History Series / TheGame

29th Dec '17 10:17:34 AM lakingsif
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[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/250px-Thegame-titlecard_5290.png]]

%% You just lost The Game %%

Back in 2006, ''The Game'' was one of the first TV shows that debuted with the newly-merged Creator/TheCW network. The series centers on a trio of football players who play for the San Diego Sabers, and the women who support them. Derwin Davis is the engaged rookie receiver who's trying to resist the temptation filled life the NFL offers, while veteran quarterback Malik Wright already indulged into those same perks by building his own strip club and sleeping with enough women to fill a personal library of amateur porn (no, really). Aging wide receiver Jason Pitts has already experienced his fair share of the high life, but with his years in the league being numbered, he’s obsessed with winning an NFL championship ring to escape his father’s shadow. Jason’s also determined to avoid bankruptcy that affected his father and indirectly, himself, even though his actions are placing a strain on his own family.

The women are various modes of supportive, even when going through their own personal crises. Melanie Barnett, like fiance Derwin, is practically wide-eyed when adapting to the world of professional sports, along with the additional pressure of finishing medical school and eventually practice medicine. Former teen mom Tasha Mac doubles as Malik's manager, and often puts herself in compromising situations to support her troubled dating life, her career, and her son. Ex-cheerleader Kelly Pitts is often forced to balance her family life with husband Jason and their daughter Brittany, while navigating her way back into the working world and becoming more independent. However, obligations to her family and the Sabers organization often impede her in the worst ways.

As ''The Game'' progresses, it becomes clear that being involved in the professional sports world comes with a personal price. All three couples get into conflicts between family and business. Fallouts between friends and even loved ones are pretty common, and the ubiquitous media presence sometimes catches too many unauthorized glimpses of the resulting carnage. Ironically enough, ''The Game'' preceded several reality shows that focus on famous athletes and the women behind them, which makes the show all the more prophetic, if not necessarily surprising.

However, ''The Game'' isn’t perfect. It often suffers from an overabundance of guest stars, mainly used as [[DeusExMachina plot conveniences]] ([[SpecialGuest Rick Fox’s extended role]] comes to mind). Also, its [[TakeThat declarations]] against the [[RealLifeWritesThePlot controversial real life sports stories]] are anything but subtle, its portrayal of the male-centric and/or racist administrative side of the sports world isn’t handled very deftly, and most of the non-primary white characters are portrayed rather idiotically. ''Series/TheWire'' of the sports world, it is not. But overall, ''The Game'' shows a surprising amount of depth with the professional sports world’s uglier side. One could make a case that [[CrapsaccharineWorld beyond the glitz and glam, it’s a dog-eat-dog cutthroat environment]].

For some, ''The Game'' reminds viewers of the [[ShortRunners ill-fated]] but scarily realistic ESPN drama ''Playmakers'' (which also involves NFL players and their controversial lives), even though it avoids the grimness of ''Playmakers'' by [[LighterAndSofter mixing a good balance of drama and humor]]. The third and (especially) fourth seasons get progressively darker, but never quite extinguish the lighter elements that made the show a delight for fans early on. It might be a reason why ''The Game'' didn’t offend the NFL the way ''Playmakers'' did. Then again, ''The Game'' didn’t get much attention in the sports media world, possibly because of the [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/FridayNightLights ''other'' major football show on NBC]] or perhaps because of the [[UnfortunateImplications ugly stigma that often follows shows with mostly black casts]]).

Alas, that attitude was present within The CW itself, and it eventually caused [[ScrewedByTheNetwork The Game’s cancellation after three seasons]]. Many black viewers feared that might happen after the WB merged with UPN – the only network rife with black-casted comedies – because the WB's half might whitewash UPN's side. Three seasons after both the CW and ''The Game'' debuted, that’s exactly what happened. Hence, minority viewers’ backlash against the big networks for the lack of racial balance with their shows (''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'' getting canceled with ''The Game'' and ABC’s ''Series/UglyBetty'' getting canceled months later didn’t help).

Fortunately for ''The Game'', [[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/business/media/17bet.html?_r=1 BET wasn’t deaf to the acrimony]], and met with the show’s producers to [[UnCanceled resurrect the canceled sitcom]]. Thanks to the growing interest in cable programming, Creator/{{BET}} already re-structured its schedule to re-air black sitcoms for reruns - and that included ''The Game''. BET’s reruns of ''The Game'' consistently got higher ratings than its original airings on the CW, and the fanbase grew exponentially during this period. The network also needed a vehicle for its own original scripted programming - with sitcom ''Let’s Stay Together'' being its first live-action scripted comedy [[note]]The 2001 animated series, ''Hey Monie!'', was BET's first scripted series [[/note]] – [[NetworkToTheRescue which made The Game a perfect candidate]].

When ''The Game'' finally returned on Jan 11th, 2011, nineteen months since the CW’s cancellation, the ratings hit an unprecedented ‘’7.7 million’’ viewers during the premier, the largest viewing audience in cable history. The numbers dwindled to a steadier 4.4 million, come the season four finale, but it’s still much higher than the CW broadcasts. In fact, [[LaserGuidedKarma The Game’s ratings on BET often matched, or even ''surpassed'', those of the CW’s lineup at the time]].

MoralOfTheStory: treat your audience like they matter, and they’ll reward you.

----
!!This show provides examples of:
* AbortedArc: At the end of season three, Kelly started falling in love with Jason again after he fought off her crazy boyfriend. Even with Jason's new relationship souring any possibility of the divorced couple re-uniting, the door was still open. Come season four, Kelly's happily divorced and shows no signs of wanting to be married to Jason again.
** In a more [[DontExplainTheJoke literal]], [[IncrediblyLamePun punny]] sense, the last minute of season four: [[spoiler: when Derwin asked Melanie if he aborted his child]].
* AllMenArePerverts: The reason many ballers' wives claim they have to be ''that'' much better in bed in order to keep their men from straying, because of all the temptation out there for the picking. Malik pretty much screws anything that walks, except for the few attempts at having a dedicated relationship. On the other hand...
* AllWomenAreLustful: ...the women aren't exactly chaste either, especially in season four. The wife of the Sabers owner regularly cheats on her husband with Malik, and threatened to blackmail him when he refused her advances overtime. Women in lingerie often appear in Derwin's hotel rooms. The girlfriend of TT, Malik's best friend, screws Malik behind TT's back one day. The Game is pretty much one of the only shows that exhibit lusty behavior on both genders.
* BreakTheCutie: Poor Kelly. Jason's authoritative attitude and insecurities keep rubbing off on her throughout the first two seasons. During one season one episode, she was so exhausted from Jason's repeated demands, she had an anxiety attack.
* BreakTheHaughty: Jason in season 2, Malik in season 4. Both of them get better though, despite avoiding SuddenHumility (their {{Jerkass}} simply got toned down). Derwin seems to be headed this direction in season 5 after [[spoiler: he intentionally missed a tackle and exposed the Sabers' rookie quarterback to a season ending, and possibly career ending, injury. Despite Derwin denying the act, [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion the press and fans savaged him for his presumed actions.]] ]]
* CatchPhrase:
** Tasha: "I got your X in my trunk"
** Derwin: "That's what up"
* CerebusSyndrome: See DarkerAndEdgier below.
* CharacterDevelopment: A fair amount overall.
* ChivalrousPervert: Malik may be a womanizer, have his own built-in strip club, and prides himself on his own library of amateur porn, but [[EvenEvilHasStandards he doesn't take lightly to women being treated like dogs by other men]]. When Malik's half-sister was about to be taken advantage of by men more lecherous than himself, he brought in her father to help get her away from the guys. When Malik witnessed the Sabers owner diss his own wife in public because of her {{Stripperific}} outift, despite the fact that she planned to blackmail Malik, he still felt bad for her.
** He also wouldn't sleep with Melanie when she threw herself at him in grief, knowing that she would regret it horribly later.
* CoolOldGuy: Jason in season 4. Before that he was the QuicklyDemotedLeader.
* ConvictedByPublicOpinion: Given how the show is focused around the NFL, the press and fans often perceive the players' actions differently from what viewers see them do in their everyday lives, or assume the worst of their actions when things go wrong for the players and/or their respective Sabers team. In the latter category, this is taken to the extreme when [[spoiler: Derwin left the Sabers' rookie quarterback vulnerable to a knee injury by blatantly missing an easy tackle. The media and Sabers fans intensely express their disdain for Derwin afterward, especially when some reporters brought up the disagreements between Derwin and the QB prior to the injury. Ironically enough, this happened during a post-interview game the Sabers ''won'', despite the team getting trounced in a CurbStompBattle before Malik came in as the backup QB.]]
* CrapsaccharineWorld: One of the better examples portrayed in scripted TV. The world of professional sports looks very sheen and high class on the surface, but on the business end, questionable practices and shady internal politics often rear their ugly heads. The San Diego setting also brings home a high quotient of beautiful women, which makes it hell for the engaged/married players. But even these temptresses come with their own agenda, as many of them aspire to get impregnated by a Sabers player for child support. Backstabbing is quite common amongst businessman and players, simply to reach their aspiring goals ([[LonelyAtTheTop and may come with a cost for those who abandon their friends along the way]]). For players who act wisely on and off the field, they won't have many regrets come retirement time, but with the number of people chewed up and spit out by the perils of the professional sports life, it's the exception more than the norm.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The fourth season, most notably. Even then, it's not too drastic.
** Perhaps most noticeable with Malik's friend Terrence (or T.T) who practically never had a serious, dramatic line pre-cancellation, recieved a subplot where his girlfriend cheats on him with [[spoiler:Malik]].
** Season five, though far less depressing than the previous season, went even further this direction.
** The whole show is this compared to the series it technically spun off from, ''{{Series/Girlfriends}}.''
** It got to the point that in the BET seasons, the laugh track feels forced, uncomfortable, inappropriate, and out of place in the middle of all the heavy drama. As early as season six, they ditched the laugh track completely, and humorous moments are now [[CerebusSyndrome very few and far between]].
* DepravedBisexual: Averted. The only bisexual woman shown so far turned out to be pretty modest and respectful, even with her open-minded sexulity.
* DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale: Unfortunately, played straight when Tasha visits Malik's father, Chauncy. When Tasha visits his place one too many times, Chauncy's wife thinks he's cheating on her. When he runs outside and tries to explain that he didn't, she punches him in the face. He comes back, holding his left eye, and the LaughTrack comes on, portraying this as humorous.
* DysfunctionJunction: So much that it really makes you wonder how ''any'' of these people are still friends, let alone speaking to each other, after all the backstabbing.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Malik may be a womanizing bastard, but he draws the line at abusing women, and goes AboveTheInfluence when dealing with a grief-stricken Melanie.
* {{Fanservice}}: Good lord, yes. The gratuitousness goes to extremes at times, and makes one wish that The Game aired on HBO or Showtime. Viewers of both genders can scope out a reasonable amount of eye candy, though the male viewers have more to pick from.
* {{Flanderization}}: Yet another reason, among several, for why the fourth season bugged fans. Kelly acted vapid for her reality show and threw away all sense of dignified independence that she fought too hard for seasons earlier, daughter Brittany became much brattier than her younger self, and Malik became the resident JerkSue. In contrast, Jason, [[AvertedTrope who used to be the]] JerkSue, [[CharacterDevelopment became the most chivalrous, selfless reasonable character in the cast]].
* GenreShift: The show started out as a sitcom, but eventually became a full-blown drama.
* HideYourGays: Subverted by the Sabers organization when they found out one of their players is gay. The feeling of camaraderie becomes less fuzzy when the viewer realizes most of them are doing it for a publicity boost instead of truly accepting his sexuality. Malik comes around, despite him getting hit on by the player while [[MistakenForGay he was also accused of being gay]].
* IDidntMeanToTurnYouOn: Tasha (episode Breakthrough) takes a celibacy class so she can avoid having sex with a man she is attempting to build a relationship with. Pookie, however, is unaware and attempts to be romantic, all the while Tasha is confusing him with her body language and comical displays avoidance.
* JerkJock: Malik is the best example.
* LaughTrack: Used here just as often as other TV comedies. The fourth season, however, doesn't use it as often.
* ManipulativeBitch: Melanie. Tasha even calls her out on this.
* MindScrew: The opening minute of season five, which shows a flash forward of Derwin, Malik and Jason's circumstances. [[spoiler: Derwin's plot picks up from finding out about Melanie's abortion last season, Malik thinks his model girlfriend died from a drug overdose, and Jason suddenly wakes up in Mexico and finds out that he's now married.]] Needless to say, this made many fans go "WTF?", especially with Jason's plot.
* MoodDissonance: T.T. has a habit of jumping in with a humorous line at the end of otherwise serious scenes.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Let's see: Derwin Davis is a superstar wide receiver, feuds with quarterbacks, wears #81, and is an alumnus of a Division 1 FCS school[[note]] Penn in this case [[/note]]. Now, who has those same [[http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/O/OwenTe00.htm traits]]?
* OnlySaneMan: T.T. is also the only character that seems to always have himself together, while at the same time keeping other characters from going of the rails. With one exception that wasn't even his fault.
* PlotRelevantAgeUp: Brittany was about eight or nine years old at the end of season three. In season four, now she's closer to thirteen or fourteen, [[DawsonCasting and barely resembles her previous self]].
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: The show's premise and characters were established in a season 6 episode of the Creator/{{UPN}} sitcom ''Series/{{Girlfriends}}'', in which Melanie is depicted as the cousin of that show's lead character Joan Clayton.
** TheOtherDarrin: The ''Girlfriends'' episode features different actors in the roles of Kelly and Jason Pitts. The parts would be recast when ''The Game'' was picked up as a series.
* PutOnABus: Kelly went off to "find herself" halfway through season 4. She wouldn't return until season seven.
** Melanie and Derwin were put on a LongBusTrip at the end of season 5 and were replaced by a new couple. They both make one final appearance in the series finale.
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: Happened in season 4 when Parker (played by Meagan Good) blackmailed Malik into sleeping with her [[HypocriticalHumor by saying she would tell everyone he raped her if he didn't]]. As you know, Malik is a football player, and this would likely destroy his life completely, especially since he has done many questionable things already. Anyway, after they slept together(the show never acknowledges that this is rape, even with the look of despair on his face) she hits him in the back of the head and makes him [[LampshadedDoubleEntendre go another round]]. Cue LaughTrack... She never got called out on this, got a FreudianExcuse, and even walked out of it [[KarmaHoudini relatively cleanly]], much cleaner than Malik himself did.
** Not quite a KarmaHoudini, since season five revealed that Parker was divorced and financially cut off from her husband.
* ShooOutTheClowns: The biggest complaint of season 4.
** WordOfGod claimed that [[http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-game/the-akils-answer-your-questions/10150129289511976 season 5 would return to the more lighthearted tone of the earlier seasons, which it did]]. [[DarkerAndEdgier The rest of the series, on the other hand...]]
* SoapOperaRapidAgingSyndrome: Interesting example, since at the end of season 3, Brittany was about nine (she was six in the pilot episode). After the two year timeskip, she should be 11, but instead, she's 13 with no explanation given. This is because Brittany's new actor is older than the old Brittany, and the fact that there is no possible way the new Brittany could possibly pass for an 11 year old. [[DawsonCasting Not that she passes for a 13 year old any better...]]
* SpecialGuest: Done frequently with one shot appearances, though Rick Fox stars in 13 episodes as Tasha's business-partner-turned-love-interest.
* StraightGay: The sole gay Sabers player who eventually outed himself comes off as this.
* {{Stripperific}}: Justified, since many females prowl the beach with skimpy bikinis, or are rap-video vixens or actual strippers. Good luck staying faithful with these women all around.
* TeamMom: Tasha. Not that she tries to be but considering she's the only middle aged female in a cast consisting primarily of 20 and 30 year olds she usually falls into this role.
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: For a show devoid of NWordPrivileges, this word gets uttered quite often. [[DoubleStandard Debase racial language? Unacceptable. Sexist insults? A-okay]].
** Though Creator/{{BET}} [[{{Bowdlerise}} cuts off the word during reruns of seasons one through three]], and then eliminated the word entirely after season three, the seasons produced by the network itself.
*** Not quite. Tasha's pre-title screen line in the first episode of season four was a beyond-emphatic "Game on, BITCHES." It was blanked in re-runs.
*** In season four and five, the characters mostly tip toe using the word directly, but the viewers can fill in the blanks themselves. Averted in one season five episode, with Melanie and Tasha gratuitously using the word in a heated argument, though later rectified via an {{Anvilicious}} statement about how the ladies shouldn't use a word debasing their gender as a passive greeting. [[invoked]]
* TimeSkip: [[RealLifeWritesThePlot Because of the show's almost two year delay between the end of season three and the start of season four]], there's an eighteen month skip between them. There's some since of CanonDisContinuity though, since [[AbortedArc not all of the storylines made it intact]].
* TokenWhite: Kelly.
* {{Tsundere}}: Tasha Mack. A large part of her tsuntsun personality comes from her younger days as a single mother surviving on her own, so being fierce was her defense. Although this works when she is going up against people she doesn't intend to have a relationship with, it sort of backfires when she wants to pursue a relationship.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Seriously. How are Melanie, Tasha and Kelly still on speaking terms after all their arguments and underhanded actions? Kelly even got so pissed at Tasha once, she knocked her out cold.
** Not so much the case in season five between Tasha and Melanie. After Melanie (through Derwin's request) cut her business ties with Tasha, because of Malik's behavior, they didn't let the incident go. [[spoiler: They get better though]].
----

to:

[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/250px-Thegame-titlecard_5290.png]]

%% You just lost The Game %%

Back in 2006, ''The Game'' was one of the first TV shows that debuted with the newly-merged Creator/TheCW network. The series centers on a trio of football players who play for the San Diego Sabers, and the women who support them. Derwin Davis is the engaged rookie receiver who's trying to resist the temptation filled life the NFL offers, while veteran quarterback Malik Wright already indulged into those same perks by building his own strip club and sleeping with enough women to fill a personal library of amateur porn (no, really). Aging wide receiver Jason Pitts has already experienced his fair share of the high life, but with his years in the league being numbered, he’s obsessed with winning an NFL championship ring to escape his father’s shadow. Jason’s also determined to avoid bankruptcy that affected his father and indirectly, himself, even though his actions are placing a strain on his own family.

The women are various modes of supportive, even when going through their own personal crises. Melanie Barnett, like fiance Derwin, is practically wide-eyed when adapting to the world of professional sports, along with the additional pressure of finishing medical school and eventually practice medicine. Former teen mom Tasha Mac doubles as Malik's manager, and often puts herself in compromising situations to support her troubled dating life, her career, and her son. Ex-cheerleader Kelly Pitts is often forced to balance her family life with husband Jason and their daughter Brittany, while navigating her way back into the working world and becoming more independent. However, obligations to her family and the Sabers organization often impede her in the worst ways.

As ''The Game'' progresses, it becomes clear that being involved in the professional sports world comes with a personal price. All three couples get into conflicts between family and business. Fallouts between friends and even loved ones are pretty common, and the ubiquitous media presence sometimes catches too many unauthorized glimpses of the resulting carnage. Ironically enough, ''The Game'' preceded several reality shows that focus on famous athletes and the women behind them, which makes the show all the more prophetic, if not necessarily surprising.

However, ''The Game'' isn’t perfect. It often suffers from an overabundance of guest stars, mainly used as [[DeusExMachina plot conveniences]] ([[SpecialGuest Rick Fox’s extended role]] comes to mind). Also, its [[TakeThat declarations]] against the [[RealLifeWritesThePlot controversial real life sports stories]] are anything but subtle, its portrayal of the male-centric and/or racist administrative side of the sports world isn’t handled very deftly, and most of the non-primary white characters are portrayed rather idiotically. ''Series/TheWire'' of the sports world, it is not. But overall, ''The Game'' shows a surprising amount of depth with the professional sports world’s uglier side. One could make a case that [[CrapsaccharineWorld beyond the glitz and glam, it’s a dog-eat-dog cutthroat environment]].

For some, ''The Game'' reminds viewers of the [[ShortRunners ill-fated]] but scarily realistic ESPN drama ''Playmakers'' (which also involves NFL players and their controversial lives), even though it avoids the grimness of ''Playmakers'' by [[LighterAndSofter mixing a good balance of drama and humor]]. The third and (especially) fourth seasons get progressively darker, but never quite extinguish the lighter elements that made the show a delight for fans early on. It might be a reason why ''The Game'' didn’t offend the NFL the way ''Playmakers'' did. Then again, ''The Game'' didn’t get much attention in the sports media world, possibly because of the [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/FridayNightLights ''other'' major football show on NBC]] or perhaps because of the [[UnfortunateImplications ugly stigma that often follows shows with mostly black casts]]).

Alas, that attitude was present within The CW itself, and it eventually caused [[ScrewedByTheNetwork The Game’s cancellation after three seasons]]. Many black viewers feared that might happen after the WB merged with UPN – the only network rife with black-casted comedies – because the WB's half might whitewash UPN's side. Three seasons after both the CW and ''The Game'' debuted, that’s exactly what happened. Hence, minority viewers’ backlash against the big networks for the lack of racial balance with their shows (''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'' getting canceled with ''The Game'' and ABC’s ''Series/UglyBetty'' getting canceled months later didn’t help).

Fortunately for ''The Game'', [[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/business/media/17bet.html?_r=1 BET wasn’t deaf to the acrimony]], and met with the show’s producers to [[UnCanceled resurrect the canceled sitcom]]. Thanks to the growing interest in cable programming, Creator/{{BET}} already re-structured its schedule to re-air black sitcoms for reruns - and that included ''The Game''. BET’s reruns of ''The Game'' consistently got higher ratings than its original airings on the CW, and the fanbase grew exponentially during this period. The network also needed a vehicle for its own original scripted programming - with sitcom ''Let’s Stay Together'' being its first live-action scripted comedy [[note]]The 2001 animated series, ''Hey Monie!'', was BET's first scripted series [[/note]] – [[NetworkToTheRescue which made The Game a perfect candidate]].

When ''The Game'' finally returned on Jan 11th, 2011, nineteen months since the CW’s cancellation, the ratings hit an unprecedented ‘’7.7 million’’ viewers during the premier, the largest viewing audience in cable history. The numbers dwindled to a steadier 4.4 million, come the season four finale, but it’s still much higher than the CW broadcasts. In fact, [[LaserGuidedKarma The Game’s ratings on BET often matched, or even ''surpassed'', those of the CW’s lineup at the time]].

MoralOfTheStory: treat your audience like they matter, and they’ll reward you.

----
!!This show provides examples of:
* AbortedArc: At the end of season three, Kelly started falling in love with Jason again after he fought off her crazy boyfriend. Even with Jason's new relationship souring any possibility of the divorced couple re-uniting, the door was still open. Come season four, Kelly's happily divorced and shows no signs of wanting to be married to Jason again.
** In a more [[DontExplainTheJoke literal]], [[IncrediblyLamePun punny]] sense, the last minute of season four: [[spoiler: when Derwin asked Melanie if he aborted his child]].
* AllMenArePerverts: The reason many ballers' wives claim they have to be ''that'' much better in bed in order to keep their men from straying, because of all the temptation out there for the picking. Malik pretty much screws anything that walks, except for the few attempts at having a dedicated relationship. On the other hand...
* AllWomenAreLustful: ...the women aren't exactly chaste either, especially in season four. The wife of the Sabers owner regularly cheats on her husband with Malik, and threatened to blackmail him when he refused her advances overtime. Women in lingerie often appear in Derwin's hotel rooms. The girlfriend of TT, Malik's best friend, screws Malik behind TT's back one day. The Game is pretty much one of the only shows that exhibit lusty behavior on both genders.
* BreakTheCutie: Poor Kelly. Jason's authoritative attitude and insecurities keep rubbing off on her throughout the first two seasons. During one season one episode, she was so exhausted from Jason's repeated demands, she had an anxiety attack.
* BreakTheHaughty: Jason in season 2, Malik in season 4. Both of them get better though, despite avoiding SuddenHumility (their {{Jerkass}} simply got toned down). Derwin seems to be headed this direction in season 5 after [[spoiler: he intentionally missed a tackle and exposed the Sabers' rookie quarterback to a season ending, and possibly career ending, injury. Despite Derwin denying the act, [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion the press and fans savaged him for his presumed actions.]] ]]
* CatchPhrase:
** Tasha: "I got your X in my trunk"
** Derwin: "That's what up"
* CerebusSyndrome: See DarkerAndEdgier below.
* CharacterDevelopment: A fair amount overall.
* ChivalrousPervert: Malik may be a womanizer, have his own built-in strip club, and prides himself on his own library of amateur porn, but [[EvenEvilHasStandards he doesn't take lightly to women being treated like dogs by other men]]. When Malik's half-sister was about to be taken advantage of by men more lecherous than himself, he brought in her father to help get her away from the guys. When Malik witnessed the Sabers owner diss his own wife in public because of her {{Stripperific}} outift, despite the fact that she planned to blackmail Malik, he still felt bad for her.
** He also wouldn't sleep with Melanie when she threw herself at him in grief, knowing that she would regret it horribly later.
* CoolOldGuy: Jason in season 4. Before that he was the QuicklyDemotedLeader.
* ConvictedByPublicOpinion: Given how the show is focused around the NFL, the press and fans often perceive the players' actions differently from what viewers see them do in their everyday lives, or assume the worst of their actions when things go wrong for the players and/or their respective Sabers team. In the latter category, this is taken to the extreme when [[spoiler: Derwin left the Sabers' rookie quarterback vulnerable to a knee injury by blatantly missing an easy tackle. The media and Sabers fans intensely express their disdain for Derwin afterward, especially when some reporters brought up the disagreements between Derwin and the QB prior to the injury. Ironically enough, this happened during a post-interview game the Sabers ''won'', despite the team getting trounced in a CurbStompBattle before Malik came in as the backup QB.]]
* CrapsaccharineWorld: One of the better examples portrayed in scripted TV. The world of professional sports looks very sheen and high class on the surface, but on the business end, questionable practices and shady internal politics often rear their ugly heads. The San Diego setting also brings home a high quotient of beautiful women, which makes it hell for the engaged/married players. But even these temptresses come with their own agenda, as many of them aspire to get impregnated by a Sabers player for child support. Backstabbing is quite common amongst businessman and players, simply to reach their aspiring goals ([[LonelyAtTheTop and may come with a cost for those who abandon their friends along the way]]). For players who act wisely on and off the field, they won't have many regrets come retirement time, but with the number of people chewed up and spit out by the perils of the professional sports life, it's the exception more than the norm.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The fourth season, most notably. Even then, it's not too drastic.
** Perhaps most noticeable with Malik's friend Terrence (or T.T) who practically never had a serious, dramatic line pre-cancellation, recieved a subplot where his girlfriend cheats on him with [[spoiler:Malik]].
** Season five, though far less depressing than the previous season, went even further this direction.
** The whole show is this compared to the series it technically spun off from, ''{{Series/Girlfriends}}.''
** It got to the point that in the BET seasons, the laugh track feels forced, uncomfortable, inappropriate, and out of place in the middle of all the heavy drama. As early as season six, they ditched the laugh track completely, and humorous moments are now [[CerebusSyndrome very few and far between]].
* DepravedBisexual: Averted. The only bisexual woman shown so far turned out to be pretty modest and respectful, even with her open-minded sexulity.
* DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale: Unfortunately, played straight when Tasha visits Malik's father, Chauncy. When Tasha visits his place one too many times, Chauncy's wife thinks he's cheating on her. When he runs outside and tries to explain that he didn't, she punches him in the face. He comes back, holding his left eye, and the LaughTrack comes on, portraying this as humorous.
* DysfunctionJunction: So much that it really makes you wonder how ''any'' of these people are still friends, let alone speaking to each other, after all the backstabbing.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Malik may be a womanizing bastard, but he draws the line at abusing women, and goes AboveTheInfluence when dealing with a grief-stricken Melanie.
* {{Fanservice}}: Good lord, yes. The gratuitousness goes to extremes at times, and makes one wish that The Game aired on HBO or Showtime. Viewers of both genders can scope out a reasonable amount of eye candy, though the male viewers have more to pick from.
* {{Flanderization}}: Yet another reason, among several, for why the fourth season bugged fans. Kelly acted vapid for her reality show and threw away all sense of dignified independence that she fought too hard for seasons earlier, daughter Brittany became much brattier than her younger self, and Malik became the resident JerkSue. In contrast, Jason, [[AvertedTrope who used to be the]] JerkSue, [[CharacterDevelopment became the most chivalrous, selfless reasonable character in the cast]].
* GenreShift: The show started out as a sitcom, but eventually became a full-blown drama.
* HideYourGays: Subverted by the Sabers organization when they found out one of their players is gay. The feeling of camaraderie becomes less fuzzy when the viewer realizes most of them are doing it for a publicity boost instead of truly accepting his sexuality. Malik comes around, despite him getting hit on by the player while [[MistakenForGay he was also accused of being gay]].
* IDidntMeanToTurnYouOn: Tasha (episode Breakthrough) takes a celibacy class so she can avoid having sex with a man she is attempting to build a relationship with. Pookie, however, is unaware and attempts to be romantic, all the while Tasha is confusing him with her body language and comical displays avoidance.
* JerkJock: Malik is the best example.
* LaughTrack: Used here just as often as other TV comedies. The fourth season, however, doesn't use it as often.
* ManipulativeBitch: Melanie. Tasha even calls her out on this.
* MindScrew: The opening minute of season five, which shows a flash forward of Derwin, Malik and Jason's circumstances. [[spoiler: Derwin's plot picks up from finding out about Melanie's abortion last season, Malik thinks his model girlfriend died from a drug overdose, and Jason suddenly wakes up in Mexico and finds out that he's now married.]] Needless to say, this made many fans go "WTF?", especially with Jason's plot.
* MoodDissonance: T.T. has a habit of jumping in with a humorous line at the end of otherwise serious scenes.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Let's see: Derwin Davis is a superstar wide receiver, feuds with quarterbacks, wears #81, and is an alumnus of a Division 1 FCS school[[note]] Penn in this case [[/note]]. Now, who has those same [[http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/O/OwenTe00.htm traits]]?
* OnlySaneMan: T.T. is also the only character that seems to always have himself together, while at the same time keeping other characters from going of the rails. With one exception that wasn't even his fault.
* PlotRelevantAgeUp: Brittany was about eight or nine years old at the end of season three. In season four, now she's closer to thirteen or fourteen, [[DawsonCasting and barely resembles her previous self]].
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: The show's premise and characters were established in a season 6 episode of the Creator/{{UPN}} sitcom ''Series/{{Girlfriends}}'', in which Melanie is depicted as the cousin of that show's lead character Joan Clayton.
** TheOtherDarrin: The ''Girlfriends'' episode features different actors in the roles of Kelly and Jason Pitts. The parts would be recast when ''The Game'' was picked up as a series.
* PutOnABus: Kelly went off to "find herself" halfway through season 4. She wouldn't return until season seven.
** Melanie and Derwin were put on a LongBusTrip at the end of season 5 and were replaced by a new couple. They both make one final appearance in the series finale.
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: Happened in season 4 when Parker (played by Meagan Good) blackmailed Malik into sleeping with her [[HypocriticalHumor by saying she would tell everyone he raped her if he didn't]]. As you know, Malik is a football player, and this would likely destroy his life completely, especially since he has done many questionable things already. Anyway, after they slept together(the show never acknowledges that this is rape, even with the look of despair on his face) she hits him in the back of the head and makes him [[LampshadedDoubleEntendre go another round]]. Cue LaughTrack... She never got called out on this, got a FreudianExcuse, and even walked out of it [[KarmaHoudini relatively cleanly]], much cleaner than Malik himself did.
** Not quite a KarmaHoudini, since season five revealed that Parker was divorced and financially cut off from her husband.
* ShooOutTheClowns: The biggest complaint of season 4.
** WordOfGod claimed that [[http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-game/the-akils-answer-your-questions/10150129289511976 season 5 would return to the more lighthearted tone of the earlier seasons, which it did]]. [[DarkerAndEdgier The rest of the series, on the other hand...]]
* SoapOperaRapidAgingSyndrome: Interesting example, since at the end of season 3, Brittany was about nine (she was six in the pilot episode). After the two year timeskip, she should be 11, but instead, she's 13 with no explanation given. This is because Brittany's new actor is older than the old Brittany, and the fact that there is no possible way the new Brittany could possibly pass for an 11 year old. [[DawsonCasting Not that she passes for a 13 year old any better...]]
* SpecialGuest: Done frequently with one shot appearances, though Rick Fox stars in 13 episodes as Tasha's business-partner-turned-love-interest.
* StraightGay: The sole gay Sabers player who eventually outed himself comes off as this.
* {{Stripperific}}: Justified, since many females prowl the beach with skimpy bikinis, or are rap-video vixens or actual strippers. Good luck staying faithful with these women all around.
* TeamMom: Tasha. Not that she tries to be but considering she's the only middle aged female in a cast consisting primarily of 20 and 30 year olds she usually falls into this role.
* ThisIsForEmphasisBitch: For a show devoid of NWordPrivileges, this word gets uttered quite often. [[DoubleStandard Debase racial language? Unacceptable. Sexist insults? A-okay]].
** Though Creator/{{BET}} [[{{Bowdlerise}} cuts off the word during reruns of seasons one through three]], and then eliminated the word entirely after season three, the seasons produced by the network itself.
*** Not quite. Tasha's pre-title screen line in the first episode of season four was a beyond-emphatic "Game on, BITCHES." It was blanked in re-runs.
*** In season four and five, the characters mostly tip toe using the word directly, but the viewers can fill in the blanks themselves. Averted in one season five episode, with Melanie and Tasha gratuitously using the word in a heated argument, though later rectified via an {{Anvilicious}} statement about how the ladies shouldn't use a word debasing their gender as a passive greeting. [[invoked]]
* TimeSkip: [[RealLifeWritesThePlot Because of the show's almost two year delay between the end of season three and the start of season four]], there's an eighteen month skip between them. There's some since of CanonDisContinuity though, since [[AbortedArc not all of the storylines made it intact]].
* TokenWhite: Kelly.
* {{Tsundere}}: Tasha Mack. A large part of her tsuntsun personality comes from her younger days as a single mother surviving on her own, so being fierce was her defense. Although this works when she is going up against people she doesn't intend to have a relationship with, it sort of backfires when she wants to pursue a relationship.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Seriously. How are Melanie, Tasha and Kelly still on speaking terms after all their arguments and underhanded actions? Kelly even got so pissed at Tasha once, she knocked her out cold.
** Not so much the case in season five between Tasha and Melanie. After Melanie (through Derwin's request) cut her business ties with Tasha, because of Malik's behavior, they didn't let the incident go. [[spoiler: They get better though]].
----
[[redirect:Main/TheGame]]
10th Jun '17 10:48:41 AM nombretomado
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However, ''The Game'' isn’t perfect. It often suffers from an overabundance of guest stars, mainly used as [[DeusExMachina plot conveniences]] ([[SpecialGuest Rick Fox’s extended role]] comes to mind). Also, its [[TakeThat declarations]] against the [[RealLifeWritesThePlot controversial real life sports stories]] are anything but subtle, its portrayal of the male-centric and/or racist administrative side of the sports world isn’t handled very deftly, and most of the non-primary white characters are portrayed rather idiotically. ''TheWire'' of the sports world, it is not. But overall, ''The Game'' shows a surprising amount of depth with the professional sports world’s uglier side. One could make a case that [[CrapsaccharineWorld beyond the glitz and glam, it’s a dog-eat-dog cutthroat environment]].

to:

However, ''The Game'' isn’t perfect. It often suffers from an overabundance of guest stars, mainly used as [[DeusExMachina plot conveniences]] ([[SpecialGuest Rick Fox’s extended role]] comes to mind). Also, its [[TakeThat declarations]] against the [[RealLifeWritesThePlot controversial real life sports stories]] are anything but subtle, its portrayal of the male-centric and/or racist administrative side of the sports world isn’t handled very deftly, and most of the non-primary white characters are portrayed rather idiotically. ''TheWire'' ''Series/TheWire'' of the sports world, it is not. But overall, ''The Game'' shows a surprising amount of depth with the professional sports world’s uglier side. One could make a case that [[CrapsaccharineWorld beyond the glitz and glam, it’s a dog-eat-dog cutthroat environment]].
3rd Mar '17 7:27:44 PM MarcoPolo250
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Fortunately for ''The Game'', [[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/business/media/17bet.html?_r=1 BET wasn’t deaf to the acrimony]], and met with the show’s producers to [[UnCanceled resurrect the canceled sitcom]]. Thanks to the growing interest in cable programming, Creator/{{BET}} already re-structured its schedule to re-air black sitcoms for reruns - and that included ''The Game''. BET’s reruns of ''The Game'' consistently got higher ratings than its original airings on the CW, and the fanbase grew exponentially during this period. The network also needed a vehicle for its own original scripted programming - with sitcom ''Let’s Stay Together'' being its first live-action scripted comedy [[note]]The 2001 animated series, ''Hey Monie!'', was BET's first scripted series [[/note]] – [[NetworkToTheRescue which made ''The Game'' a perfect candidate]].

to:

Fortunately for ''The Game'', [[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/business/media/17bet.html?_r=1 BET wasn’t deaf to the acrimony]], and met with the show’s producers to [[UnCanceled resurrect the canceled sitcom]]. Thanks to the growing interest in cable programming, Creator/{{BET}} already re-structured its schedule to re-air black sitcoms for reruns - and that included ''The Game''. BET’s reruns of ''The Game'' consistently got higher ratings than its original airings on the CW, and the fanbase grew exponentially during this period. The network also needed a vehicle for its own original scripted programming - with sitcom ''Let’s Stay Together'' being its first live-action scripted comedy [[note]]The 2001 animated series, ''Hey Monie!'', was BET's first scripted series [[/note]] – [[NetworkToTheRescue which made ''The Game'' The Game a perfect candidate]].
3rd Mar '17 7:27:13 PM MarcoPolo250
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Alas, that attitude was present within The CW itself, and it eventually caused [[ScrewedByTheNetwork ''The Game''’s cancellation after three seasons]]. Many black viewers feared that might happen after the WB merged with UPN – the only network rife with black-casted comedies – because the WB's half might whitewash UPN's side. Three seasons after both the CW and ''The Game'' debuted, that’s exactly what happened. Hence, minority viewers’ backlash against the big networks for the lack of racial balance with their shows (''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'' getting canceled with ''The Game'' and ABC’s ''Series/UglyBetty'' getting canceled months later didn’t help).

Fortunately for ''The Game'', [[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/business/media/17bet.html?_r=1 BET wasn’t deaf to the acrimony]], and met with the show’s producers to [[UnCanceled resurrect the canceled sitcom]]. Thanks to the growing interest in cable programming, Creator/{{BET}} already re-structured its schedule to re-air black sitcoms for reruns, and that included ''The Game''. BET’s reruns of ''The Game'' consistently got higher ratings than its original airings on the CW, and the fanbase grew exponentially during this period. The network also needed a vehicle for its own original scripted programming - with sitcom ''Let’s Stay Together'' being its first live-action scripted comedy [[note]]The 2001 animated series, ''Hey Monie!'', was BET's first scripted series [[/note]] – [[NetworkToTheRescue which made ''The Game'' a perfect candidate]].

When ''The Game'' finally returned on Jan 11th, 2011, nineteen months since the CW’s cancellation, the ratings hit an unprecedented ‘’7.7 million’’ viewers during the premier, the largest viewing audience in cable history. The numbers dwindled to a steadier 4.4 million, come the season four finale, but it’s still much higher than the CW broadcasts. In fact, [[LaserGuidedKarma ''The Game’s'' ratings on BET often matched, or even ''surpassed'', those of the CW’s lineup at the time]].

to:

Alas, that attitude was present within The CW itself, and it eventually caused [[ScrewedByTheNetwork ''The Game''’s The Game’s cancellation after three seasons]]. Many black viewers feared that might happen after the WB merged with UPN – the only network rife with black-casted comedies – because the WB's half might whitewash UPN's side. Three seasons after both the CW and ''The Game'' debuted, that’s exactly what happened. Hence, minority viewers’ backlash against the big networks for the lack of racial balance with their shows (''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'' getting canceled with ''The Game'' and ABC’s ''Series/UglyBetty'' getting canceled months later didn’t help).

Fortunately for ''The Game'', [[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/business/media/17bet.html?_r=1 BET wasn’t deaf to the acrimony]], and met with the show’s producers to [[UnCanceled resurrect the canceled sitcom]]. Thanks to the growing interest in cable programming, Creator/{{BET}} already re-structured its schedule to re-air black sitcoms for reruns, reruns - and that included ''The Game''. BET’s reruns of ''The Game'' consistently got higher ratings than its original airings on the CW, and the fanbase grew exponentially during this period. The network also needed a vehicle for its own original scripted programming - with sitcom ''Let’s Stay Together'' being its first live-action scripted comedy [[note]]The 2001 animated series, ''Hey Monie!'', was BET's first scripted series [[/note]] – [[NetworkToTheRescue which made ''The Game'' a perfect candidate]].

When ''The Game'' finally returned on Jan 11th, 2011, nineteen months since the CW’s cancellation, the ratings hit an unprecedented ‘’7.7 million’’ viewers during the premier, the largest viewing audience in cable history. The numbers dwindled to a steadier 4.4 million, come the season four finale, but it’s still much higher than the CW broadcasts. In fact, [[LaserGuidedKarma ''The Game’s'' The Game’s ratings on BET often matched, or even ''surpassed'', those of the CW’s lineup at the time]].



* DarkerAndEdgier: The fourth season, most notably, and even then, it's not too drastic. Still, it's one reason the fanbase got upset with the show after it returned from a near two-year hiatus.

to:

* DarkerAndEdgier: The fourth season, most notably, and even notably. Even then, it's not too drastic. Still, it's one reason the fanbase got upset with the show after it returned from a near two-year hiatus.



** Season five, if the premier is any indication, seems to be going even further this direction.
** This gets to the point that in later seasons, whenever the laugh track is used it often feels forced, uncomfortable, inappropriate, and out of place in the middle of all the heavy drama.
** The whole show is this compared to the series it technically spun off from, {{Series/Girlfriends}}.
** As of season five they've ditched the laugh track completely, and humorous moments are now [[CerebusSyndrome very few and far between]].

to:

** Season five, if though far less depressing than the premier is any indication, seems to be going previous season, went even further this direction.
direction.
** This gets The whole show is this compared to the series it technically spun off from, ''{{Series/Girlfriends}}.''
** It got
to the point that in later the BET seasons, whenever the laugh track is used it often feels forced, uncomfortable, inappropriate, and out of place in the middle of all the heavy drama.
** The whole show is this compared to the series it technically spun off from, {{Series/Girlfriends}}.
**
drama. As of early as season five they've six, they ditched the laugh track completely, and humorous moments are now [[CerebusSyndrome very few and far between]].



* {{Flanderization}}: One reason, among several, that the fourth season bugged fans. Kelly acted vapid for her reality show and threw away all sense of dignified independence that she fought too hard for seasons earlier, daughter Brittany became much brattier than her younger self, and Malik became the resident JerkSue. In contrast, Jason, [[AvertedTrope who used to be the]] JerkSue, [[CharacterDevelopment became the most chivalrous, selfless reasonable character in the cast]].

to:

* {{Flanderization}}: One Yet another reason, among several, that for why the fourth season bugged fans. Kelly acted vapid for her reality show and threw away all sense of dignified independence that she fought too hard for seasons earlier, daughter Brittany became much brattier than her younger self, and Malik became the resident JerkSue. In contrast, Jason, [[AvertedTrope who used to be the]] JerkSue, [[CharacterDevelopment became the most chivalrous, selfless reasonable character in the cast]].



* PutOnABus: Kelly went off to "find herself" halfway through season 4. No hints as to wether or not she will return.
** No signs for her return in season five, either. The actress is absent in the credits for season five, and The Game's season five promos have Kelly inexplicably absent.
** According to the OtherWiki, Melanie and Derwin are also being put on a LongBusTrip as of the end of season 5 and aren't likely to return. They will replaced by a new couple.

to:

* PutOnABus: Kelly went off to "find herself" halfway through season 4. No hints as to wether or not she will return.
** No signs for her
She wouldn't return in until season five, either. The actress is absent in the credits for season five, and The Game's season five promos have Kelly inexplicably absent.
seven.
** According to the OtherWiki, Melanie and Derwin are also being were put on a LongBusTrip as of at the end of season 5 and aren't likely to return. They will were replaced by a new couple.couple. They both make one final appearance in the series finale.



** WordOfGod claims that [[http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-game/the-akils-answer-your-questions/10150129289511976 season 5 will revert to the more humorous days of seasons 1-3 and dial down the drama aspects]].

to:

** WordOfGod claims claimed that [[http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-game/the-akils-answer-your-questions/10150129289511976 season 5 will revert would return to the more humorous days lighthearted tone of seasons 1-3 and dial down the drama aspects]].earlier seasons, which it did]]. [[DarkerAndEdgier The rest of the series, on the other hand...]]
3rd Mar '17 7:10:19 PM MarcoPolo250
Is there an issue? Send a Message


As The Game progresses, it becomes clear that being involved in the professional sports world comes with a personal price. All three couples get into conflicts between family and business. Fallouts between friends and even loved ones are pretty common, and the ubiquitous media presence sometimes catches too many unauthorized glimpses of the resulting carnage. Ironically enough, The Game preceded several reality shows that focus on famous athletes and the women behind them, which makes the show all the more prophetic, if not necessarily surprising.

However, The Game isn’t perfect. It often suffers from an overabundance of guest stars, mainly used as [[DeusExMachina plot conveniences]] ([[SpecialGuest Rick Fox’s extended role]] comes to mind). Also, its [[TakeThat declarations]] against the [[RealLifeWritesThePlot controversial real life sports stories]] are anything but subtle, its portrayal of the male-centric and/or racist administrative side of the sports world isn’t handled very deftly, and most of the non-primary white characters are portrayed rather idiotically. TheWire of the sports world, it is not. But overall, The Game shows a surprising amount of depth with the professional sports world’s uglier side. One could make a case that [[CrapsaccharineWorld beyond the glitz and glam, it’s a dog-eat-dog cutthroat environment]].

For some, The Game reminds viewers of the [[ShortRunners ill-fated]] but scarily realistic ESPN drama ''Playmakers'' (which also involves NFL players and their controversial lives), even though it avoids the grimness of ''Playmakers'' by [[LighterAndSofter mixing a good balance of drama and humor]]. The third and (especially) fourth seasons get progressively darker, but never quite extinguish the lighter elements that made the show a delight for fans early on. It might be a reason why The Game didn’t offend the NFL the way ''Playmakers'' did. Then again, The Game didn’t get much attention in the sports media world, possibly because of the [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/FridayNightLights ''other'' major football show on NBC]] or perhaps because of the [[UnfortunateImplications ugly stigma that often follows shows with mostly black casts]]).

Alas, that attitude was present within CW itself, and it eventually caused [[ScrewedByTheNetwork The Game’s cancellation after three seasons]]. Many black viewers feared that might happen after the WB merged with UPN – the only network rife with black casted comedies – because the WB side might whitewash the UPN side. Three seasons after the CW and The Game debuted, that’s exactly what happened. Hence, minority viewers’ backlash against the big networks for the lack of racial balance with their shows (Series/EverybodyHatesChris getting canceled with The Game and ABC’s Series/UglyBetty getting canceled months later didn’t help).

Fortunately for The Game, [[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/business/media/17bet.html?_r=1 BET wasn’t deaf to the acrimony]], and met with the show’s producers to [[UnCanceled resurrect the canceled sitcom]]. Thanks to the growing interest in cable programming, Creator/{{BET}} already re-structured its schedule to re-air black sitcoms for reruns, and that included The Game. BET’s reruns of The Game consistently got higher ratings than its original CW airings, and the fanbase grew exponentially during this period. The network also needed a vehicle for its own original scripted programming - with sitcom Let’s Stay Together being the first – [[NetworkToTheRescue which made The Game a perfect candidate]]. When The Game finally returned with new episodes on Jan 11th, 2011, nineteen months since CW’s cancellation, the ratings hit an unprecedented ‘’7.7 million’’ viewers during the premier, the largest viewing audience in cable history. The numbers dwindled to a steadier 4.4 million, come the season four finale, but it’s still much higher than the CW days. In fact, [[LaserGuidedKarma The Game’s current ratings often match or even ''surpass'' the CW’s current lineup]].

to:

As The Game ''The Game'' progresses, it becomes clear that being involved in the professional sports world comes with a personal price. All three couples get into conflicts between family and business. Fallouts between friends and even loved ones are pretty common, and the ubiquitous media presence sometimes catches too many unauthorized glimpses of the resulting carnage. Ironically enough, The Game ''The Game'' preceded several reality shows that focus on famous athletes and the women behind them, which makes the show all the more prophetic, if not necessarily surprising.

However, The Game ''The Game'' isn’t perfect. It often suffers from an overabundance of guest stars, mainly used as [[DeusExMachina plot conveniences]] ([[SpecialGuest Rick Fox’s extended role]] comes to mind). Also, its [[TakeThat declarations]] against the [[RealLifeWritesThePlot controversial real life sports stories]] are anything but subtle, its portrayal of the male-centric and/or racist administrative side of the sports world isn’t handled very deftly, and most of the non-primary white characters are portrayed rather idiotically. TheWire ''TheWire'' of the sports world, it is not. But overall, The Game ''The Game'' shows a surprising amount of depth with the professional sports world’s uglier side. One could make a case that [[CrapsaccharineWorld beyond the glitz and glam, it’s a dog-eat-dog cutthroat environment]].

For some, The Game ''The Game'' reminds viewers of the [[ShortRunners ill-fated]] but scarily realistic ESPN drama ''Playmakers'' (which also involves NFL players and their controversial lives), even though it avoids the grimness of ''Playmakers'' by [[LighterAndSofter mixing a good balance of drama and humor]]. The third and (especially) fourth seasons get progressively darker, but never quite extinguish the lighter elements that made the show a delight for fans early on. It might be a reason why The Game ''The Game'' didn’t offend the NFL the way ''Playmakers'' did. Then again, The Game ''The Game'' didn’t get much attention in the sports media world, possibly because of the [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/FridayNightLights ''other'' major football show on NBC]] or perhaps because of the [[UnfortunateImplications ugly stigma that often follows shows with mostly black casts]]).

Alas, that attitude was present within The CW itself, and it eventually caused [[ScrewedByTheNetwork The Game’s ''The Game''’s cancellation after three seasons]]. Many black viewers feared that might happen after the WB merged with UPN – the only network rife with black casted black-casted comedies – because the WB side WB's half might whitewash the UPN UPN's side. Three seasons after both the CW and The Game ''The Game'' debuted, that’s exactly what happened. Hence, minority viewers’ backlash against the big networks for the lack of racial balance with their shows (Series/EverybodyHatesChris (''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'' getting canceled with The Game ''The Game'' and ABC’s Series/UglyBetty ''Series/UglyBetty'' getting canceled months later didn’t help).

Fortunately for The Game, ''The Game'', [[http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/business/media/17bet.html?_r=1 BET wasn’t deaf to the acrimony]], and met with the show’s producers to [[UnCanceled resurrect the canceled sitcom]]. Thanks to the growing interest in cable programming, Creator/{{BET}} already re-structured its schedule to re-air black sitcoms for reruns, and that included The Game. ''The Game''. BET’s reruns of The Game ''The Game'' consistently got higher ratings than its original CW airings, airings on the CW, and the fanbase grew exponentially during this period. The network also needed a vehicle for its own original scripted programming - with sitcom Let’s ''Let’s Stay Together Together'' being the its first live-action scripted comedy [[note]]The 2001 animated series, ''Hey Monie!'', was BET's first scripted series [[/note]] – [[NetworkToTheRescue which made The Game ''The Game'' a perfect candidate]]. candidate]].

When The Game ''The Game'' finally returned with new episodes on Jan 11th, 2011, nineteen months since the CW’s cancellation, the ratings hit an unprecedented ‘’7.7 million’’ viewers during the premier, the largest viewing audience in cable history. The numbers dwindled to a steadier 4.4 million, come the season four finale, but it’s still much higher than the CW days. broadcasts. In fact, [[LaserGuidedKarma The Game’s current ''The Game’s'' ratings on BET often match matched, or even ''surpass'' ''surpassed'', those of the CW’s current lineup]].lineup at the time]].
19th Apr '16 7:19:20 PM Orbiting
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* BreakTheHaughty: Jason in season 2, Malik in season 4. Both of them get better though, despite avoiding SuddenlyHumble (their {{Jerkass}} simply got toned down). Derwin seems to be headed this direction in season 5 after [[spoiler: he intentionally missed a tackle and exposed the Sabers' rookie quarterback to a season ending, and possibly career ending, injury. Despite Derwin denying the act, [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion the press and fans savaged him for his presumed actions.]] ]]

to:

* BreakTheHaughty: Jason in season 2, Malik in season 4. Both of them get better though, despite avoiding SuddenlyHumble SuddenHumility (their {{Jerkass}} simply got toned down). Derwin seems to be headed this direction in season 5 after [[spoiler: he intentionally missed a tackle and exposed the Sabers' rookie quarterback to a season ending, and possibly career ending, injury. Despite Derwin denying the act, [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion the press and fans savaged him for his presumed actions.]] ]]
4th Dec '15 10:47:46 AM Berrenta
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Alas, that attitude was present within CW itself, and it eventually caused [[ScrewedByTheNetwork The Game’s cancellation after three seasons]]. Many black viewers feared that might happen after the WB merged with UPN – the only network rife with black casted comedies – because the WB side might whitewash the UPN side. Three seasons after the CW and The Game debuted, that’s exactly what happened. Hence, [[InternetBacklash minority viewers’ backlash]] against the big networks for the lack of racial balance with their shows (EverybodyHatesChris getting canceled with The Game and ABC’s {{Ugly Betty}} getting canceled months later didn’t help).

to:

Alas, that attitude was present within CW itself, and it eventually caused [[ScrewedByTheNetwork The Game’s cancellation after three seasons]]. Many black viewers feared that might happen after the WB merged with UPN – the only network rife with black casted comedies – because the WB side might whitewash the UPN side. Three seasons after the CW and The Game debuted, that’s exactly what happened. Hence, [[InternetBacklash minority viewers’ backlash]] backlash against the big networks for the lack of racial balance with their shows (EverybodyHatesChris (Series/EverybodyHatesChris getting canceled with The Game and ABC’s {{Ugly Betty}} Series/UglyBetty getting canceled months later didn’t help).
20th Feb '15 11:12:57 PM tenryufan
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* {{Tsundere}}: Tasha Mack. A large part of her tsuntsun personality comes from her younger days as a single mother surviving on her own, so being fierce was her defense. Although this works when she is going up against people she doesn't intend to have a relationship with, it sort of backfires when she wants to pursue a relationship.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The creators wanted it to be a hour long drama when the network became TheCW since they were axing all of their sitcoms for hour long dramas. But the network refused, thus cancelling the show.
** With the fans demanding an hour-long format after season 4 was full of short episodes (some barely cross the 20 minute mark), [[WordOfGod the creator]] is [[http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-game/the-akils-answer-your-questions/10150129289511976 seriously considering the transition]]. Time will tell if season 5 and beyond plans to go that direction.

to:

* {{Tsundere}}: Tasha Mack. A large part of her tsuntsun personality comes from her younger days as a single mother surviving on her own, so being fierce was her defense. Although this works when she is going up against people she doesn't intend to have a relationship with, it sort of backfires when she wants to pursue a relationship. \n* WhatCouldHaveBeen: The creators wanted it to be a hour long drama when the network became TheCW since they were axing all of their sitcoms for hour long dramas. But the network refused, thus cancelling the show.\n** With the fans demanding an hour-long format after season 4 was full of short episodes (some barely cross the 20 minute mark), [[WordOfGod the creator]] is [[http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-game/the-akils-answer-your-questions/10150129289511976 seriously considering the transition]]. Time will tell if season 5 and beyond plans to go that direction.
21st Jan '15 9:57:24 PM Iwishtologin
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* AbuseIsOkayWhenItsFemaleOnMale: Unfortunately, played straight when Tasha visits Malik's father, Chauncy. When Tasha visits his place one too many times, Chauncy's wife thinks he's cheating on her. When he runs outside and tries to explain that he didn't, she punches him in the face. He comes back, holding his left eye, and the LaughTrack comes on, portraying this as humorous.


Added DiffLines:

* DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale: Unfortunately, played straight when Tasha visits Malik's father, Chauncy. When Tasha visits his place one too many times, Chauncy's wife thinks he's cheating on her. When he runs outside and tries to explain that he didn't, she punches him in the face. He comes back, holding his left eye, and the LaughTrack comes on, portraying this as humorous.
27th Sep '14 11:27:55 PM Mdumas43073
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Back in 2006, ''The Game'' was one of the first TV shows that debuted with the newly merged CW network. The series centers on a trio of football players who play for the San Diego Sabers, and the women who support them. Derwin Davis is the engaged rookie receiver who's trying to resist the temptation filled life the NFL offers, while veteran quarterback Malik Wright already indulged into those same perks by building his own strip club and sleeping with enough women to fill a personal library of amateur porn (no, really). Aging wide receiver Jason Pitts has already experienced his fair share of the high life, but with his years in the league being numbered, he’s obsessed with winning an NFL championship ring to escape his father’s shadow. Jason’s also determined to avoid bankruptcy that affected his father and indirectly, himself, even though his actions are placing a strain on his own family.

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Back in 2006, ''The Game'' was one of the first TV shows that debuted with the newly merged CW newly-merged Creator/TheCW network. The series centers on a trio of football players who play for the San Diego Sabers, and the women who support them. Derwin Davis is the engaged rookie receiver who's trying to resist the temptation filled life the NFL offers, while veteran quarterback Malik Wright already indulged into those same perks by building his own strip club and sleeping with enough women to fill a personal library of amateur porn (no, really). Aging wide receiver Jason Pitts has already experienced his fair share of the high life, but with his years in the league being numbered, he’s obsessed with winning an NFL championship ring to escape his father’s shadow. Jason’s also determined to avoid bankruptcy that affected his father and indirectly, himself, even though his actions are placing a strain on his own family.


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* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: The show's premise and characters were established in a season 6 episode of the Creator/{{UPN}} sitcom ''Series/{{Girlfriends}}'', in which Melanie is depicted as the cousin of that show's lead character Joan Clayton.
** TheOtherDarrin: The ''Girlfriends'' episode features different actors in the roles of Kelly and Jason Pitts. The parts would be recast when ''The Game'' was picked up as a series.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Series.TheGame