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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

This show was good.... up until Debbie Allen departed

7/10
Author: waiching liu from London, England, UK
21 June 2007

I really enjoyed watching the first few seasons of In The House when it was just Marion Hill, and the Warren clan Jackie, Austin and Tiffany. It was very funny and enjoyable to watch.

I found the mother Jackie played by veteran actress Debbie Allen (of Fame, erm fame!) hilarious to watch at times, especially as I thought she had great delivery and comic timing, as well as the funnier lines.

Her constant barracking of her ex-husband and the mickey taking of his bald head had me in stitches.

To many people, especially the elder generation, Debbie is best known for her associations with 'Fame','A Different World'. For those of us who were born after 1980 and too young to remember either of those shows and of whom are fans of Debbie Allen, it was this show 'In The House' in 1995 that first introduced us to her as an actress, producer, director.

Of course it is never easy for a show such as 'In The House' to carry on from where it's so called 'predecessor'the Fresh Prince had left off. Although the only comparisons I can draw from both sitcoms is that Debbie Allen was the executive producer of the first two seasons of The Fresh prince and In The House, and in that in both sitcoms the lead roles were played by then famous rappers in Will Smith and LL cool J. Not forgetting also that Alfonso Ribeiro appeared in both shows, so a lot of similarities can be drawn between the pair.

However, as soon as Jackie and Austin- who for me wasn't a bad sitcom kid- departed, this sitcom was never the same as it was, afterwards. As in their place were Kim Wayans and Alfonso himself. Kim played Tonya, of whom was at first a crazed, obsessed stalker of Marion's and she was just funny. Eventually she had mellowed down afterwards and wasn't as much the same crazy Tonya as she was a few seasons ago. Alfonso played Dr maxwell Stanton and whilst his role was supposed to be a far cry from his Fresh Prince days as Carlton Banks, in truth he was basically another version of Carlton- only slightly more arrogant. Both Kim and Alfonso are very talented actors, but i felt that their talents had been wasted when they became regular characters from season 3 onwards.

In all, I preferred it when it was just Jackie, Marion, Austin and tiffany... and so by the time the mother and her son went, In The House was no longer as funny as it was when they were around. If the show had retained those two characters and not added Maxwell, Tonya and the gym, then maybe perhaps In The House would've had a slightly longer run.

But In The House was good, i really liked it... up until the changes were made in the show.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A good show which had so much more potential

8/10
Author: enigma_meets_reality from United Kingdom
4 September 2011

"In the House" could have been a marquee African American-led sitcom in the mid to late 90s, following end of the Fresh Prince. It wasn't short on star power as it brought together Quincy Jones as an executive producer, and LL Cool J and Debbie Allen in lead roles. The first two seasons were the crowning glory of the show. LL stepped up to the plate admirably as the level headed, injured NFL-turned landlord Marion Hill; but it was Allen's portrayal of the hapless divorcée and mother of two Jackie Warren which really brought the show to life. Their interactions provided plenty of laughter, as the more spiritual Marion clashed with the sarcastic Jackie (in addition to her clashes with her kids, her boss, her ex-husband and everyone in-between!).

The move from NBC to UPN completely modified the show's premise as well as writing out Debbie Allen's character. For me, her departure was ultimately the show's undoing. Season 3 was quite good as Marion ventured out into setting up a clinic in partnership with Tonia Harris (Kim Wayans) and Maxwell Stanton (Alfonso Ribeiro). Wayans' eccentric character somewhat made up for the lack of Debbie Allen. Ribeiro was essentially playing Carlton Banks again. There was also more emphasis on Maia Campbell's character Tiffany Warren (the only member of the Warren clan left on the show). She was easily identifiable as the guy crazy, partying type teenager. This aspect provided a challenge to Marion who was acting as her guardian after Jackie left.

By the time "In The House" entered its fourth season, it was clear that the producers were running out of ideas. Once a family oriented show, now became more targeted at the late teen/young adult audience. The result was a less comedic, more melodramatic show. I truly believe that much of it pertains to the lack of Debbie Allen at this stage. The final season was very short and probably served as a procedural one before it got cancelled.

Looking back at "In the House", it was enjoyable overall, but was inevitably let down by major casting changes. I'd have kept Debbie Allen and Jeffery Wood on the show, and perhaps introduced the clinic in Season 4. One of the earliest themes of the show was Jackie hoping to find love again. The finale could have easily centred on her getting married or something, had she stayed on.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Too much transition

Author: Anthony Rupert (anthonyrupert@hotmail.com) from Milwaukee, WI
25 April 2002

Nothing was actually bad per se about any of the four seasons of this show (well, maybe the fourth season), but looking at it from a casting point of view, it was all over the place. The first season revolved around the Warrens--mother, Jackie (Debbie Allen); daughter, Tiffany (Maia Campbell); and son, Austin (Jeffery Wood)--who lived in a duplex alongside the landlord, a retired football player named Marion Hill (LL Cool J). Tonia Harris (Kim Wayans) changed from chasing Marion to becoming his best friend--as well as changing from a recurring character to a permanent character--as the season changed. Also, at the end of the season, Jackie and Austin moved away, leaving Tiffany to live with Marion. In order to afford to take care of her, Marion opened a health clinic with Tonia.

Several new characters popped up in the second season. The main new character was Dr. Maxwell "Max" Stanton (Alfonso Ribeiro), a conceited clinical doctor who also became part owner of the clinic. Also, Tiffany was given some friends, Carl (Ken Lawson) and Raynelle (Gabrielle Carmouche), who popped up here and there. But the most unnecessary character was a kid named Rodney (Deejay Daniels). He came out of nowhere and nobody ever bothered to ask whose kid he was. He didn't bring much to the show, which is probably why he was gone by mid-season.

Things were going fine until the beginning of the fourth (and final) season. The only people that were left were Marion, Max, and for some reason Carl and Raynelle. Because Carl and Raynelle were still merely recurring characters, the fourth season had more guest stars than regular cast members (the beginning credits only listed LL Cool J and Alfonso Ribeiro). The plots were very bland and uninteresting, particularly because the funniest characters and jokes were brought out by actors that were no longer there.

Overall, In The House was a good show, but it would have been better if the producers could make up their minds about the cast.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I MISS THIS SHOW

Author: skmt from Mississippi
13 July 2001

This is truly a great show. The writing is great. I wish it hadn't been canceled. LL Cool J is very good in the comedy sitcom. His character Marion is very funny. Kim Wayans character Tonia is real ghetto. The combined antics of the characters make a show that will keep u laughing for a while.

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An absolute NBC turned UPN classic!

9/10
Author: Grace Zeh (filmgirlgz@gmail.com) from Chantilly, Virginia, USA
18 May 2014

"IN THE HOUSE," in my opinion, is an absolute NBC turned UPN classic! I haven't seen every episode, but I still enjoyed it. It's hard to say which episode was my favorite. However, I think it was always funny when a mishap occurred. I always laughed at that. If you ask me, it was nice that all of the main characters had stayed with the show throughout its entire run. It seems that no one stays with a show throughout its entire run. Everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. In conclusion, if some network ever airs it in reruns again, I hope you catch it one day before it goes off the air for good.

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Funny and smart.

7/10
Author: johnnymacbest from United States
17 June 2011

LL Cool J in his first TV show? Who would've thought that such a combination can be so successful. Not the least of which is that it has some of the best comedy antics from recent years such as Kim Wayans, one of the funniest characters on the show. Although the first season was good, but not funny, the second and subsequent seasons were by far the best. Sadly, it was canceled after six seasons. It was good while it lasted;hey I watched not just for the laughs, but also the scantily clad babes that would(quite often) permeate throughout the show. But in the end, it's all good and I'm glad to had have the opportunity to watch it while it was on the air because by far and large, In The House is one of the funniest shows that ever came out on the small screen.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Why all these transitions?

Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
25 February 2003

It is quite amazing that this series is still seen in repeats in some syndication markets across the country. Actually,in my own opinion it wasn't a bad series by the way since it ran for four seasons on two major networks. First it was on NBC for two seasons,then after NBC canceled the series,UPN picked it up for the duration of its run. The series was produced by the same individuals who were behind another successful series of the 1990's "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air".

First off,lets talk about the first two seasons went it appear on NBC-TV from 1995-1997. It centered around the Warren family which consisted of mother Jackie(Debbie Allen),daughter Tiffany(Maia Campbell),son Jeffery(Jeffrey Wood,who looked like the pint sized version of a miniature Steve Urkel who was gone by the end of the show's first season;in turn the actor resembled a slight look alike to actor Jaleel White of Family Matters fame,but smaller)and their landlord,ex-football star Marion Hill(played by LL Cool J). When it first came on most of the episodes from the first season consisted of the relationship between the divorce mom Jackie and the landlord Marion and their involvement with the kids which was in a point funny and hilarious in some of the earlier episodes but sometimes way overdrawn and overly acted(especially with the performances from Debbie Allen who was in turn the show's executive producer during its first two seasons)in their characters which during its last season the producers made sweeping changes to the show and from there network executives over at NBC pull the plug on this series making the change to another network the next season.

In the fall of 1997,the series moved over to the UPN Network where it ran for another two seasons which ended in 1999.Its improvement wasn't all that better but without the show's executive producer Debbie Allen from the first two seasons the show flourish anyway with the star power of actor/rapper LL Cool J as the lead support. During this switch their were some numerous changes involved with the series as well,but also the producers kept stars LL Cool J and Maia Campbell and added new characters to the mix including former In Living Color alumnus Kim Wayans,Alfonso Roberio(from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,and Silver Spoons),and Lark Voorhies(from The Jeffersons,and Saved By The Bell).

The show had a lot of transitions that were involved which frankly in my book killed it. All they had to do was keep the formula simple but in turn it fell completely apart since anyway. In all a great series.

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