The Game Season 5 Premiere (Review) "Skeletons/The Truth Pact"


Already taking on recaps of Jersey Shore (Season 5 premiered last Thursday). I want to start doing more recaps, mainly because Spotlight is the only chance I get to release EVERYTHING I feel about these shows (other than through tweets). So I decided to recap The Game, which is in its 5th season as well. 

I was so excited for this upcoming season, because I have been a big fan of The Game since its debut in 2006 on the CW. With its return to TV on BET, I was grateful to BET for bringing it back last year after the show's cancellation in 2009. I even did a review on the Season 4 premiere, and was glad to see it back for another season.

This recap....I really, REALLY go in. As I said, I'm a longtime fan, and this episode needs some serious critique. This isn't a diss to any of the actors, but mainly to the writers. I have to be real. I wasn't impressed at all. It's a long one, because I have a lot to say (when do I not?). Check out my recap after the jump.

The beginning was packed with drama right from the beginning. Melanie was yelling at Derwin about her abortion. Jenna (who I honestly thought was Meagan Good's character for a minute) was laying on the ground half dead. And Jason was in Mexico married? All of this was confusing, until you realize that this all happened 12 hours later, and then the show goes in on everything that happened before these points.

12 hours earlier...Derwin and Melanie is dealing with Melanie's abortion which might have led to infertility. McHottie pops up and starts talking with Mel, and, of course, Derwin feels upset behind it because Mel and McHottie used to mess around. From here, I saw that BET was going to overdo it with that laughing track. I told one of my followers that the laughing track was hit on every single one of McHottie's corny jokes, and I didn't laugh not ONCE!

Switch scene to Jason. He wakes up with some new chick Gloria ( played by Selita Eubanks), who is his "press conference smash buddy." She invites him to a wedding, which he doesn't want to go to. That gets a conversation started about Jason's insecurity with being black and being with black women. Yawn. Jenna ends up on Malik's doorstep and she is on drugs again...a true hot mess. However, Malik, because he is obviously still in love with her, steps up and tries to take care of her. That was nice to see, because if you've seen Malik in previous seasons, he's never been in love with a girl like this.

Tasha dropped Derwin and took Malik back on as a client, which you can see she regrets. And that's her entire story line. "Family first, family first," she continues to say to herself as she sees Malik taking care of Jenna. I think her worry is, as a manager, that her client is worrying too much about this girl rather than his own career. As a mom, you want to support your son, but as a manager, you want to take on clients who are going to be focused on their careers, and make money (so you yourself can make money!). Tee Tee breaks it down to Tasha and tells her that she should make the best decision for herself. The better decision would be to go back to Derwin, since he's blowing up right now. At the end, Malik plans to take Jenna back to rehab, with Tasha  telling Malik not to make her regret choosing him.

Jason meets Chardonnay (Brandy) who is a sassy bartender who Jason starts trouble with.They end up getting into it at the bar, mainly because Jason feels entitled since he's a football player. A little while later, Brittany (who is still played by this new grown-looking girl, but I've let that go) is seen kissing a white boy, which Jason sees as well, and that sparks a mini discussion in interracial dating. Later, we see that the argument between the two resulted in Chardonnay getting fired. However, later she still ends up going to dinner with him. They both end up drunk, and go to Mexico and get married?! Completely random! Chardonnay breaks into Jason's shell a bit,  confronting him for not wanting black women, and says that he's embarrassed of being black. Black women rejected him, because it seemed like he wasn't "black enough" for them, so he turned to white women who accepted him as he was. He realizes that that is why he is insecure with being black and dating black women. I would start about how that is definitely BET  trying to say on the sly that black men should be with black women, but I'll let that go because this review is already long enough.

The most interesting story line for me was Derwin and Melanie's, in dealing with this abortion. Though I just want Melanie to get pregnant already, so we can stop focusing on her jealousy of Janay having Derwin's first child, it's still a real story line. Derwin apologizes for his role in Melanie's abortion,  which he believes was after freshman year during college. He admits that he should have been by her side, but decided to pretend like nothing happened to continue living his dream. Only for Melanie to later tell him that Derwin's rival Trey Wiggs (who she fooled around with in season 2 when Melanie and Derwin broke up), was the father of the baby. She didn't have that abortion in college, but really on the sly in season 2, using Tasha's money to do so. That was the true shocker of the episode! Coincidentally, the couple saw Trey and his family out one day, and invited them to D.J.'s third birthday party. Trey shows up with a gift for D.J. without his family, and Derwin knocks him out in the driveway! To be honest, I was done with the show by that point, so I wasn't even jumping up and down on that one. That "big moment" was overshadowed  anyway (to me personally) by the fact that Wale's "Triumph" came on right after Trey hit the pavement. Yall know how much I love him!

Now. I NEVER want to sound ungrateful for this show coming back, because, like I said at the beginning, long-standing fan here! I love the cast, and am happy that it's back on! Or at least I was. BET, I'm very, VERY disappointed. You all turned a funny black sitcom into a wack fast-paced soap opera. It used to be focused on the lives of football players and their wives/girlfriends, and the impact that the game had on their lives. Now, it's just a terrible, terrible mess. I give this episode a D. That's no diss to the actors, because they did very well with what they were given, but the writing was terrible. It was extremely busy for one premiere episode. There should have been a main storyline (perhaps Melanie and Derwin) and a secondary storyline (with Brandy and Jason, but NOT with them ending up married in Mexico)! The writing was very random and sloppy.

This is where I have to branch off a bit. I'm a huge fan of Necole Bitchie, and so, of course, I'm a fan of her Facebook page. She asked her audience how did they feel about the show, and everybody went in. Many said they liked it, a good majority said that they didn't. I, of course, had to say my piece, and checked in to see how people weighed in, when I saw this comment:

"It seems like a good majority of people come out to say that they do not like the game. It was 
better on the CW. ETC... But most of you will never accept anything black...movies, shows,  
etc... Yall dislike black stuff before you even see it...if you take offense to this comment, I am 
talking about you..." 

I didn't take offense, but I let this viewer know that this had absolutely NOTHING to do with it being a black show or being on a black network. If anything, that's why black folks in particular should support other black shows, because there are very few out there. As a culture for some reason, we sometimes tend to have that "crab in a barrel" mentality. I gave BET's Let's Stay Together a chance for the very reason that there aren't many black sitcoms out, and we should support each other. However, I can't, as a true fan, say that tonight was a great episode. It wasn't. While the actors did well with what they were given, the writing was terrible. And this writing will ALWAYS be in comparison to The Game's time on the CW, because that's why people wanted it back in the first place.

In the comments, people went on to say that network execs read these comments, and negative comments could be a key factor in determining cancellation. And that may be so. However, telling writers everything is okay when there are clear issues doesn't do the show any good, either. Some complaints on the show may be a little petty, but many are constructive critiques if BET actually listened. Just because it's on the air (which I am grateful for), doesn't mean fans should get complacent and accept any old thing given. Randomly having a drunk Jason and Chardonnay to Mexico to get married was sloppy. Having Malik prance around with Jenna half dead for the entire episode was sloppy. While I appreciate the abortion storyline, focusing on Melanie's jealousy of Janay is getting a little old. And everything was thrown out at once, and was way too fast paced. Focus on one main storyline, with another on the side. THIS IS ALL CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OUT OF MY LOVE FOR THE SHOW!

If you thought that was a great episode, I'm truly convinced that you had to have just started watching either last night or last season when it premiered on BET. The writing on the CW was completely different that BET is giving. I don't know who left the writing team or who's on now, but this soap opera drama is not working for me. And, of course, I don't expect the show to be completely like it was on the CW, but it's completely changed format. It doesn't even seem to be about the game anymore. I miss the comedy. I miss the reality of football affecting the relationships and families on the show. I'm BEYOND tired of baby mama drama! I don't want to downplay the entire season, because we haven't seen it yet. However, BET, if this is all you have to offer me for the next 4 months or so (the season was renewed for 22 episodes this time around), I'd rather you cut it now. Of course, this was just the premiere, so we'll see how things go throughout the season.

We can all agree to disagree, but I would love input! What was your honest opinion of The Game? And should I switch to video recaps? I know these written ones get a little long!!! 

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