The Game: "The Blueprint" Review
A Genuine Draft Night
To say season five of The Game was lackluster would be an understatement. Focus seemed to be an afterthought, couple that with the fact that during the off-season the show lost arguably their two best characters, Melanie, Tia Mowry and Derwin, Pooch Hall. Long time fans have either stopped watching, or are more than ready to ration off what little hope they have left.
The long and short of it is the two part premiere “The Blueprint” and “We Gotta Stop Meeting Like This” was focused. From the beginning the main story line was Derwin being traded to Baltimore for the number one pick in the draft Bryce “The Blueprint” Westbrook, played by Jay Ellis and everyone’s side story was a reaction to it.
The two new characters were 50/50 Kierra Whitaker (Lauren London) was decent at best in her portrayal as a former child actress, out to prove she can take on mature roles. Her audition with director John Singleton was dry and unbelievable by both participants, but in the scenes with Bryce (Jay Ellis) she clearly outshined him.
Bryce is an army brat who attended Stanford to play wide receiver. Tested by everyone his whole life including his father who is affectionately known as “Colonel” played by William Allen Young. Their relationship is not on equal footing, which Bryce points out to his father. "Colonel" lets him know that it will remain this way until Bryce earns it. This relationship should and hopefully will be delved into deeper, I just hope there’s a satisfying payoff. More so than when Malik’s father came into the picture.
Six seasons in and Malik still hasn't shown growth. An athlete by day and a sex crazed alcoholic playboy by night. This act wore thin two seasons ago. And in this episode Malik played good cop and bad cop. After the news of Derwin being traded he started drinking heavily, but he became the voice of reason when Derwin admitted he did not want to leave. Tee Tee is now his “guardian angel” determined to get Malik on the right track.
In Pooch Hall’s final episode, his display of emotion led one to believe not only was it hard leaving the only team Derwin's ever played for, but also the difficulty Pooch had leaving the show. The scene where Jason while giving helpful advice, jokes about how he wished his father was dead so he can enjoy a song more, was not funny and was awkward.. Derwin's drunk confrontation with "The Blueprint" was done well. Not only was Derwin confronting the player who was taking his spot on the team, but also the actor who will be replacing him on the show. I did not like how Derwin spent his focus on leaving the Sabers, Jason and Malik both of which he refereed to as his family and disappointing Melanie, but did not bring up his son one time.
I wished Tia Mowery could had returned for one last episode, even though her character has been botched, the premiere seemed empty without her. Bryce is going to have to grow on me, Jay Ellis isn’t a great actor and his stiff delivery is at times unwatchable. Tasha’s storyline is interesting, but once again we’ve seen this before. Jason is still cheap and Chardonnay is Chardonnay. Coming off last season I would like to hope that the only way to go is up, but basements do exist and it wouldn’t surprise me if The Game would move down there.