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Featured TV on DVD Review: The Game: Season Three

July 3rd, 2010

The Game: Season Three - Buy from Amazon

First a quick note, the most recent DVD release for The Game is no longer called The Final Season on the DVD case, despite what you see on, and for good reason. It's no longer the final season. It has been reported very recently that new episodes for the fourth season, which will appear on BET, will begin filming this fall with a season premiere scheduled for January. Fans of the show should rejoice.

This is the third or fourth DVD release for The Game that I've reviewed; it depends on whether you count the sixth season of Girlfriends, which contained the backdoor pilot. I liked the original pilot, even though it could be accurately described as an unchallenging sitcom. It had some good chemistry and real potential. However, by the time the series began, some of the cast has changed and this hurt the chemistry. Additionally, the writing wasn't reaching its potential and the creators seemed to care more about guest stars than stories. The second season had all of these problems, plus it took a serious turn into soap opera territory. So does it get better in season three, or did the show continue its downward trajectory?

Unfortunately, it's the latter. If anything, they ramped up the soap opera elements for this season. At the end of season two, the relationship meltdown between Melanie and Derwin hit another snag when the latter found out he got another woman pregnant. At the beginning of season three, they try to work it out, but it takes a toll on both of them. Kelly and Jason go from separated to the beginnings of their divorce proceedings, but throughout the season they both has second thoughts (but they always seem to be on a different page than one another). Malik no longer tries to keep his marriage to Robin Givens a secret from his mom, Tasha, while his mom continues to try to keep her relationship with Rick a secret, despite his desire to go public.

The relationships range from schizophrenic to pure soap opera to sitcom fluff. But at least with the sitcom fluff, they are aiming for humor. The drama has overtaken the comedy by such a degree that at times it almost feels jarring when the show attempts humor. Perhaps the writers realized the network was about to dump the show, so they decided to go all out trying anything to convince them for one more season. There were going for a "Wow!" moment to hook viewers. It didn't work. It didn't work for the show's quality, while it hurt the show's ratings as well. (It lost about a quarter of its second season ratings, after seeing a small amount of growth from season one to season two.) Hopefully now that it is going to the BET, it will go back to the season one sitcom roots. It might have been uncomplicated, it might not have lived up to its potential, but at least it had more comedy, which is the key ingredient in a sitCOM.

There are no extras on the 3-disc set, nor are there subtitles. There are play all buttons and proper chapter placements, but that's it for DVD authoring.

The Verdict

When I first saw The Game as a backdoor pilot on Girlfriends, I thought it had potential. It has never lived up to that potential. In fact, it seems to be moving away from its potential and by Season Three I'm beginning to wonder if the creators even remember it is supposed to be a sitcom. Hopefully it will recover once it goes to BET.

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