Season 2 of the Tyler Perry-created series continues misadventures of Leroy Brown (David Mann), who, last season, opened up a seniors’ residence. This season has all the characters firmly in place, and the stage is set for no end of misguided schemes and misunderstandings, all of which conclude with lessons learned and heartstrings tugged.
If the above sounds a little generic, that’s because so is the series, and furthermore, I’m referring to an archaic quality to this series’ generic nature. Put another way, this is an unapologetic (though it should be deeply ashamed) throwback to situation comedy’s dismal era of the 1980s. The performances broad, unfunny caricatures, all squealing yelps and bugging eyes. The laugh track comes in on every other line, underscoring just how desperately unfunny the dialogue is. As for the plots, I cry mercy. Brown hopes to get rich marketing his family’s barbecue sauce, Brown becomes an over-demanding patient after being grazed by a bullet, Brown wins twenty bucks in a lottery and becomes a gambling fiend, and so on and so on and so forth. Storylines that would creak even if the main character were named Ralph Kramden, overlaid with thudding sanctimony and Real Social Issues.
It’s all part of the formula that has created the Tyler Perry empire, I suppose. For those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they like, but still… If I didn’t get the Perry phenomenon before, now I just want to stick a fork in my eye.
Basic get-the-job-done stuff. The image is sharp enough, and the colours are strong, but there is some pixelation present. The basic sets, including the phony-looking outdoor one, and by-the-numbers multiple camera setup are just as retro as everything else about the series, though the transfer itself is fairly solid. The aspect ratio is 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen.
This is hardly a package that needs (or, for that matter, can do justice to) a 5.1 mix. But we have one all the same (along with a 2.0 track). The experience is a little disconcerting. The laugh track booms out of the rear speakers, making one feel as if one were right there, sitting in an empty theatre beside the laugh machine. The dialogue, meanwhile, sound squeezed into the centre channel, and has a rather thin quality to it. The track somehow seems to be simultaneously overproduced and raw.
If you’re a Tyler Perry fan, then here you go. Enjoy. But frankly, all I see is a program insufferably pleased with itself when it has no earthly reason to be so.