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Can BET’s The Game Get Any Worse?

Submitted by on January 11, 2012 – 9:27 am23 Comments

The new season of BET’s The Game premiered on Tuesday night and it became painfully obvious that the show is a shell of its former self. Better yet, the shell is all that remains as the heart and soul has been gutted out and replaced with a “dramedy” that attempts to deliver extreme levels of drama a mile a minute with complete disregard of the diehard fans who begged for the same product that was abruptly halted.

If it weren’t for the actors, nobody would notice that The Game was the same show that became a cult favorite after being spun off from Girlfriends. It’s become a distinct departure from what it once was and I think I hate it. What’s wrong with the show you ask? Just about everything.

Let’s start with the fact that the show can’t decide whether it’s supposed to be a drama or a comedy as evidence by the wildly inappropriate laugh track. In the season opener, it appears that the show was trying to stay on a course of seriousness as Derwin and Melanie worked through their marital issues — which have become mindbogglingly worse over the past season. But then we cut to Malik and Tasha Mack dealing with a dead body in the garage and there are jokes aplenty. The characters cracking jokes in the middle of “serious” segments proves that this show is dealing with a major identity crisis. For whatever reason, we hear more laugh track during this part of the episode than in any other. If this were an episode of Martin, then the jokes would make sense. But when you are a serious show dealing with serious and grossly exaggerated issues, going for cheap laughs is pretty lame.

The show also decides that it must deal head on with Jason’s issues with black women. While this is fine in theory, the execution was piss poor. It’s as if the issue lowered its head and just ran over everything in sight, as Jason’s affinity for white women is questioned and forces his connection to Brandy’s character Chardonnay. Rather than peel layers off of Jason’s character, we get stabbed with this blunt object repeatedly until the episode ends. I’m sure that this will be an ongoing theme since Jason’s wife Kelly has been inexplicably written off forever. Whether or not we care is a whole other question entirely.

Then we have the characters turned caricatures known as Malik and Tasha Mack. Both characters have become so one-dimensional that it isn’t even funny. The permanent scowl that Malik wears does nothing for his character whatsoever. Rather than show a wide range of emotion, Malik is banished to “I’m-mad-at-the-world” land. He’s become overbearing and could easily be written off without causing an uproar. Tasha Mack has really, really nailed the ghetto fabulous queen role. So much, in fact, that she appears to be stuck in that area as her mannerisms continue to come complete with a neck roll and gum chewing.

Ultimately, the fact is that the season is chock full of plot holes, barren characters, and wayward storylines, and makes it rather difficult to be taken seriously. The “television show darling that could” has became the pompous mess that can’t. Sure, people will watch it and it will get ratings. However, the story arcs have become so ridiculous that we all have to reconsider helping bring it back in the first place. Sadly, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

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