Full disclosure: My only real viewing experience with “The Game” came in the form of 12 episodes I watched during a lazy Saturday “The Game” marathon on BET several months ago; a decision that was equal parts boredom and curiosity—basically, I wanted to see what the big deal was. (The way some people raved about it, you’d think they were giving free iPads to audience members afterward.) And, after six consecutive hours of watching, I can honestly say that I’ve never been more, for lack of a better term, unmoved by a show. Not awkward, not impressed, not embarrassed, not angered, not inspired, not uplifted, not curious, not excited. Just…nothing.
I’m not suggesting that I thought “The Game” was a bad show. Far from it, actually. The main characters, while caricatures, were at least semi-believable caricatures, and the acting, plot lines, writing, and production were all professionally done. “Homeboys In Outer Space” this was not.
But, I came to realize that either something was lacking (something I couldn’t quite put my hands on), or I was just unable or unwilling to see or feel what the thousands of people clamoring for its return from TV purgatory so obviously saw and felt.
This uncertainty led me Tuesday’s two-part season premiere, as I hoped that watching and writing about it would finally give me some answers.
10:01: The show opens up with a montage featuring each of the main characters—Twin Mowry as Melanie Davis, Pooch Hall as Derwin Davis, Coby Bell as Jason Pitts, Brittany Daniel as Kelly Pitts, Hosea Chanchez as Malik Wright, Wendy Raquel Robinson as Latasha Mack—and Meagan Good’s ginormous boobs as B.O.B.’s “Don’t Let Me Fall” plays in the background. How apropo and sh*t
The montage ends with a Twin Mowry and Derwin photo shoot for Essence Magazine; the first of the approximately 129,876 times Essence will be name-dropped in the next hour.
You know, I was originally a bit stressed about doing the minute-by-minute blog thing, because they’re simultaneously the easiest—because they have a set structure, and the event you’re watching basically creates the content—and the hardest—because you can’t really take any breaks or time to process—blogs to do. But, BET and their “four minutes of actual show time to three minutes of commercials” ratio has made things much easier for me. Thanks, BET! Who said BET didn’t care about black bloggers?
10:05: Although I’m aware that the meat is probably made from processed wildebeests and aboriginal midgets, that Burger King chicken sandwich looks really damn good right now. Damn you, New Years resolution to get back to playing weight! Damn you!!!!
10:06: The shrewish chick from everyone’s favorite State Farm commercial shows up with her and Derwin’s baby; beginning what will be the only storyline worth following for the next hour.
10:07: I’m still not sure exactly how attractive Wendy Raquel Robinson is. I thought she was kind of hot on The Steve Harvey show, but I’ll concede that the light reflecting off of Steve Harvey’s suits could have been playing tricks on my eyes.
10:08: Malik shows off his tapered frohawk and accompanying widow’s peak (Seriously, Forget all that sh*t I said yesterday about people not being unique. There has never been another person on this planet, or any other planet were they have black people, with his haircut) while he chats in some swanky restaurant with the team’s new owner, played by Michael Beach: the bane of black civilization.
Also, between the Jamba Juice shout-out, the casual mention that Derwin is the star of the team now, and the obvious power struggle between Malik and the owner, there’s enough background exposition in this scene to choke a f*cking mule, a recurring theme throughout the night. Nobody has conversations like this.
10:09: Somebody’s creeping!!!!!!!!! Somebody’s creeping!!!!!
From Lady Champ, as soon as Meagan Good came back on screen: “I wouldn’t mind being her size with her boobs”
Would it have made me a bad boyfriend if I replied “I wouldn’t mind either”? (Never mind, don’t answer that question)
10:10: More exposition (Nike contract, almost done with residency, issues with the kid, etc)
10:13: Chris Webber trying not to laugh while delivering his lines is easily the most entertaining thing about the show so far. BTW, Jason Pitts is wearing a very nice suit. If his suit was a woman, I’d definitely take it out for a nice seafood dinner and never call it again.
10:14: While the characters spout nothing but more gotdamn exposition (Kelly has a new reality show, Twin Mowry suspects that the kid might not be Derwin’s, etc), I’ll take this time to ask if I’m the only one offended by this. Seriously, can someone tell me why the show’s writers feel the need to feel us in with background knowledge every 10 seconds? Veteran “The Game” watchers, is this common? Do they really think that you all are so stupid that you need to be reminded of what happened in the last scene (or the last season) every other scene?
10:16: More gotdamn f*cking exposition about the fact that this kid might not be Derwin’s. We get it already!!!! Please move on.
Also, why the hell do they keep referring to this kid as light-skinned? If he’s light-skinned, what does that make Twin Mowry? See-through? Unblurred? Translucent? Semiopaque?
10:17: The trailer for The Heart Specialist proves once and for all that Zoe Saldana either needs a new agent or some petty cash to pay for a new addition on her house.
10: 19: “If you can wear the jewelry, you can sale the jewelry.” A message brought to you by Tracey Lynn Pre-Paid Legal Jewelry
10:20: Lady Champ: “Do any of the women on this show wear bras?”
10:21: Terrance from 106 and Park makes his “The Game” debut as Tasha’s apparent boy-toy/fling. This is awkward. If Rosci was still alive, she’d be spinning in her grave.
10:22: Seriously, how much money did the Essence people pay the producers of “The Game” to repeatedly drop the Essence name throughout the show? 5,000 bucks? $10,000? 100 grand? At this point I’m half expecting the homie Demetria Lucas to show up as Twin Mowry’s new “relationship adviser.”
10:23: While Derwin and Twin’s house is definitely banging, it doesn’t look very child friendly. Too many sharp edges. I guess this is foreshadowing and sh*t.
10:25: Mercy, mercy me, that Murcielago!
Malik is pretty brazen rolling around the city with his boss’s wife (and saying sh*t like “The rules don’t apply to me“). The writers are definitely setting his character up for a Michael Vick type fall from grace some time during this season.
10:26: More exposition as Twin Mowry and Tasha walk down the street and discover the baby’s not Derwin’s. Oh dear. This will probably lead to copious amounts of wall-punching and shivering faces.
10:28: Twin tells Derwin about the paternity test, a subject which will surely be debated on thousand of blogs in the next seven days or so.
(My opinion? That was the right thing to do. As hard as it was for him to hear, a guy needs to know if the baby he’s raising and taking care of isn’t his.)
10:34: Sign #234 that I’m getting old: I had to Google the name of the actor playing Malik’s “assistant” to make sure it wasn’t Soulja Boy.
I’ve also upgraded the fall the writers are setting up for Malik. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if by episode 3, he was caught dog fighting with the Obama’s poodle.
10:35: As my homegirl Deesha would probably tell you, Jason and Kelly show the world how not to co-parent.
Also, more exposition (Nobody talks like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nobody!!!!!!!!!!)
10:37: While wondering if Terrance is physically incapable of making a face without smiling, I finally figure out why I just haven’t been able to get into ‘”The Game.”
I’ve already established my annoyance with the ton of exposition, but the main reason why I’m just not that into this show is because it’s a virtual humor vacuum. None of the attempts at humor induce anything more than a “I’m supposed to laugh because they made a joke there” chuckle, and it’s extremely difficult for me to really get into a relatively light show that’s completely devoid of wit. Right now it’s just a bunch of pretty rich people with pretty rich people problems. Take away their pigment and it’s Laguna f*cking Beach.
10:39: This is sad and shit. Derwin has bonded with the not really all that light skinned son. I’m getting verklempt.
10:45: Question: Are the Sabers the only team in their professional football league? Asking because so far you have players from the exact same team all getting video covers, lead Nike contracts, Essence Mag cover shoots, reality TV shows, and sports talk radio shows, and that’s a ton of shine for just one team.
(Actually, forget about it. Dont mind me. It’s just my “wanting things to be as realistic as possible” flaring up again, that’s all)
10:47: Uh, Oh. Terrance is a MILF Hunter!!! Can’t trust those 106 and Park ass n*ggas. Somebody call Free and A.J.!
10:48: Why do I feel all guilty and color-struck for thinking that Soulja Boy’s girlfriend—the thick chick with the glasses—is easily the best looking woman I’ve seen on the show so far?
10:49: Yeah, I’ll bet a week’s worth of Cream of Wheat that the whole “let my super hot girlfriend drive home with my slut homeboy with the God complex” thing probably isn’t going to end well. Even the blind cat behind the bar can see this impending hook-up coming.
I also think that this—the audience is much, much smarter than the characters on screen—is part of the appeal of a show like “The Game.” Again, this doesn’t make it a bad show at all, but I personally just don’t enjoy knowing exactly what a character is going to do 8 scenes before they actually do it.
10:51: ***Things I’d rather do before I watch “Lets Stay Together”***
Eat those evil tiny red peppers that come with an order of General Tso’s. Do a butt naked snow angel. Have sex with Al Gore. Have dinner with Evelyn Lozada. Have a sleepover at one of the people from “Hoaders” houses. Eat soft chicken wings. Move to Detroit.
(Actually, I heard that the show isn’t bad. Still, BET should probably air it before 1 freakin am if they want people to actually watch it)
10:54: It’ll probably surprise you that I’m saying this, but Tasha’s insecurity about the MILF Hunter is completely warranted. I’d have a bird too if I met each of my girl’s ex’s and saw that they were impossibly bespectacled former athletes turned bloggers with disproportionately big heads and bowlegs.
10:57: Soulja Boy walks in on Malik, Meagan, Meagan’s boobs, and his girl. Who the hell saw that coming?
Also, when you add the f*cking museum that he lives in and the shady way he treated his boy to all the other foul stuff he’s done this episode, I’m now convinced that the show’s writers are going to have Malik accidentally castrate and decapitate himself by episode three.
I have to admit that I didn’t see that one coming. Good one, “The Game” writers. Good one.
10:59: The show ends to B.O.B. again as 88 Keys silently sits somewhere and stews.
You know, despite the tone of this recap, I actually was rooting for me to like “The Game.” It’s much more fun liking something than disliking it. And, I’d love to have at least ONE witty, funny, slick, and smart predominately black show I can watch regularly. I was silently hoping that it could be that show. They don’t seem too interested in making a show like that, though—which is their prerogative and perfectly understandable. They’ve been cancelled before, and appeasing the audience instead of making the audience work might be the surest way to make certain that doesn’t happen again. Sh*t, they have to eat too, and I wish them the best of luck. But, unless they make some drastic changes with the writing and excessive melodrama, they’ll have to make this BET journey without me.
11:00: Lady Champ: “Can I turn the channel now? Are you done yet with this show yet?”
Yeah, Lady Champ. I think I am.