TITLE: MEET THE BROWNS - SEASON 5
Release Date: April 17, 2012 (Lionsgate)
Packaging: Viva Ecobox
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 20
Running Time: 440 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English; Dolby Digital 2.0 English
Subtitles and Captioning: English and Spanish Subtitles; Closed-Captioned
Special Features: None
Mr. Brown and his family are back yet again in Meet the Brown - Season 5! The title is perhaps a bit misleading, as the series aired with a very weird production schedule (like every other Tyler Perry sitcoms on TBS), but in short, these episodes which aired between mid June 2010 through early September 2010, or roughly (though not precisely) episodes 81-100. These 20 episodes pick up after a heart attack stops the Colonel's wedding (from the last episode of the Season 4 DVD release) and follows everything which happens next in the "life of Brown."
We'll be clear about which episodes are included here, and things seem to be a bit more in order this time. Even though the packaging claims that we have episodes 81-100, what we actually have is episodes 80-100, with episode 93, "Meet the Neelys," excluded from this set. It isn't a real issue though, as this episode was already, for whatever reason, included in Season 4. Hopefully since they have reached episode 100, they will have the correct episodes on the remaining two season sets.
On this set, we begin with "Meet the Postponement," where the Colonel's heart attack causes him to postpone the wedding. In "Meet the Super Christian," the Colonel turns to religion after he sees his heart attack as a sign. Cora's class plans a farewell party for Cora's departure in "Meet the Farewell," but she may not be going away after all. In "Meet the Retraction," Cora accepts Reggie's engagement... but it isn't going to last long. Will forgets Sasha's birthday in "Meet the Birthday." Sasha has a miscarriage in "Meet the Taxpayer."
In "Meet the Makeover," Will pays Renee to spend time with Sasha. Reggie and Brown get stuck in the school storage room in "Meet the Instigator." In "Meet the Candlelight Dinner," Brown sabotages Reggie's romantic dinner for Cora. Bill Bellamy guest stars in "Meet the Breakout," where Brown is recruited to do a TV testimonial for a body cream which causes him to break out (wait, didn't Who's the Boss? already do this?). Brown refers Derek to the hospital as his assistant in "Meet the Other Side." In "Meet the Other House Guest," Thelma stays at the Browns' while Reggie is away. Cora helps an overweight student with low self-esteem in "Meet the Trainer."
In "Meet the Bird Brains," the Browns are after a lost pet to claim a reward. Renee is admitted to the hospital in "Meet the White Lie." In "Meet the Celebrity," Brown, Derek, and Renee want to get a photo of a celebrity's newborn. Cora is upset when Reggie decides to stay in California in "Meet the California Dreamer." In "Meet the Not-So-Funny Valentine," the guys decide to boycott Valentine's Day. The Colonel meets the son of a man he fought with in the war in "Meet the Forgiveness." The "season" ends with "Meet the Law Off," where school budget cuts mean that either Brown or Cora will have to be laid off.
The episodes appear to be unedited with very consistent runtimes (all but one is exactly 21:32). They are as follows:
1. "Meet the Postponement" (21:32)
2. "Meet the Super Christian" (21:32)
3. "Meet the Farewell" (20:19)
4. "Meet the Retraction" (21:32)
5. "Meet the Birthday" (21:32)
6. "Meet the Taxpayer" (21:32)
7. "Meet the Makeover" (21:32)
8. "Meet the Instigator" (21:32)
9. "Meet the Candlelight Dinner" (21:32)
10. "Meet the Break Out" (21:32)
11. "Meet the Other Side" (21:32)
12. "Meet the House Guest" (21:32)
13. "Meet the Trainer" (21:32)
14. "Meet the Bird Brains" (21:32)
15. "Meet the White Lie" (21:32)
16. "Meet the Celebrity" (21:32)
17. "Meet the California Dreamer" (21:32)
18. "Meet the Not-So-Funny Valentine" (21:32)
19. "Meet the Forgiveness" (21:32)
20. "Meet the Lay Off" (21:32)
Is there anything new to say about the packaging for this set? Of course not! We just have a standard Viva Case (actually one of those annoying Ecobox cases with the recycling logo cutout), with a family snapshot on the front, and a listing of all of the episodes and a brief description of the episodes on the back. There is also a cardboard sleeve for the set, with the exact same artwork as the case inside it. Inside the case, you'll find the three discs, which have artwork which includes the series logo and photos from the episodes. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-6, Disc 2 contains episodes 7-13, and Disc 3 contains episodes 14-20.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menu on each disc has rotating photos of the cast members on the left-hand side of the screen (same as is seen on the cover art), with video from the episodes playing on the right side of the screen with options of Play All Episodes, Episode Selection, and Set Up. The theme song plays in the background on the main menu. Selecting Episode Selection will take you to a menu with episodes on the disc, where you can view a small snapshot of each episode along with the title. Once you select an episode, it plays immediately, with chapters placed at all of the appropriate places. The Set Up menu allows you to change audio and subtitle options, as described in the Video and Audio Quality section.
Video and Audio Quality:
This is a recent series, so the video and audio quality is, as expected, rather decent. The episodes look great and are presented in widescreen, and the audio is great too, despite the awful noise of the insisting laugh track which the series overuses. You can listen to the episodes in either Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound or Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, and there are also English and Spanish subtitles. The episodes are all closed-captioned as well.
There aren't any special features. Why doesn't Tyler Perry at least show up for an interview or something?
I'm not even going to critique the series or inject my opinions again in this review, as I have done in the previous reviews of the series. By now, either you like it or you don't. I will say that Lionsgate has been very formulaic and perfect on all of these releases, which is a good thing in one sense, but it also seems to demonstrate that they are just throwing together a somewhat generic DVD release just to get this series out on DVD (there are 40 episodes remaining, by the way, which should leave two more releases with 20 episodes each). If you like the series, you'll want to purchase this release, of course... but the general story here is that it is the same as all of the previous releases, just with different episodes.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 04/14/12
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