friend learn about getting drunk the hard way when they do so while home alone. “Oh Christmas Paynes” is a nice holiday episode (held over from the previous set) in which different family members tell their own version of the nativity story. And in the season finale “Payneful Resolution,” Calvin is finally graduating from school and Miranda is going into labor--- but Calvin ends up getting arrested for not paying child support.
The episodes in this set are a little less soapy, and a little more focused on family comedy... but I still have a hard time growing attached to this family. The acting isn’t the best, and neither is the writing.
Episodes appear to be uncut, as they originally aired on TBS:
Matured Investment (21:32)
Who’s Your Daddy Now? (21:32)
Feet of Clay (21:32)
Date Night x 3 (21:32)
Watch the Son Shine (21:32)
The Drinking Game (21:32)
Who’s on Top? (21:32)
Help! Help! Help! (21:32)
Stinging Payne (21:30)
Worth Fighting For (21:32)
Oh! Christmas Paynes (21:32)
Who’s Your Nanny (21:32)
The Chef (21:32)
My Fair Curtis (21:32)
Rest for the Weary (21:32)
Thug Life (21:32)
A Payne in Need is a Payne Indeed (21:32)
House Guest (21:32)
Payne Showers (21:32)
Playing With Fire (21:32)
When the Payne’s Away (21:32)
Payneful Resolution (21:32)
The set comes in another environmentally friendly Amaray keep case with a page for the second and third discs. The plastic is thinner and there are big holes, meaning less plastic as used to make the set.
The case is inside a cardboard sleeve featuring the show logo in bright red letters, along with a (first season) shot of the main cast. All of this is against a white background with artwork of clouds and birds. The back cover has another shot of the cast along with a short description of the show and a list of which episode is on which disc.
The discs themselves continue the white/clouds/birds theme with one or two characters on each disc (Curtis on Disc 1, Ella on Disc 2, and Malik & Jazmine on Disc 3)
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are similar to previous sets. The main menu has the same shot of the cast as the front cover (with the white backgrounds and clouds) as the show’s theme song plays. Curtis eventually urges you to make a menu choice. The choices are Play All Episodes, Episode Selection, Set Up, and on Disc 1 Also from Lionsgate, which is a collection of trailers for other Tyler Perry productions on DVD. Chapter stops are placed at commercial breaks.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video quality is quite clear. Everything looks sharp and colors are very vibrant, even though the show is produced for cable on a tight budget. The show, however, is produced in 16:9 widescreen, and these episodes are 4:3 full screen.
Sound is fine also with 5.1 and 2.0 versions available. Each mix sounds crisp and clear, with only minor stereo/surround effects.
Each episode is closed captioned and also has English and Spanish subtitles.
There are no special features on this set aside from the obligatory trailers on disc one. After eight volumes, I’m not sure what Lionsgate could have included, but there must be blooper reels or something... and commentaries or interviews would be nice as well.
While I’m not a fan of this show, it does have a devoted following, and I guess I can see what people like about it. The show is a mostly wholesome family comedy about the trials and tribulations of an African-American family. Too many prior shows about black families have been too stereotypical. However, the show has its problems too. Both acting and writing are uneven and the show sometimes feels more like a soap opera.
That said, Lionsgate has not been putting much effort into these sets. No special features and full screen video presentation are both major problems. We’ll see if either of those are resolved on any future sets.
As I said earlier in the review, this wraps up the 2010 season of the show and catches us up to the season currently airing. Therefore, there will likely not be anymore House of Payne releases until the current season finishes its run on TBS.