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Paramount+ Scores A Touchdown with ‘The Game’

Paramount+ scores a touchdown in season 2 of ‘The Game.’ What were their best hits? What were their biggest misses?

Courtesy of Paramount+

In the Fall of 2006, a new series hit the airwaves that would metaphorically Change The Game. Tia Mowry, synonymous with television in the 90s, is with another 90s TV star in the form of Wendy Raquel Robinson. Both performers saw mainstream success in the TV shows “Sister, Sister” and “The Steve Harvey Show.” “The Game” originally debuted October 1, 2006, on the new network “The CW.”

The show proved to be an instant hit among fans and critics alike. After three seasons (2006-2009), the CW canceled The Game. The network has seen an increase in dramatically scripted shows. The Game, being a sitcom, no longer fit the network’s direction; thus, service was not required. Two years following the show’s departure, BET purchased the rights to produce a fourth season. While the BET version is polarizing, The Game remained a mainstay for an extra four years.

In 2020 it announced that the show would be revived. This time it’s streamable. The series re-debuted on Paramount+ on November 11, 2021. In February of 2022, Paramount+ renewed the series for a second season. The season finale airs in February. Now, it’s safe to say that Paramount+ Scored a Touchdown with The Game.

Some of Their Hits – Pros

Courtesy of Paramount+ (via TVline.com)

Season 2 (or 10 if you consider the original continuity) hit Paramount+ on December 15, 2022. One of the season’s high points is the background story viewers get of Jamison Fields (Vaughn Hebron). The biggest issue concerning his character is that he came out of nowhere. While the show did a great job of centralizing his character, the audience still didn’t know exactly what happened to the football prodigy.

In the flashback-based premiere episode, viewers see a younger Jamison and what led the star to prison. With this background information, the newest character in the ensemble is now complete.

Malik Wright (Hosea Chanchez) has emerged as the undisputed leader in the series. When the show returned in 2021, the character caught most by surprise. Initially, his character’s arc was that of a lothario, who always put himself first. It’s a complete 180 compared to his former self. This version of Wright is more compassionate as he advocates for players’ rights, is a team captain, and is a future owner.

Courtesy of Paramount+

It only took ten episodes for Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson) to regain everything she lost. After one of the show’s characters dies, Mack springs into action to recoup all of her assets. Her tactics are dirty, but they’re effective. Brittany Pitts (Adriyan Rae), Tasha’s fake niece/protege, steps in Tasha’s shoes and enters the corporate world. Her love story with Jamison also sees a boost in screen time. Jamison’s “vices,” pull out the strength and love Brittany has for her star boyfriend.

You can view more about your favorite shows here. You can read more about the good of ‘The Game’ here.

What about the bad stuff?

Courtesy of Paramount+ (via imdb)

Well, it’s television on a streaming service, so some bad came with the show. While the story was great, some scenes were “meh.” One can argue that the show lacked the star power people have grown to love in the series. While Tee Tee (Barry Floyd), and Jason Pitts (Colby Bell) make appearances, they were minimal. It would be nice to see the original cast rub noses with the show’s new faces. Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall), does not return for the season. Also, Melanie Barnett-Davis (Tia Mowry), Kelly Pitts (Brittany Daniel) have not been seen since the BET version ended in 2015.

Another spot that writers can build on is Malik’s love story. A mysterious woman from Malik’s past returns, and we see our hero in an unfamiliar state. This, of course, deserves praise as it gives Malik another wrinkle. But the two hardly have any screen time together. Apart from an episode that focuses on the wishes of a dying child, we barely know anything about this beautiful woman.

However, we get a flashback of the two in the past. This does give us a backstory as to why she disappeared. That’s great, but it does not let viewers see the two make amends until the final seconds of the season. This can be a great tactic to keep viewers invested in the show; but, jaded fans can be put off by this practice.

Do I Recommend? Final Grade?

Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan) Courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)

Absolutely! Despite the show’s shortcomings, this is a great season overall. We see the characters enter the corporate world as a unit. Again, their tactics are gritty, but it’s an excellent gritty. Season 1 ended with the players going on strike, and season 2 ended with a completely new league starting. What a great turnaround for a series that has proven its GOAT status.

Final Grade (B)

Written By

Shane Kidd-Walker is a Graduate Film Student at Florida State University. He is also an alumnus of Hinds Community College and THE Alcorn State University.

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