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Featured TV on DVD Review: The Game - Season Two

January 17th, 2010

The Game - Season Two - Buy from Amazon

A spin-off to the long-running TV series, Girlfriends, The Game stars Tia Mowry as Melanie Barnett, who in the first season gives up a chance to study at Johns Hopkins to be with her boyfriend, Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall), who starts the series as a rookie for the San Diego Sabers. Being the girlfriend of a professional football player is stressful, but she has help from Kelly Pitts, the wife of one of the players, and Tasha Mack, the mother of another player. I reviewed the first season but felt it wasn't living up to potential. Can it improve during its sophomore season?

At the end of season one, Melanie learned that Derwin had cheated on her with Drew Sidora, which has ramifications throughout the season. Also early in the season, the Sabers are sold and the new ownership team hires a new coach, Lee Majors, which also has ramifications throughout the season. The football-related aspect of the show becomes a little more prominent with the sale of the Sabers and the coaching change, for a couple of reasons, including his drive to win the championship. It also becomes clear that the new coach doesn't like Jason Pitts, the veteran receiver and husband of Kelly Pitts. Jason's attempts to secure a place on the team run the gamut from the unusual (starting a bible study group) to the unethical (using steroids). I found the football aspect of the show a lot more interesting than the relationship part, which might have something to do with the fact that I'm not in the show's target demographic. Also, not only do the relationships quickly devolve into a soap opera territory, too often they drain the humor out of the show. For instance, Derwin's violent reaction to Melanie leaving him should have been the end of that. Technically, he committed two felonies trying to prevent Melanie from getting her stuff back and after that any talk of, "Will they or won't they get back together?" no longer worked for me. He might have gotten a woman pregnant and is worried that might affect their future together? He threatened to physically assault her friends. He did physically assault her. Why is this relationship even on the table? On a side note, I say "technically" because I don't think that's how the writers meant to portray it.

Additionally, the problems of the first season are still present here, including the overuse of guest stars. It seems every other episode has a special guest star who's used to draw in viewers, when it should be the writing that does that. Stunt casting is usually a sign that a show has jumped the shark and its best days are behind it. With The Game, it was a problem from day one.

Additionally, there are no extras on this three-disc set.

The Verdict

Admittedly, I'm outside the target demographic of The Game, and perhaps those who are will enjoy Season Two. But the over-reliance on soap opera melodramatics and guest stars, as well as the lack of extras, limits its appeal and the value. Call it a rental.

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