TITLE: THE GAME - THE FOURTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: December 6, 2011 (CBS Home Entertainment)
Color / 2011
Packaging: Keep case
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 12
Running Time: 275 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 45 minutes
Audio: English 5.1 & English Stereo Sound
Subtitles and Captioning: English SDH; Closed Captioned
Special Features: Bringin’ Back The Game; Playing The Game; Gag Reel; Deleted Scenes
Game on! The Game is back on as the comedy returns for a fourth season after being off the air for two years! Cable network BET picked the series up two years after The CW canceled it after three seasons. The series has changed a bit with production moving from L.A. to Atlanta and going from a multi-camera sitcom to a single-camera comedy (but with a little laugh track is still here). When the fourth season premiered on BET, it easily did a series high in the rating, besting any episode on UPN/The CW by miles and becoming cable’s highest rated comedy ever. This 2-disc fourth season set is timed for the much anticipated fifth season premiere on BET on Jan. 10, so catch up during the holidays!
Two years have passed since we left Melanie (Tia Mowry Hardrict) and Derwin (Pooch Hall) at the altar. Putting her medical career on hold, Mel’s now a full-time wife and CEO for the Sabre’s star wide receiver, who has become a popular and wealthy player with the help of his sassy manager, Tasha (Wendy Raquel Robinson). Tasha’s son Malik (Hosea Chanchez), the hard-partying San Diego quarterback, is living larger than ever, while friend and teammate Jason (Coby Bell), co-hosts a sports talk show and Kelly (Brittany Daniel), his glamorous ex-wife, stars in her very own reality series. We get all 12 season four episodes, including the one-hour season premiere, delivering laughs, life lessons, drama, and a winning line-up of special guests. Game on, indeed!
Before we get to the memorable episodes, the format seems very different from the first three seasons. It now sort of plays like a half-hour soap opera rather than a normal sitcom. In fact, as mentioned earlier, it is now single-camera. They have a little laugh track here and there, though, but it isn’t filmed in front of an audience obviously being single-camera now. I guess being more soapy works because this comedy was on fire in the ratings in this fourth season. I prefer the style of the first three seasons more. Yes, that was soapy too, but it actually felt like a comedy. Now it seems to me the comedy is secondary. Nevertheless, the show is still decent and addicting if you watch it. You’ll just have to watch them in order, since it is serialized. The one-hour season premiere, “Parachutes...Beach Chairs,” begins with a sequence on what the show's characters are doing two years later and what's happened in between the time, while Melanie gives DJ a DNA test and learns that he isn't Derwin's son and Kelly stars in her own reality show, much to Jason's dismay, and Tasha's new relationship suffers. Elsewhere on this special one-hour premiere, Malik has an affair with his boss's wife as revenge and sleeps with TeeTee's new girlfriend Allison and later Melanie later finds out that the DNA test results were wrong and that DJ is in fact Derwin's son. In the very next episode, “The Confession Episode,” Melanie risks her marriage when she tells Derwin the truth about his son, and sends Janay on a warpath in the process, while Jason lashes out against the Sabers after being released and Kelly and Tasha decide to settle their differences and become friends again. In “The Wing King,” Malik's trouble continues and he gets himself arrested while driving drunk in the middle of the night and it jeopardizes his career, while Melanie becomes overwhelmed while hosting a charity event, and Jazz, a former groupie, gives Melanie a little dose of reality. Later in the season on the episode “A Very Special Episode,” Melanie tries to spice things up with Derwin by setting up a three-way, while Malik wants to put his life back in order but faces problems that are difficult to resolve. In the Season 4 finale, “The Right to Choose,” Melanie and Derwin see a fertility specialist, while Jenna chooses not to reconcile with Malik and Tasha has an upsetting run-in with Bo and an “incident” with Melanie.
Guest stars for this season include Chris Webber, Bumper Robinson, Rick Fox, Mario Van Peebles, Stacey Dash, Magic Johnson, Fabolous, Mo’nique, Gabrielle Dennis, Meagan Good, Annie Ilonzeh (see her in an image with Tia below) and Gregory Allan Williams. Recurring is Katlynn Smith as Brittany Pitts.
1. Parachutes...Beach Chairs 42:23
2. The Confession Episode 21:15
3. The Wing King 21:12
4. It Was All Good Just a Week Ago 21:12
5. Men In Crisis 21:14
6. Didn't You Know Who I Was? 21:12
7. You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello 21:11
8. A Very Special Episode 21:12
9. Whip It, Whip It Good 21:12
10. Never Surrender 21:12
11. Death Becomes Her 21:12
12. The Right to Choose 21:12
We get the usual CBS Home Entertainment keep case and it is very similar to the first three season DVDs. The front artwork has the six main stars as the lights of the football stadium are in the background with the show logo on it. The Fourth Season wording is on the bottom. The back of the case features a nice cast photo of the main six in format attire (Tia in a short one piece dress!), as well as a description of the series & set. We also have a listing of the special features on this set. 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 once again. That same cast photo from the back is on the right panel in a bigger form. Always nice to see Tia Mowry Hardict even more up-close! Discs one and two are each on the left and the right panels. So if you want to read the episode info, you really have to remove disc one. Why not just an insert with the episode info? 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 and Disc 2 contains Episodes 7-12 and the main special features.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menu is pretty standard and is easy to navigate and also similar to the first three sets. 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 option only gives us one preview, a promo for The Game Season 5 launching Jan. 10, 2012 on BET. Tune in! The main menu has artwork of inside the stadium with the lights in the background. Each disc has two stars featured, like the last few sets. Disc one has Melanie and Derwin. Disc two has Jason and Kelly. 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 once again. We also have a Set Up option where we can choose either English 5.1 audio or English Stereo audio and turn on English SDH subtitles. That’s a plus since the season 3 DVD didn’t have ANY subtitles. And finally on disc two, we have a Special Features option. More on that below.
Video and Audio Quality:
Nothing really different here from the last three sets in terms of quality even with the style really different now. The video is in widescreen again, like it should be, and it probably has never looked better unless you watched it in HD on BET HD this season. I love the opening credits where you see supposedly Tia on the football stadium walking from the back in her high heels. It is stunning and the music is good, too. The audio is also perfect again and sounds good, 5.1 or Stereo. Now the format of the show is different from what we had on UPN/The CW, since it is now single camera. The show has always looked good on DVD before though and it might look even better now with it being single camera. I just prefer the multi-camera style of this show better
We get 5 chapter stops for each episode, but the season premiere has 6 chapter stop since it was a one-hour episode. 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 their original network versions. Music has been changed for this home entertainment version.” I have no idea what, though. I never really watched the show before I got the season one DVD. If you know, please post on our feedback link below. I remind you, reader Roddric Shropshire helped us with the Girlfriends DVDs with music edits, so thanks to him for that again. Here is a sample of what to expect on this DVD (Melanie looking good in white!):
The first season DVD had some extras, but the second and third season DVDs had nothing at all! But not to fear, this season has a good amount of special features. In fact, this might be the best set and better than season one in terms of special features! OK, it definitely is and I’m not lying like how Melanie uses this word a lot when she lies. First, we get deleted scenes. To play a deleted scene you have to select an episode from the main menu. If a sub-menu pops up, you’ll know there is a deleted scene because it gives you three options: Play Episode, Play Deleted, and Return to Main Menu. If there are no deleted scenes for the episode, you go right into the episode. There are four deleted scenes on these episodes: “Parachutes...Beach Chair” (0:54), “The Wing King” (1:40), “A Very Special Episode” (2:23), and “Never Surrender” (2:28). So if you’re keeping track, two episodes on disc one and two episodes on disc two have deleted scenes. Moving on to the actual special features located on disc two in the Special Features option, the first special feature is “Bringin’ Back The Game” (18:42). This is an excellent and detailed featurette that tells us how and why the show returned after The CW canceled the series in 2009. I hate the clips they play after ever comment it seems. Commenting are Mara Brock Akil (showrunner), Wendy Raquel Robinson, Coby Bell, Pooch Hall, Hosea Chanchez, Salim Akil (director/executive producer), Brittany Daniel, and Stacey Mattock (Facebook campaign starter to bring back The Game). I just wish Tia Mowry Hardrict was interviewed. Next we have another featurette titled “Playing The Game” (12:56). This is all about Mara Brock Akil. She gives us a lot of info and insight of her vision for this show. Fans will like this, I think. And finally we have “The Game Gags”(4:56), a nice gag reel of bloopers & outtakes. It just doesn’t seem as funny with no studio audience like we saw the first three seasons.
A great return for this series and it looks like it will air for some years to come now on BET, as it is doing better than ever in the ratings. Those reruns of The Game in 2009 on BET really helped and brought a new audience to the show and they all came back for the fourth season. Tia Mowry Hardict is back and looks better than ever, as her hair is back being long this season like for the first time since the second season. Anyway, CBS Home Entertainment stopped being cheap with this series on DVD, as we got special features on this set! And they are quality material! The packaging is still just OK, but simple. Everything in terms of packaging could be better, but also could be worse. The important part of course is the episodes, and it looks unedited, but there is a disclaimer saying some episode may be edited and some music may be replaced. We’re just not certain what. So if you’re a fan, for sure get this game-changing fourth season set, especially if you have the first three sets. This season is more soapy, more drama, and still has comedy. I like to call this show, a new Soap for the 21st century. So much is going on but you get hooked in. Catch up or rewatch the episodes in time for the fifth season premiere on Jan. 10, 2012, as BET will produce 22 episodes in season five. So we get more episodes! But for now, get this set and don’t forget to bring you’re a game like Derwin has in this season by being the star wide receiver!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 3/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 12/03/11
To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:
Please e-mail me with your sitcom related questions, sitcoms to add, and suggestions for additional links. © 1999-2014, Todd Fuller Contact Form