TITLE: MEET THE BROWNS - SEASON 1 (EPISODES 1-20)
DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011 (Lionsgate)
Color / 2009
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 20
Running Time: 440 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Special Features: None
Here we are, with another DVD set from Tyler Perry, set in the suburbs of Atlanta. This time it’s Meet the Browns: Season 1. The show premiered on TBS in early 2009, hot off the success of House of Payne. The show is a spinoff of the stage play and movie of the same name, though really has little to do with either. The plot revolves around Mr. Leroy Brown (David Mann), who thinking he is following instructions left behind in his father’s will, opens a retirement home called “Brown Meadows.” (Actually the will read “Take care of the old” but the second page was missing which continued “Thunderbird in the garage.”) Mr. Brown is an older African-American man has a penchant for loud clothes and seems to get confused a lot. Along for the ride is his daughter Cora (born illegitimately to Tyler Perry favorite Madea who is never seen in this series) played by Tamela Mann, his doctor nephew Will (Lamman Rucker), and Will’s nurse wife Sasha (Denise Boutte). The family has high values and is very religious. Most of the comedy comes from the wacky inhabitants of the retirement home, but a lot of it comes from Mr. Brown himself, who is a very comical character. The show isn’t as soap-ish as Payne but does at times tackle serious subjects.
While the show really isn’t my cup of tea, it is funny at times, and the character of Mr. Brown is a very funny character. Everyone in the show has a tendency to overact (a problem that also plagues House of Payne) but for some reason it’s funny when done by Mr. Brown, who is intended to be the show’s comic relief.
This set is inexplicably called “Season 1” even though it comprises the 10 episodes of season 1, along with the first 10 of season 2. Highlights of the set include the first episode “Meet Brown Meadows,” in which Mr. Brown opens the retirement home, “Meet the Dependents and the Divas,” in which two orphans arrive at the Brown home that Sasha and Will eventually decide to foster, and “Meet the Dangerous & the Deadline,” in which an old abusive boyfriend of Sasha’s is released from jail. Every episode includes the word “meet” in the title.
Many of the episodes seem really short, but that is probably how they aired on TBS:
Meet Brown Meadows (21:25)
Meet London and the Competition (20:10)
Meet the Dependents and the Divas (20:57)
Meet My Family (21:32)
Meet My Maker (21:33)
Meet the Babies (21:32)
Meet the Dangerous & the Deadline (21:18)
Meet the Faithless and the Faithful (21:32)
Meet the Truth (21:30)
Meet the Future (21:31)
Meet the Parents (21:31)
Meet Your Match (21:05)
Meet the Profits (21:04)
Meet the Class (21:26)
Meet Mommie Dearest (21:27)
Meet the Matchmaker (21:20)
Meet Career Day (21:32)
Meet the Cousins (21:32)
Meet the Body (21:32)
Meet the Mexican (21:04)
Similar to the House of Payne sets, this one comes in a standard sized environmentally friendly keep case with a page inside to hold additional discs. This is then inside an O-ring that shares the same artwork. The front cover features the entire cast with a blue motif. Mr. Brown is front and center along with the show’s logo. The back cover has some shots from the show along with a picture of Mr. Brown dancing, and a list of which episode is on which disc. The discs themselves have the show’s logo along with a photo of cast members. Mr. Brown is on disc 1, Cora on Disc 2, and Will and Sasha on disc 3. The packaging is very attractive and fits the mood of the show.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus are functional and attractive. The main menu maintains the blue motif. A picture of Cora and Mr. Brown is on top with some shots from episodes behind them, while menu options are below. Those include “Play All,” “Episode Selection” and “Set Up.” “Also From Lionsgate” is also an option on disc one, which is a set of trailers for other Tyler Perry DVDs. All the while, the show’s theme song plays in the background. The episode selection menu features a picture of either Will or Sasha (depending on which page you’re on) and thumbnails of the episodes along with their titles. The menu works very well for the set.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video quality is much better here than on the House of Payne sets for one simple reason: widescreen. These episodes are presented in their original 16:9 aspect ratio, as they were originally produced. The video itself is very clear, with no compression problems. Colors are also very vibrant, which is very noticeable on some of Mr. Brown’s very loud clothing. Audio is fine also with a choice of stereo 2.0 or surround 5.1. I honestly cannot tell the difference between the two audio mixes, but maybe someone with a better trained ear could.
Another Tyler Perry set with no special features—unless you count the trailers on disc one, and I wouldn’t. There has to be some sort of special features they could put on this set—interviews with cast members, commentary with cast or with creator Tyler Perry. Unfortunately, we get none of those things, and given the track record Lionsgate has had with the House of Payne sets, I doubt we’ll see any special features in the future.
This show isn’t really my kind of show, but it does have its funny moments, especially Mr. Brown’s antics and some of the absolutely crazy people that live in the retirement home. The show is actually funnier than I expected it to be, and is funnier than its counterpart House of Payne. If you like that show, you’re sure to like this one, and you may even like Meet the Browns even if you don’t, but I would check out a few episodes on TBS before investing any money in the DVD set. This show is a little closer to the Madea movies and is a bit funnier as a result.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Greg Brobeck on 09/21/11
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