Breaking the Losing Streak of ‘The Game’

The dramedy died and was brought back to life on BET, thanks to fans. But after a disappointing season finale, this die-hard fan has advice for the show's creators.

1. Bring Kelly Pitts back. Without Kelly as Jason’s emotional center, his snarky one-liners make him out to be more of the court jester than a man struggling with a forced retirement.

2. Somebody — anybody — get Melanie a stethoscope. For three seasons, all Melanie could talk about was medical school. Her nickname was “Med School”! But at the drop of a diploma, “the legacy” (i.e., Derwin’s football career) is suddenly more important than “Doctor” Melanie Barnett-Davis’ own dreams.

3. Cut Tasha’s weave, please. When Tasha finally lost the “long hair, don’t care” look in Season 3, I figured she’d tone down her “I’ll cut you” rhetoric along with her tresses. Not so. Four seasons later, Ms. Mack is right back where she started — fake mane and no man.

4. Malik could use a makeover. I never understood what Malik Wright wanted or needed on the show. First he had to get out from under his mother. Done. But since that turned out terribly (rehab), now he’s back at square one. The man needs a hobby.

5. What happened to the Sunbeams? The entire premise of The Game was wrapped around the Sunbeams, the charitable arm of the Sabers run by the players’ wives. That’s where Melanie met Tasha and Kelly, who became the threesome whose wine guzzling poured a lot of heart into the show. Without that center, The Game has spent much of Season 4 spinning its wheels.

In an entertainment age dominated by a constantly shuffling roster of reality shows, die-hard fans are hard to come by in television. Still, like the painted faces in the crowd during March Madness, some folks make the commitment. Sure, The Game is just a TV show, a half-hour dramedy in a packed midseason lineup. But it was our show, and if it wants to make it to the finals at this year’s up-fronts, I hope the show starts listening to what the fans have been shouting from the stands.

Helena Andrews is a regular contributor to The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter.

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