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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > House Of Payne – Volume One (DVD/Lionsgate)

House Of Payne – Volume One (DVD/Lionsgate)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Episodes: B-



After several hit plays and hit motion pictures, Tyler Perry has now conquered TV with his new hit TV show House Of Payne, a hit cable series that landed a contract so impressive, it shocked many executives in the industry.  Despite some mixed reviews, the show instantly set ratings records and here already are the first 20 of what is reported to be at least 100 episodes.


The story of a family led by a firefighting father (Allen Payne) could have just been a rehash of Amen or (worse,) another mindless, silly, airheaded sitcom typical of most from the 1980s.  However, it instead becomes an extension of the kind of Christian parables wrapped in layers of comedy Perry has made his name on.  The show is not bad, has yet to fall victim to the weekly TV grind and is the kind of sitcom the 1980s may have produced if TV was not so suddenly regressive then.  It is also cast well, which is half the battle won.


Perry even shows up as Medea in a surprise cameo in the pilot, cleaned up in words even more than the gap between the plays and feature films, but like so much of the show, the flaw is that there is just not enough time for character development or story development.  From the opening when all we get is the cast sitting on the couch after a prologue with the title above and no theme song, it is always a reminder that the show will have limits it should not.  This has nothing to do with censorship (this is for cable TV) and everything to do with Perry not breaking enough of the sitcom conventions.  If the show is to survive, it can either coast on in its current condition, or take some artistic risks that would not disrupt its perceived family audience.  We’ll see what he does.


The 1.33 X 1 image has all kinds of motion blur and looking as if it were shot in digital High Definition video, which also means these are probably widescreen shows that have had their sides cut off for this DVD set.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo are a bit better with no serious surrounds in either case, but clean, clear recording throughout.  The only extra is a making of featurette entitled The House That Tyler Perry Built.


For more on Tyler Perry on DVD, star with Tyler Perry – The Plays at this link:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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