I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Tyler Perry's House of Payne" (2006-2012)

This comedy-drama centered on a family in Atlanta, GA -- grouchy fire fighter Curtis Payne (LeVan Davis), his sensible, religious wife Ella (Cassi Davis), and their son Calvin (Lance Gross).  Also in the mix were their nephew C.J. and his wife Janine (Allen Payne and Demetria McKinney), and their kids, Malik, Jazmine, Jayden, and Hayden; Calvin's wife Miranda (Keisha Knight Pulliam), the son they had together, and Calvin Jr., Calvin's son from a previous relationship with Tracy (Eve Marcelle).

Tyler Perry is talented, and has put out some funny stuff in movie theaters (Madea's Family Reunion, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, etc.), but "House of Payne" was very uneven.  The comedy wasn't that funny, and there seemed to be a huge reliance on the laugh track.  There was never a smooth transition to the heavy drama in most episodes, which covered issues such as gun violence, child support battles, and infidelity among other issues.

I did like the interaction between Curtis and Ella, although I sometimes wondered why she married him.  Other aspects of the plots could be confusing, however.  Miranda originally had conned Curtis and Calvin out of some items early in the series, but the subject was not brought up again after she became Calvin's wife.  One day, Malik was in high school, then suddenly, Malik was a college freshman.  C.J.'s character had been introduced as Curtis and Ella's son, then changed to being their nephew.  Then C.J.'s character disappeared for a good part of the show's 5th season.

The last episode ended on a cliffhanger.  Miranda and Calvin had numerous martial problems early on, but they were able to work them out.  But Miranda demanded a divorce from Calvin in the last episode.  Mr. Perry has hinted that he may want to bring the Payne family back at some point, but that remains to be seen.

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