The premiere episode of The Game on BET attracted 7.7 million viewers, making it the biggest premiere in cable television history. The love of the fans, which seems stronger than ever, brought the show back after cancellation. Even after a loopy, at times, disappointing premiere– Tasha Mack smoking Black-n-Milds and leaving Rick Fox for 106 & Park’s scrawny Terrance, the miscasting of lil’ Brittany’s character and the most dubious of revelations, that Melanie aka “Med School” has decided not to continue her studies to become a practicing physician– even after all of that, last Tuesday’s episode still attracted 5.9 milly.
The crux of these first two episodes revolved around Jenay and the paternity of her son. For the past two years we thought, like Melanie and dem, that Derwin was the father. Still Melanie, who has never been comfortable with the idea of being a step mom, causes a blowup of epic proportions when she conducts a DNA test and gets her answer in all the wrong ways. Derwin you are NOT the father, err… my bad, Derwin you ARE the father! Crazy, but then this is why we love the dynamics between Melanie and Derwin. It’s not perfect. There aren’t any tidy bows and coordinated outfits. It’s messy, honest, undone and full of passion and problems. So the idea of baby mama drama is a logical next progression. Besides, the idea of having a baby out of wedlock isn’t the hot ghetto mess it was once deemed. Doctors, lawyers, academicians, actors and athletes are having babies, but not putting a ring on it. The stigma that once followed women (and to a lesser degree men) is kind of a thing of the past. When Heidi Klum was unmarried and preggers with another man’s baby she met and fell in love with Seal who she eventually married and who, for all intent and purposes, is as much a father to her firstborn as he is to their three children. Of course Heidi is a glamorous, German, Victoria Secrets model and so she and Seal were portrayed in the press as the ideal picture of love and happiness.
And even though the stigma may not exist, take it from me, there is still a great deal of stress and pressure involved. A few years ago when my ex had a baby it was, initially, a huge pill I had to swallow. Just one month prior to learning he would be a dad, he had called my mom and shared with her his desire to give our relationship another shot (we had been split up for a couple of years). At first I was pessimistic, but six weeks later, after giving it some serious consideration, I too wanted to see if we could reignite our love. It was then that he told me he was going to have a baby. I was devastated. When Tasha Mack says to Melanie, “You almost crapped-out when (Derwin) had that baby, but you fought through that. Everything is all good except for that one little speck in the corner messing up your pretty picture,” I can totally relate. That “speck” is no joke, but like Melanie, I decided that I would fight through it. I wrote emails to my ex, had a few heartbreaking conversations and even wrote a rhyme about it (“I love you, you say you love me/ Don’t worry I’ll be a great step mommy.”) LOL, yeah I went there! However, unlike Melanie you could say I “crapped-out” and we went our separate ways, but I learned a wonderful lesson about myself and how far I would go for love. Before this experience, I wasn’t trying to be in a committed relationship with a man who had children. That was the kind of baggage I knew I didn’t want. I learned though that if I was going to make a serious attempt at dating and finding that special someone, especially in NYC, that caring for someone and loving that person unconditionally means accepting their “baggage” and learning to live freely with that speck. But if all parties involved aren’t honest and secure riding in their respective lanes then that lil’ speck will not only cause a major hole in your wall, it will drive a rift as wide as the Canyon between you and your significant other.
Remember Tracey Edmonds who married Eddie Murphy soon after his ex, Mel B, gave birth to his baby girl? Well there were a ton of rumors being tossed about as to why they divorced two weeks later and I bet his attitude toward Mel B. and their newborn played a role (he wasn’t even trying to assume paternity or pay child support so you know the deal).
I hope The Game’s creator Mara Brock Akil will focus less on “The Pit & Dip” and topless scenes with the ladies and concentrate more on this important new-gen family dynamic and on Melanie’s angst. We all know by now that the actress who plays Melanie, Tia Mowry, is pregnant in real life so I’ll be curious to see if and how this is worked into the drama. Meanwhile I’ll be tuning-in tonight to see how Melanie deals with the speck in her perfect picture. I’m pretty sure going to church and never talking about the baby isn’t go to work. What do you think? Have you experienced your own personal “specks”? How did you deal?