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BET's "The Game" Solidifies Its Status As A Mega-Hit For BET (Season 5 Premier Numbers)

by Tambay A. Obenson
January 11, 2012 9:08 PM
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The Game

My Twitter feed was all abuzz last night with lots of chatter about the season 5 premier of BET's smash hit The Game.

I didn't watch it (I'm not a cable TV subscriber), and I STILL have yet to watch a single episode of the series, although I should and will, despite my ambivalence; at least so that I can see what exactly it is about this show that has a large chunk of black America hooked!

I just checked Netflix and the first 3 seasons are available on both DVD and streaming; season 4, or otherwise known as the season in which the series debuted on the nework to a record breaking 7.7 million viewers, is only available on DVD. So, for you who've been keeping up with the series since its early days on the CW before BET picked it up, what season should I start with? I heard that the latter seasons are better than the earlier; I have no intention of watching all 4 seasons, which is why I'm asking all you hardcore fans out there which of the 4 currently on home video best represents the series.

For its season 5 premiere last night, The Game didn't break any records as it did in 2011, but it still impressed drawing 5.3 million viewers.

According to Deadline, while its a 31% drop from its record-setting BET premiere last year, its numbers were higher than most scripted series on cable TV. 

So how many of you made up that 5.3 million number? How many of you who've avoided the series opted in last night to check it out for yourselves? How many of you are like me, and are curious enough to want to check it out, given the hype, and at least want to see what it's all about? How many of you are still not sold on it?

Alright, I'm about to push the play button on Season 3 episode 1... unless you all tell me to start elsewhere.

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  • MsWilliamsWorld | January 16, 2012 6:37 PMReply

    As others have already stated, the show has indeed taken a 'different' direction since BET picked it up; but I guess I, like many others, are sticking in there with it because we know what it USED to be and we're just holding out hope that it'll find its way again. That said, I'd say Season 1 starts out a little cheesy, but it really found its groove with the subsequent seasons--basically, up until 'Derwin' & 'Melanie' got married. 'Tasha' (W.R. Robinson), 'Malik' (Hosea Chanchez) and 'T.T.' (Barry Floyd) will definitely amuse you, and 'Jason' (Coby Bell) will have you literally LOL. Give it a chance--you may not loooooooooove it, but you definitely won't hate it. ;-)

  • Mark | January 12, 2012 3:47 PMReply

    It's a soap opera about the dysfunctional lives of wealthy black folks in and around professional football.

  • Troy | January 12, 2012 3:30 PMReply

    The hype is; take America's most popular sport, the archetypes of the black buck, mulatto, and the coon. Now understand that all of their stories are basically told through the lives of the women that spend their money. Regardless of a man being an alpha and controlling his own destiny his significant relevance is that of the the life he can provide for the women around him. Rib meat, you know black people like ribs.

  • Troy | January 12, 2012 3:38 PM

    You take the San Diego Chargers who they are based on and these guys have already fucked many of the celebrity guest stars for this show. The show is not half as sensational as what goes on involving real athletes starting in high school. None of their women play much of a part in any of the decisions they make anyway. Meagan Good smokes newports during sex. Serena fucked and sucked over 4 players on the NYG roster of 06. Gabby Union while married to a ball player fucked his first round draft pick teammate Reggie Williams. Singer Mya was fucking arena football players. All of these women getting glam attention over real beautiful women. So much so that the real beautiful women want to be like them so they cant accept a compliment because they havent had plastic surgery yet.

  • juliette | January 12, 2012 1:47 PMReply

    I still don't understand the hype about this show.

  • aliciafiasco | January 12, 2012 12:02 PMReply

    Honestly, you must start with Season 1-3. Those were the best years of "The Game." Since going with BET, the series has turned into the ghetto version of its former self. You have to watch the early (and better) seasons to see the transition and how BET ruined what was an awesome dramedy! There is this emphasis on proving how stereotypically Black the characters are now, especially with Tasha's character. From talking about smoking weed, drinking in every scene and patting her weave (none of which was necessary while on the CW), Tasha has gone from being a strong, multifaceted character, to another baby mama archetype. It breaks my heart how BET has ruined "The Game." But I continue to support in hopes that Mara Brock Akil can break away from all that mess. Aside from Shonda Rhimes, she is the only other woman in the biz who is representing for us. And she's not nearly as bad as TP or that "Let's Stay Together"/"Love That Girl" crap. I think that people like her can get us back to the days of "Living Single" and "Different World."

    If you watch the early seasons first, you will see for yourself how much the show has been dipped in the sell-out blood of everything BET has become.

  • Cherish | January 12, 2012 1:31 PM

    And I forgot to mention - a character named CHARDONNAY????!!! And guess what she's like. UGH BET Whyyyyy... I'm thru.

  • Cherish | January 12, 2012 1:28 PM

    Thank you!! I was just about to comment on the ghetto-ification of "The Game" and you told it well. I don't have the heart anymore for a show that while it didn't have the ratings, was well written show with developed characters, and now in the hands of BET, has turned into heaping pile of mess. Everything from the ruined characters to a completely irresponsible storyline where they're equating a woman's infertility problems due to an abortion (REALLY BET). I can't anymore. Last season was bad, but with everything but the kitchen sink thrown into this season's opening episode purely for melodrama, I'm done.

  • Miami | January 11, 2012 11:31 PMReply

    I echo the prior postings. Please watch seasons 1-3, it would be well worth it. I still continue to watch those old reruns on BET. I could do without season four, but season five is up to a good start.

  • Johnson | January 11, 2012 9:28 PMReply

    Exactly what Yolanda said. You MUST start from the beginning. If you are not willing to, then maybe you should pass this assignment on to someone else. Just saying. 50% of the people will say Season 1-3 were better and the other 50% will go with the post BET version of the series. You will 100% underestimate and write off the show if you miss the original premise and character foundations established in the first seasons. Your critique will be jaded, short cited, reactionary, and plainly put, inaccurate and quite disrespectful to the artists involved and the audiences who value the insights of the S&A family. Frankly I'm tired of S&A posting stories about television shows that start with, "I haven't seen one episode" or "I don't know what the show is about". Where they do that at? Seriously.

  • TR | January 12, 2012 12:18 PM

    CO-SIGN! Johnson makes a very good point. Do your research. Give your best effort. Do what it takes to write a solid critique. That's what responsible journalism is. We as your patrons deserve at least that much to make it worth our while to take time to read and comment. If not, consider hiring a freelancer or guest writer who HAS seen all episodes of the show to write this particular piece. That's only fair. Sounds like any one of us who has submitted a comment in this thread might be better qualified. :/

  • 06er | January 12, 2012 7:23 AM

    "Frankly I'm tired of S&A posting stories about television shows that start with, "I haven't seen one episode" or "I don't know what the show is about". Where they do that at? Seriously."

    Exactly. I think now is the time for me to "unlike" this blog. What's the point of talking about entertainment when one doesn't.... you know, take the time to get entertained?

  • bbdoodles | January 12, 2012 12:53 AM


    I don't follow the show religiously like some people, but damn! You haven't caught a glimpse of it while channel surfing before BET bought it? Those re-runs were in excess. The writing and character development is so good, don't cheat and only watch one season. Support black scripted TV and see 'em all.

    I am personally a fan of the CW-era (1-3) and found some of the major plots more foolish once it moved to BET, but that's just me.

  • Yolanda | January 11, 2012 9:17 PMReply

    I think you should start with season 1 to see how the series has progressed. I enjoyed last night's show and I am glad it's doing well. I won't be satisfied until we get a Girlfriends movie though!

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