TITLE: THE GAME - THE FIRST SEASON
DVD Release Date: September 1, 2009 (CBS Home Entertainment)
Color / 2006-07
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 21 (22 half-hours)
Running Time: 458 minutes
Running Time for Special Features: approx. 32 minutes (counting back-door pilot)
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Closed Captioned
Special Features: Backdoor Pilot Episode from Girlfriends called “The Game,” Interview with Mara Brock Akil, Mara Brock Akil Talks About Three Episodes, and Mara Brock Akil Talks About The Off-Season.
It is game time as the hit spin-off series of Girlfriends called The Game comes to DVD for the very first with the first season from CBS Home Entertainment.
Melanie Barnett (Tia Mowry) is a first-year medical school student who has given up an offer of admission to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore to follow her boyfriend Derwin Davis (Pooch Hall), a professional football player, to San Diego, against the advice of her parents. Derwin Davis is a first-year rookie with a fictional team called the "San Diego Sabers." As Melanie settles into her new life, she meets Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson), the mother of Sabers' starting quarterback Malik Wright (Hosea Chanchez), and Kelly Pitts (Brittany Daniel), the wife of Sabers' captain Jason Pitts (Coby Bell). As she learns to balance her new roles as both med student and the partner of a professional football player, Tasha and Kelly immediately warn her to keep a close eye on her boyfriend because of the numerous "gold diggers" who approach the professional football players. Recurring are P.J. Byrne as Irv and Erica Gluck as Brittany Pitts.
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Some memorable episodes include the premiere “Away Game,” where Derwin invites Melanie to his first away game in Miami, but due to her heavy school load, she decides to pass, but then when Tasha and Kelly find out she is not going, they persuade her to change her mind by telling her away games are a play ground for cheating. In “How Tasha Got Her Groove Back,” when Malik tells Tasha that he is having trouble with the offensive coordinator, Kenny (guest star Rocky Carroll), asks her to speak with him. In the “Trey Wiggs Episode,” Derwin's image consultant (guest star Shanti Lowry) tells Derwin her idea to pair him with football player Trey Wiggs (guest star Chaz Lamar Shepherd), his former college teammate, he objects, saying he and Trey were more like rivals than teammates, meanwhile, Derwin learns that Melanie had lunch with Trey, though she insists that it is strictly platonic. However when a local paper secretly photographs Melanie having a second lunch with Trey, things heat up. In the next episode, “Trey Wiggs Fallout Episode,” Melanie learns that Derwin is still upset about the bad publicity caused by her continuing friendship with an old football rival she tries to find various ways to make it up to him. In the Christmas episode “There’s No Place Like Home,” with Christmas approaching, the Sabers lose their final game and Melanie looks forward to going home to see her family and spending some quality time with Derwin, but the Sabers soon discover they still have a chance at the playoffs, and Derwin asks Melanie to stay in town...will she? In “Out of Bounds,” when Malik finds out that the love of his life, model/actress Eva Marcelle is getting married, he decides to use up-and-coming female singer Drew Sidora to make Eva jealous, but learning that she has been used, Drew turns to Derwin as a shoulder to cry on and later Drew asks Derwin to be in her new music video and their on-screen kiss leads to more than he anticipated. In “Baby B.S.,” when R&B singer Drew Sidora starts calling Derwin on a consistent basis, he realizes their recent flirtation has gone a step too far. In “The Many Lies of Derwin Davis,” when Derwin is unexpectedly forced to take Melanie to singer Drew Sidora's video release party, he panics over how the meeting between them is going to turn out. In part one of the season finale, “When the Chickens Come Home to Roost,” it is ESPY week in Los Angeles and Derwin gets an unexpected endorsement deal and is left to celebrate with Drew Sidora, while Melanie is busy studying in San Diego. Finally in part two, in the conclusion of the first-season finale, Melanie and Derwin have a heated argument about their impending engagement status, as Derwin sleeps with Drew.
Guest stars for this season include Shanti Lowry as Dionne, Rocky Carroll as Kenny Taylor, Barry Floyd as Tee Tee, Todd Grinnell, J.A. Adande, Tahj Mowry, Gregory Allan Williams, Charles Robinson, Jerry Rice, Nick Swisher, Drew Sidora, Eva Marcelle, Ephraim Salaam, Bumper Robinson, and Jaleel White. And guest starring as themselves on the season finale are Vivica A. Fox, Chamillionaire, Lisa Leslie, Willie McGinest, and Kenny Smith.
We get the usual CBS Home Entertainment snap case. The front artwork has the six main stars (Tia in a nice black dress) as the lights of the football stadium are in the background with the show logo on top. The First Season wording is on the bottom. The back of the case features a cast photo of them in the locker room, as well as a description of the series & set. We also get a box detailing the special features. Inside the case are the discs of course, but inside the packaging panels we have disc-by-disc breakdowns, including episode titles, original airdates and an episode description. Discs one and two are in a little plastic holder that you can flip like a book, while disc three is on the right panel. As with the case with other CBS Home Entertainment DVDs, the discs themselves are silver in color (very plain) and feature the show logo with episode titles on the bottom. Disc 1 contains Episodes 1-6. Disc 2 contains Episodes 7-14. Disc 3 contains Episodes 15-21.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu is pretty cool and easy to navigate. However on disc one before you get to the Main Menu, you have an option to go watch Previews or go to the Main Menu. The previews are for Girlfriends, Classic TV and CBS/Showtime DVDs. The main menu has artwork of inside the stadium with the lights in the background. Each disc has two stars featured. Disc one has Melanie and Derwin. Disc two has Tasha and Malik. And disc three has Kelly and Jason. There is a "Play All" option, which plays all of the episodes and the episodes are actually listed on the main menu by episode titles. We also have “Set Up,” where we can choose either English 5.1 audio or English Stereo audio. Who cares really? No subtitles? Each disc has a Special Features section as well listing the extras on each disc.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video is in widescreen again, like it should be, and it probably has never looked better unless you watched it in HD on The CW HD. I love the opening credits where you see supposedly Tia on the football stadium walking from the back. The audio is also perfect and sounds good, 5.1 or Stereo. We get 6 chapter stops for each episode (season finale has 7 stops though since it is an hour-long episode) and each episode is just around 20:55 in length, but some run shorter and some a bit longer. One runs a minute lower, so that seems suspicious. As was the case with other sets from CBS, there is a disclaimer on the back of the box saying, “Some episodes may be edited from original broadcast. Music has been changed for this home entertainment version.” I have no idea what, though. I never really watched the show before I got this DVD. If you know, please post on our feedback link below. I remind you, reader Roddric Shropshire helped us the Girlfriends DVD with music edits, so thanks to him for that.
Back-door Pilot from Girlfriends 21:23
1. Away Game 20:56
2. Rules of the Game 20:56
3. Gifted 20:55
4. How Tasha Got Her Groove Back 20:25
5. Brittany’s Super Sweet Sixth 20:55
6. Rift and Separate 20:32
7. Mi Casa Es Su Casa 20:56
8. The Trey Wiggs Episode 20:56
9. The Trey Wiggs Fallout Episode 20:56
10. There’s No Place Like Home 20:49
11. It’s Hard Being Kelly Pitts 20:57
12. To Baby...Or Not to Baby 20:57
13. The Iceman Cometh 20:56
14. All-Star Blues 20:55
15. Out of Bounds 19:52
16. Baby P.S. 20:57
17. God Bless the Girl That’s Got Her Own 20:57
18. You Say You Want a Revolution 20:57
19. The Big Chill 20:57
20. The Many Lives of Derwin Davis 20:57
21. When the Chickens Come Home to Roost, Parts 1 & 2 41:52
On the Girlfriends Season 6 DVD I said, “We better get something on The Game’s DVD, whenever that comes out.” And they listened! We get basically some short interview pieces with creator Mara Brock Akil. The back-door pilot episode from Girlfriends is listed as a special feature, but it is listed on disc one’s main menu as an episode. The actual special features are listed on the special features section. On disc one, we have a short interview with creator Mara Brock Akil that runs 2:27 as she discusses the show. On disc two, she is interviewed about three episodes. She talks about the episode “To Baby...Or Not to Baby” for 1:44, then she talks about the episode “The Iceman Cometh” for 1:37, and finally she talks about the episode “All-Star Blues” for 1:51. Finally, on disc three she talks about “The Offseason” and what football players usually do then. This runs 2:09. This could have been longer, I think. Wish we had more.
I’ve never watched this show before. I saw the backdoor pilot on the Girlfriends Season 6 DVD and I thought it was decent (and better than Girlfriends). Tia Mowry looks very good on this show. There is an episode where she is waiting for Derwin to come home and she strips and jumps to the pole, but she doesn’t realize he brought some of the football players home. Wow! Unfortunately The CW canceled the series after three seasons. Reruns are airing on BET and there is talk that they could pick-up the show for a fourth season. Anyway, CBS DVD really is cheap, but we got some sort of special features here even though they were very short interview snippets. Who knows I might watch the second and third seasons when they come on DVD and I’ll become a full-fledged fan. So if you’re a fan, for sure get this first season set. If you’ve never watched it, I suggest you try it out. Tia Mowry is great and has grown-up so well in all areas! No more “sister, sister” here...it’s all Tia! She’s got her game on!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0.5/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 08/29/09
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