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Bring the Payne: The Erasure of the Black Sitcom and the Emergence of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne

Bring the Payne: The Erasure of the Black Sitcom and the Emergence of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne

Chapter:
(p.159) Chapter Eight Bring the Payne: The Erasure of the Black Sitcom and the Emergence of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne
Source:
From Madea to Media Mogul
Author(s):
Artel Great
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496807045.003.0008

Continuing a television studies analysis of Perry, Artel Great argues in Chapter Eight that from both a critical and an industrial perspective, the sitcom Tyler Perry’s House of Payne(TBS, 2006-2012) represents acomplex but no less problematic contribution to the history of Black televisual authorship. Precisely because there has been a pronounced dearth of Black representation on television, Great demonstrates that the politics of thirst best characterize how Black audiences engage the few existing images of televisual blackness. Despite several unprecedented industrial achievements (such as surpassing The Jeffersons[CBS, 1975-1985] as the longest running Black sitcom), when considered within the context of the history and formal structure of the Black sitcom, House of Payne digresses as itrejuvenates the narrative conventions and visual cues of uncritical Black minstrelsy. Rife with missed opportunities for teaching complex lessons about Black subjectivity, esteem, and interiority, Perry’s sitcom succeeded, then, mostly because of the continued omission of blackness on television.

Keywords:   Black Sitcoms, Black Televisual Authorship, Black Television History, Black Audiences, Thirst

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