‘The Game’: Season 5 Episode 5 Review

My thoughts on episode 5 after the jump.

As always, reviews of previous episodes can be found here.

Coby Bell's ability to charm his way through this season's very silly story about Jason Pitts reconnecting with his blackness ("blackness" defined almost solely as – *sigh* –  the most stereotypical signifiers, of course) is astonishing. 

He carries Brandy through every scene and manages to make you care about Jason in that last scene where he begs Brandy's Chardonnay to give him a chance. And the silliness of the story provides lots of opportunities for Bell to nail line readings of stuff like "Aww, look at you! Black beauty! Is that Hennessey in your hand?" and "YES! That's what I'm here for. Plight me!"

But, in truth, very little that's happening on a story level makes any sense because it requires the writers to make Jason Pitts almost unbelievably, pathetically naive. I can't believe for a second that Jason is this naive and clueless about black women even though the comedy of it is funny in spots. And coupled with his naivete in last week's episode about racism, it is clear that the writers are relying just a bit too much on Bell's charm, which allows them to underwrite the story Bell is asked to play.

There is a very interesting story to be told about a guy like Jason Pitts who has spent his entire adult life ignoring the realities of race, using his wealth and fame as a buffer; a man who married a white woman because of his issues with black women.

That story isn't being told. That story is actually trivialized when the writers only occasionally suggest that there might actually be some hurt that underlies Jason Pitts' persona and instead spend lots of time on the humor of Jason Pitts' random sojourns into stereotypical blackness.

Dig into that hurt and the story could really work.


Some other thoughts:

  • The Derwin/Melanie church storyline made no sense to me and was incredibly flat. I don't really know what it connects to other than Derwin's infrequent religious qualities, which have always been the most underdeveloped aspect of the show going all the way back to Season 1.  Also – bougie Melanie not wanting to be in the back of the church is just irritating. Poor Tia Mowry Hardrict, she's getting awful material this season. She deserves better.
  • I really loved the scene with Tasha Mack and Jason because it gives us an opportunity to enjoy the show's two strongest comic actors hitting every single comedic beat flawlessly. 
  • Tasha loving Steve Harvey's book, though? Yet another example of neutering Tasha Mack. The CW Tasha Mack would have clowned the presumptuousness of Steve Harvey.
  • Love the guys' scene because Pooch Hall and Hosea Chanchez do their best work in scenes where the three men all work together.
  • Having your character shouting out your film, Jumping The Broom, is tacky, Salim Akil. Tsk tsk.
  • Always nice to see Irma P. Hall, but having her do something would have been better.


What did y'all think about episode 5? What do you think about Jason Pitts' story this season?

About tlewisisdope

I write. I live in DC.
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6 Responses to ‘The Game’: Season 5 Episode 5 Review

  1. LaWanda says:

    What do I think about Season 5? So far, unimpressed. Not awful but I am finding the episodes to be incredibly dull and pointless. I liked Jason’s storyline AT FIRST. I have known black people who choose other races because they were rejected by their own for so long. They are taking it too far now. I find it hard to believe that Jason is THIS out of touch with the black community. I like Jason and Chardonnay as a couple though and I think they have potential.

  2. Starry118 says:

    My thoughts while watching this episode:
    Why is The Game continuing down ghetto lane? If White writers had put this stereotypical nonsense out, people would have been in fisticuffs. Black writers, producers, or no: this is getting to be downright offensive.
    Were they even trying to make this a good episode? Who wrote this?
    Coby Bell is doing a great job with the crap he’s been given. I like Jason & Chardonnay, and I really hope the writers don’t screw them up.
    Why are they writing Melanie this way? Does she have any redeeming qualities now? If so, will she be allowed to keep them?
    Irma P. Hall! That’s it? Ok, maybe this isn’t a one-shot, and they’re beginning a s/l that will have her interact with Melanie & Derwin more? o.O
    What was the point of this episode? Who wrote this crap? Maybe they’re actually trying to tank the show…what other explanation is there for the writing going downhill faster than a mudslide? Maybe they do need new writers to make this show fresh, funny & interesting again…

  3. tigger500 says:

    I like the idea of Jason and Chardonnay, I just think the writing isn’t doing it justice.

  4. Tasha says:

    What was that song playing in the last scene of Episode 5 when Jason was confessing his feelings to Brandy’s character? I loved it!

  5. Brothernite says:

    The Game is one of the major reasons why I don’t watch BET. I, like a lot of people enjoy a good scripted television show. Why can’t we have good, scripted black TV shows? BET is the platform, why not give us the shows?
    BET had a golden opportunity to capture an audience that would propel THE GAME to Emmy status if the would lessen the laugh tracks and invest more time into a better script. The GAME had audience member is groves requesting it to be renewed for another season. You rewarded this support by creating a badly written, televised Chitlin’ circuit stage play. For some reason, you took each character and flipped them to the extreme opposite. The only character that you didn’t “tweak” was Tasha. The writers allowed her to continue to represent the “no existent” ignorant, bitter black woman.
    Melanie: Who use to be the sweet, loving girlfriend of a up and coming player that everyone supported and loved is now a self centered, manipulative, insecure trophy wife.
    Derwin: Was the loveable, wide-eyed rookie is now suppose to be the cocky team star (depending on what episode it is) who let his wife boss him around.
    Malik: A once franchise player who feel from grace is still self-centered and hasn’t learned from his failures.
    Jason: You have got to be kidding with the “Roots” moment. This season, he is supposed to get in touch with his dark side.
    Tasha: You are killing me with the “supposed” black stereotype. Do any of the writers talk like that around their friends, let along in a public setting?
    Te Te: Is there any more “shucking and jiving” need on black TV?
    I may be looking too much into this, but television shows (even comedies) host characters that people can relate to. You can script a show that is funny and has flavor without injecting the ignorant stereotypes that plague our culture today. Look at the Cosby Show. The show was funny and it reflected the era that it was in.
    I am sure that if you compare the numbers from the first three seasons to the numbers from season 4 & 5, you will see a decline. The only reason it probably is not a major decline would be that the viewers are hoping every week that the show will get better.
    Do serve junk food to your audience and tell us it is top shelf. We deserve better and expect better. Mold this into a show that people will want to watch again and again after it is off the air. Create a show that will allow these actors the chance to actually book additional gigs when this run is over (which I foresee being sooner than later).

  6. Luvelove22@hotmail.com says:

    @Brothernite, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you just said. I only started tuning in to BET for The Game. So far it has been nothing but disappointment. I only continue to watch because I really do hope that each new episode will be better than the last and remind me why I fell in love with this show before it was cut. I’m truly getting ready to give it up. Not only do none of the characters have any redeeming qualities this season, but the character Tasha is just infuriating to watch. She is beyond bitter and cruel to the point of disbelief. I hate to say it, but BET has killed this show.

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