The Game was a spinoff from the successful series Girlfriends that aired on The CW from 2006-2009. Girlfriends creator Mara Brock Akil had an idea for a new series, a show about football players and the women in their lives and their relationships where they interact because they have to. It was a 180 from Girlfriends where the series focused on relationships between friends.
The Game focuses on Melanie Barnett (Tia Mowry) a med student who puts her plans on hold for her boyfriends Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall) career as a football player. He’s on the rise in his rookie year and Melanie moves to LA with him, instead of going to John Hopkins which is the top medical school in the country and goes to a less credited school to be with him. The show also focuses on Derwin’s teammates veteran player Jason Pitts (Coby Bell) and his interracial marriage to his wife Kelly (Brittany Daniel) as well as star player Malik Wright (Hosea Chanchez) and his overbearing mother Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson) who is also his agent and has nicknames for people like Melanie is “med-school”, and Kelly is “white-girl”.
The first season covers jealousy, interracial relationships, trusting each other, letting go and more. All subjects which couples and friends go through during their relationships. While the show is a comedy, it handles these subjects in a realistic way as opposed to an over-the-top funny way. The show is an ensemble show and while the show is good when focusing on one of the pairs or just the men or just the women, it really shines when they are all together interacting and reaction to a situation.
Sadly the series was cancelled because The CW changed its lineup to remove all half-hour comedies. Akil came up with a plan to change the series to an hour-long series and The CW still wasn’t interested. However there is a glimmer of hope. BET already airs The Game (and Girlfriends) in syndication on their network and they are trying to pick up the series for a fourth season, but licensing issues from CBS (who produces the series) need to be worked out first.
The extras for The Game include the episode from Girlfriends which served as the backdoor pilot. This was a great extra since I started watching The Game from the first episode, but since I wasn’t a Girlfriends watcher, I had never seen the episode. All the elements of the series are in this episode with a couple of differences; the part of Kelly was played by Jennifer Baxter (who was replaced by Brittany Daniel for the series) and Derwin was played by Aldis Hodge (Pooch Hall replaced him in the series). After watching the episode, Daniel was a better fit for the series, however I liked Hodges portrayal better than Hall, but maybe I’m biased since I think Hodges is great in Leverage.
The other extras are interview/commentary with creator Mara Brock Akil. Throughout the three discs are short (under two minutes each) commentaries/interview with Akil. She talks about the overall season and then focuses on a particular episode. There are five of these extras spread out over the set. These are interesting since not all episodes need a full length commentary and you get Akil’s intentions for the episode or hear a quick anecdote about the actors or guest star.
It would have been nice to have some behind the scenes featurettes with the cast or a commentary with them for an episode or two so we could hear their thoughts on series. But since there are two more seasons of The Game that can be put out on DVD, maybe future releases will include those features.