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Case Number 23026: Small Claims Court

Buy The Game: The Fourth Season at Amazon

The Game: The Fourth Season

BET // 2011 // 275 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 29th, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson doesn't hate the player. He hates The Game.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of The Game (Blu-ray) Criterion Collection (published October 5th, 2012) and The Game (1997) (HD DVD) (published May 2nd, 2007) are also available.

The Charge

Welcome back! (I didn't even know you were gone.)

The Case

The Game originally aired on The CW, before being cancelled. Not to be denied, the showrunners got the series resurrected on BET, ensuring that its legions(?) of fans can once again find solace in the arms of this sitcom. Or drama. Or soap opera. To be honest, I'm still not completely sure what kind of show this is.

Or really what's going on. The first episode opens with the title card "TWO YEARS LATER" and we're right back into the season. Two years later than what? Who knows? If you're unacquainted with the happenings of The Game—like I am—you'll enter this collection of episodes utterly confused. A quick scan of the packaging's plot synopsis reveals that Melanie (Tia Mowry Hardrict, Twitches Too) and Derwin (Pooch Hall, Jumping the Broom) got married. So there you go.

The Game focuses on the friendship of three women and their interactions with their men (husbands, ex-husbands). And while it's a female-focused show, there's still plenty of burn given to the male counterparts. What bewildered me was the type of show this was. I had always thought it to be a comedy, but it's shot like a soap opera. And the subject matter is not the breezy laugh-bait stuff you'd find on most half-hour shows. Here, they're talking about infidelity and paternity tests.

Yet, there's a laugh track. Granted, it's the most muted, disinterested laugh track I've ever heard, but it's there, essentially torpedoing my soap opera theory. Maybe this the BET answer to Aaron Sorkin?

Specs on The Game: The Fourth Season: Two discs, twelve episodes, presented in standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, and slapped with 5.1 Dolby surround tracks. Extras include featurettes focusing one the return of the series, a general behind-the-scenes look, a gag reel, and a handful of deleted scenes.

Regardless of where it lands adjective-wise, The Game did very little for me. The humor was either non-existent or achingly broad, and the melodrama was laid on pretty thick. I will give a thumbs-up to creator Mara Brock Akil, who purposely crafted the male characters to be smart, capable, and realistic, as opposed to the dolts we see in most other women-centric shows.

The Verdict

15 yard penalty for unnecessary laugh track.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 60

Perp Profile

Studio: BET
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 275 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Drama
• Romance
• Romantic Comedies
• Sports
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Deleted Scenes
• Featurettes
• Gag Reel


• IMDb
• Official Site

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