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‘The Game’ Got Game

BBC’s Footballers’ Wive$—a hugely popular British soap opera about the racy lives and loves of three professional soccer players’ wives—has been gaining international acclaim, so it only makes sense television across the pond has taken notice. ABC is developing a carbon copy of the British version—set in the world of American football, of course—but CW’s The Game may have beaten them to the punch.

The half-hour sitcom revolves around three women: Melanie Barnett (Tia Mowry), whose boyfriend, Derwin (Pooch Hall), has just joined the San Diego Sabers as their third-string wide receiver; Tasha Mack (Wendy Raquel Robinson), a single mother who manages her son, Malik (Hosea Chanchez), the team’s quarterback; and Kelly (Brittany Daniel), the typical NFL trophy wife, whose husband Jason (Coby Bell) is a bit of a cheapskate.

In the opening, Melanie has given up her dream to go to John Hopkins Medical School, so she can go to med school in San Diego and be with Derwin. As she adjusts to her new lifestyle, she gets a play-by-play account of the lives and relationships among NFL wives, girlfriends and mom/managers who use their best “game” to help their men stay on the field and on their arm.

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The show has enough sass to spare, obviously aimed at the old UPN’s audience, with the actors keeping up quite nicely. Once a young teen star of the sitcom Sister, Sister, in which she co-starred with her twin sister Tamara, Tia Mowry has certainly grown up and branched out on her own. She’s a pro at this kind of comedy and aptly handles the chores. Robinson (The Steve Harvey Show), too, is a veteran and, as the ultimate stage mother–or in this case, football mom—she is given pretty much all the great snarky comments.

There’s even an interracial marriage—with child, no less—added into the mix, which is quite refreshing, since the show isn’t at all about the fact there’s an interracial marriage in there. How very progressive of you, CW.

Bottom Line: Aside from an annoying laugh track and standard sitcom-y feel, The Game has the potential to score a few touchdowns in the comedy department.

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