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Featured TV on DVD Review: House of Payne: Volume Six

March 10th, 2011

House of Payne: Volume Six - Buy from Amazon

House of Payne, a.k.a. Tyler Perry's House of Payne, which for some is a selling point and for others it is a warning sign. Tyler Perry tends to be quite divisive when it comes to popular opinion with many loving his work, but more still hating it. Will this also be true of his TV show? If so, which side will I fall on?

The Show

House of Payne focuses on the Payne family, a dysfunctional family in a bad sitcom kind of way. Volume Six starts at the wedding of Calvin and Miranda, at which Janine goes into labor. She refuses to have her kids, till she and her fiancee, CJ, are married. It is important to note that this is the very first time I've seen this show, so jumping into the show mid-plot like this could be detrimental to my enjoyment of the show. A little disorientating, at the very least. However, by the time I popped in the second disc, I was missing that disoriented feeling.

Predictable barely begins to describe this show. It's the collected cliches of Tyler Perry's most over-the-top works mixed in with the collected cliches of some 50 years of family sitcoms. It is also quite terrible in a number of ways that tend to plague sitcoms. For instance, the acting is very broad with many of the leads trying to sell every line as if it were their last. Granted, the humor is featherweight, but by trying to oversell it, the actors are just making a bad situation worse. (There are a few actors that don't fall into this trap, but the majority do.) I was trying to figure out why I came up with a theory. Perhaps the actors come from a theater background where they needed project to the cheap seats. Regardless of the reason, it's infuriating. As is the laugh track, which is used far too frequently and in places where I couldn't even see what the joke was supposed to be.

When they do move into more serious subjects (drugs, violence, infidelity, STDs, etc.) the overly broad nature of the show really works against it. But at least they are trying to be more than just a typical sitcom at times.

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD.

The Verdict

I am admittedly not in the target audience for House of Payne, but I've seen enough of Tyler Perry's previous work to know that this sitcom is not as good as his films are. This show is bad compared to the stereotypical bad sitcom. I haven't seen the previous volumes, so I can't tell if Volume Six is better or worse, but from what I've seen, I can't recommend picking it up, or even watching it for free on TV.

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