'The Game': What to expect two years later

the-game-cast-320.jpgIn a rare and brave move, BET is bringing "The Game" back to television. Yes, "The Game" that the CW canceled two years ago.

Original episodes of the long-missed series premiere on Jan 11 at 10 p.m. with back-to-back half-hours that drop us back into the lives of our favorite characters, two years after we left them.

Derwin Davis ( Pooch Hall) is no longer the rookie we once knew and loved. His life is glittered up by paparazzi flashes, and Tasha ( Wendy Raquel Robinson) describes him as "the face of Nike. He's a multi-million dollar boom campaign. He's a brand. He's an icon. He's a one-man ball-catching economic stimulus package that's responsible for serious job creation for the city of San Diego."

Which, of course, puts his wife Melanie ( Tia Mowry Hardict) in the position of being half of a celebrity power couple. In fact, when we first see her, she's happily posing for the cover of "Essence."

Janay, of course, is still in their lives as the mother of Derwin's son, D.J. - and Melanie is doing her best to get Derwin to let her in on raising him. (Who is ridiculously adorable, obviously.) However, it appears that Melanie has some doubts. Serious doubts that have her swabbing the inside of the kid's mouth.

Formerly the star of the San Diego Sabers, Jason ( Coby Bell) is now a successful sports commentator, which begs the question -- uh, why? "I am doing what most American women have forgotten how to do," Jason quips. "I am holding out until I get the respect that I deserve."

Uh-oh. Jason doesn't have his team... or his wife. Kelly ( Brittany Daniel) has left Jason, though, of course, she's never too far away to annoy the hell out of him. Meanwhile, she's having the time of her life doing a reality series... about how hard it was to be married to a player. "I'm wearing real designer shoes now. When I was wearing to my cheap-butt husband, I had to wear the knockoffs. You have to take smaller steps with knockoffs, because you're not as confident," she says.

As for Malik ( Hosea Chanchez) , an injury has him bitter, but he's still the life of the party, and surprise, surprise... he's sleeping with someone he shouldn't be sleeping with, in places he shouldn't be sleeping with her. And, as usual, Tee Tee (Barry Floyd) has no choice but to clean up the messes.

You won't want to miss the premiere. The show is just as funny as ever (and they haven't ditched the laugh track) but it's significantly sexier (one of the perks of being on basic cable) and there's a lot of high-stakes drama (the last five minutes are a definite game-changer, if you will.)