Tuesday night, BET’s hit dramedy, The Game, set Twitter ablaze. Almost from the opening scene, viewers were feverishly commenting about the show, so much so that I decided to watch.
Although I haven’t kept up with the show too closely since its rebirth on the network, I have noticed that The Game has undergone some dramatic changes. Gone are the sisterly Sunbeams; they’ve replaced by cattiness and backstabbing. Once the show returned to TV, Kelly Pitts was no longer the upbeat dedicated mom and wife, instead she morphed into a fame-crazy, vindictive bitch. Melanie was no longer the super smart, syrupy sweet, med student, she had somehow transformed into a money-hungry, ruthless, conniving woman. And Tasha Mack—well—she’s devolved into a chain-smoking, crass, overly abrasive walking stereotype.
Despite this, I still watched last night’s episode hoping that the new season had brought the old series back to life. Boy was I sorely mistaken. What I saw was 22 minutes of Tyler Perry-like drama, wall-to-wall stereotypes, and some of the worse black woman slander this side of a Steve Harvey book.
If we judged black women by their portrayal on The Game, we’d think they were all sneaky, ghetto, disloyal, loud, and absolutely evil. Who needs trashy reality shows making black women look like fools when we have The Game, a series created by a black woman.
Like many in my Twitter timeline, I was in shock.
This season, Jason Pitts is on a quest to get in touch with his blackness. Somehow he ended up married to a black woman, Chardonnay (played by Brandy), who no longer wants to be with him. After shouting her out on his TV show, Chardonnay tells Jason she still doesn’t want to be in the relationship. Like so many brothas before him with hurt egos, Jason reminds her that there are TONS of black women who’ll want him is she doesn’t, so he leaves. Jason sets out on a quest to date a few women—some are “crazy,” others challenge his stereotypes about black people—but realizes that Chardonnay is the one for him.
In the previous episode, aptly titled, “The Black People Episode,” Jason has his “black conversion” during dinner with Chardonnay and her friends where the conversation is solely about being black. Instead of hearing that he should feel comfortable in his skin, Jason learns about a series of “rules” that govern black folks (visiting the hood, not talking to the police, being hypersensitive to race). If that wasn’t enough, this week, the writers of The Game chose to play into the meme that there are no good black men out there and that black women are “desperate” for a man.
After Jason strikes out with Chardonnay and other women, he goes to the blackest woman he knows: Tasha Mack. He asks Tasha to explain “the black woman” and her words—about how black women are “so desperate for a man” we’ll hold onto just about anyone—lead Jason back to his soon-to-be-ex-wife asking for another chance.
While the writers of The Game could have built an interesting storyline around Jason’s struggle with his identity, they instead decided to dabble in the lowest common stereotypical denominators and diss black women.
One of my twitter peeps aptly summed up my thoughts on The Game, when she wondered: “Why are writers of #TheGame intent on making a fool of black women when we brought this show back from the damn dead?”
Yes, BET…what part of the game is that?
Did you watch Tuesday’s episode of The Game? What did you think?