Posted in: Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on July 23rd, 2011
I have never been a huge fan of Tyler Perry’s creations. Particularly, House of Payne is something I really don’t care for. Mostly this is due to the fact that the original story that made the household dynamic of mixed family members what it is throughout the series came from a story about a woman who was a crack addict and arsoned her own house. After seeing this story, and the completely insensitive way it handled drug addiction struck me as so foul that I have yet to find forgiveness. So here I stand, weighing my possible bias’ versus my standard issue journalistic neutrality as a reviewer, and hoping my opinion remains respectable.
This bundle of 24 episodes continues the series’ usual path of melding corny humour with major issues such as theft, drugs, racial topics and so forth. As much as it tries to be poignant, the setup and execution of each story is too unnatural to be ever be taken seriously. As well, there are just far too many negative black stereotypes being used for my own comfort level. I’m not asking it to be like the Boondocks and try to explode stereotypes while displaying them, but there certainly could be a lot more efforts made to not fall into such ugly situations or characters (none of which I shall honour by repeating here…if you are a masochist, investigate the show yourself).
The canned laughter, which can be heard at the end of every bloody line of dialogue, is overpowering and cheapens a show that is not exactly rich in quality to begin with. It’s all well and good to have a studio audience laugh along with you, but the frequency of the laughs in this programs seems desperate to insist that every line is a polished joke worthy of a visceral response. Not so.
Fullscreen 1.33:1. There are no issues with this presentation. The transfer is decent but this is a studio shot sitcom that is nowhere near as sleek as other cable programs, but that should be expected.
Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 are both available. There is a tremendous imbalance when mizing the dialogue and the studio audience laughter, as I hinted at before. Granted, sometimes the issue is an actor mumbling their lines but the laugh track drowns out more than it should as it is at a notably higher volume than everything else. Aside from that, things are quite clean. No static or glitches.
Subtitles available in English and Spanish.
This show truly lives up to its name as far as “pain” is concerned. This series should not have reached 10 episodes, never mind approaching 200. It is simply upsetting to see something of such low quality thrive and last.