“The Game” season 5 premiered this past Tuesday. This show was never one of my favs. Even during its CW run, “The Game” never really clicked with me. Although, when the show came back for a 4th season last year, I thought it was a smart move on BET’s part. They were finally presenting something other than a mediocre reality show about D-list celebrities we could give two shits about. Sadly we got a mediocre scripted show when “The Game” made its triumphant return last year. So I had my reservations about season 5 since season 4 was so underwhelming.
First of all, let me start off by saying “The Game” is no longer a comedy. I know they try to advertise it as a “dramedy” but the inclusion of a laugh track kind of makes it a full on sitcom. This is the show’s main mistake. If they made “The Game” a 1 hour drama, it would actually work. But the laugh track is not only unnecessary, it’s distracting. Then the show adds more distraction by having background music IN EVERY SCENE! It’s like I’m watching a reality show like “The Hills” because they were famous for inserting background music to allude from the bullshit that was playing out on screen. But honestly, I swear to God these people made me hate Kanye West by the end of the show. Whoever is the Music Supervisor of this show needs to reel it in a bit. At times the music seemed out of place, especially at the end after Derwin gave ole boy the “Down goes Frazier” punch. But back to the dramedy aspect. A good dramedy equally balances comedy and drama. Shows like “Shameless” and “Weeds” on Showtime does dramedy perfectly. Hell even “Glee” balances comedy and drama well even though they have problems with continuity. You can’t be a comedy when two of your main storylines deal with abortion and a drug overdose. Those two things are not funny in the least bit. So get rid of the laugh track and the sitcom angle, and just be a full fledge drama. Trust me Mara Brock Akil, the show would be much better.
So let’s discuss what happened in the season premiere. It may seem like I hated the whole hour of “The Game” but there were some things I did like. Too bad there was more things I didn’t like. I didn’t like the abortion. When last season ended with the show alluding to the possibility that Girl Melanie had an abortion, I was not to happy. Abortion and comedy just don’t mix unless you do it absolutely right. I was even more upset when Melanie lied to Derwin about the abortion when Derwin confronted her. After wanting these two to be together for so long, the fans deserve better. There are a million things they can put this couple through, while having them remain a strong couple. I am glad that in the end, Derwin and Melanie managed to stay together, but I feel like it was rushed. Melanie kept the secret of the abortion from Derwin for years, and the baby won’t even his (more on that in a bit). It’s impossible to just sweep that under the rug for a quickie make-up. Now there is the possibility that Derwin would carry that over Melanie’s head, which could make for some great scenes. But seeing as this is suppose to be a sitcom, I highly doubt that would happen.
I also didn’t like Malik’s girlfriend, Jenna, almost dying from a drug/alcohol overdose. I’m glad that Jenna didn’t die from falling off the wagon. That would have taken the show to another place and I’m sure fans of “The Game” are not prepared for that. However, I didn’t like that there was a laugh track when Malik, Tasha, TeeTee, and the broke down version of Rick Ross found what they believed was a dead Jenna. Sidenote: TeeTee’s mug was BEAT! Either that was some good ass easy, breezy, beautiful Covergirl foundation, or he’s using the same lotion Tika Sumpter (Jenna) uses. Speaking of Jenna, if a bitch is going to die, you might as well do it having flawless skin and a bomb ass weave. That’s how they die on a soap opera. Real glamourous! But back to the topic at hand, it was kind of funny when they were trying to find Jenna. Not “ha-ha” funny, but it did slightly amuse me.
Now on to the things I did like. I did like Jason and Chardonnay together. Their storyline is actually funny, if not the only funny thing “The Game” has going for them. I like that Jason got super drunk and hitched in Mexico. But here’s my thing. I hate the reason for it. He married a chick named after a wine to prove that he likes black women? And then the race issue was thrusted onto viewers out of nowhere. I like that Jason has issues with race. I think it’s a very interesting aspect. The thing is that it came out of left field. Isn’t both of Jason’s parents on the show black? It just doesn’t seem believable that he would have these issues. I would like it if Kelly was to return to help further explore the race issue. But seeing as they 86′d ole girl’s role on the show that ain’t gonna happen. But I can put those feelings aside because I like this storyline. If Chardonnay was smart, she would stay with Jason. Hello? He’s a Football player! You better get your coins bitch! Sidenote #2: Why does Brandy always get straddled with a ghetto ass name? You all know that Moesha was hood as fuck!
I also liked the end when Derwin knocked THEE FUCK out of Melanie’s ex Trey. I guess Derwin really can’t take the fact that Melanie could’ve had Trey’s baby. I wonder if it was Trey that convinced Melanie to get an abortion. It would be an interesting angle to play, and it would make Melanie seem less like the villain for choosing to lie about the abortion. But then again, that would only happen if “The Game” was a drama.
So there you have it folks. My opinion of “The Game” season 5 premiere. Sadly, things have not changed when it comes to the levels of mediocrity. A lot of people have criticized BET for ripping the heart that “The Game” once had when it was on the CW. My thing is, “The Game” still has the same creative staff that it did when it was on the CW. I believe that the time gap between seasons 3 and 4 hindered the creative spark the writers once had. It happens. Shows like “Desperate Housewives” and “Grey’s Anatomy” after a while became stale and a shadow of their former selves. All “The Game” needs is an extra shot of creative vodka to really get them to tap into whatever creative space they were in during seasons 1-3. Another thing, people always rag on BET for their content. It is true that BET is a ghetto ass hot ass mess of a network. They’re shows are all stale and boring. But then we watch shows like “Basketball Wives” and “Love & Hip Hip” and don’t complain about Vh1 and their depiction of black people. So it kind of raises eyebrows when people complain about BET but don’t say anything about the content being shoved down our throats by Vh1. I think it’s because over at Vh1 everyone and every race is subject to ridicule, and BET only embarrasses black people. All BET has to do is develop scripted shows like an all black “Desperate Housewives” or an all black “Mad Men” or even a show like “The Wire.” It would improve the credibility of BET as a whole and get people to stop complaining. But that’s just my humble opinion.