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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Satire > Urban > TV > The PJs – Season 1 + Season 2 (Lionsgate DVD Sets)

The PJs – Season 1 + Season 2 (Lionsgate DVD Sets)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: D     Episodes: B



The great Eddie Murphy’s career has had its highs and lows over the past three decades (mostly lows as of recently), but when he gets something right, he gets it right.  The PJs takes place in an urban housing project, where chief superintendent Thurgood Stubbs (voiced by Eddie Murphy) brings both order and chaotic disorder to his tenants.  The series was executed using a tedious stop motion animation style that took over two months to produce each 22 minute episode.  The series can for three seasons and had multiple companies with there hands in the pot during its run.  Not only was Fox and WB involved, but also Image Entertainment, Eddie Murphy’s production studio and Ron Howard’s/Brain Grazer’s production studio.


The series takes place in a Detroit housing project, modeling itself off of Murphy’s own experiences and that of the likes of Diana Ross and Lilly Tomlin.  The PJs follows the hijinks, misperceptions, misdoings, and endearing moments of the tenants of the Hilton Jacobs Housing Project.  There is no true continuing story arch, but there is a development of the characters and their personalities that the viewers quickly learn to love.  Loretta Divine voices Muriel Stubbs (Thurgood’s sweet hearted/naïve wife) in conjunction with a host of other brilliant voice talents who make up the cornucopia of the urban housing project.


The series utilizes personal experiences to bring to life a cutting edge series that was ahead of its time in both style and scripting.  The dialogue/comedy was borderline crude, but never went over the edge and amazingly danced the line with ease.  The series was cut short before its time (only lasting those 3 short seasons), so if you did not get to partake in The PJs when it originally aired now is the time here on DVD.


The picture quality is nice, but like many other Lionsgate releases I found it a bit rough.  The stop motion animation is excellent but the clarity and color of this release is lacking.  The sound is a mere Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that projects the dialogue nicely, but does little to bring the rest of the series to life.  Believe it or not a lot of time was put into the sound effects that give The PJs its atmosphere, yet the Dolby Digital Stereo does little to capture that.


Sadly no extras are found on either Season One or Season Two of the series.  Perhaps the final season will give us long time fans a sit down with the produces/voice actors/writers.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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