Games People Play premiered on BET April 23rd at 10 pm ET/PT.
Stemming from the juicy novel titled Games Divas Play by Angela Burt-Murray, the hour-long series dives into the L.A high life where everybody plays to win. “I really wanted to bring sexy back to TV…it’s very soapy and juicy and there’s a lot of twists and turns,” said Tracey Edmonds, the Executive Producer of Games People Play. Loyalty, love, and lies are put to test to as we see what it takes to make it in LA.
Meet the Cast!
Lauren London, who many may know from the movie ATL and the hit BET show The Game, plays Vanessa King. Vanessa can be described as the loyal yet skeptical wife of Marques King who has to quickly adjust to the glamorous lifestyle. Losing her sense of independence and leaving her own dreams of becoming a lawyer behind after marrying all-star ball player Marques King.
Sarunas J. Jackson, also starred in the show Insecure, plays Marques King who we see is adjusting to the baller lifestyle in all aspects, except for the attention from other women. “I think what Marques wants more than anything is peace. He gets in his own way and after mistakes are made he wants peace,” said Sarunas.
Parker Mckenna Posey, who we can all remember from the show My Wife and Kids now plays the seductive, yet struggling actress Laila James. “More than anything, I think Laila James just wants to be successful,” said Parker. As the series unfolds, we see Laila James is willing to do whatever it takes to make it to the top.
Karen Obilom, who we’ve seen before in the show Insecure, now plays Nia Bullock. As described by Karen, “Nia is a regular girl trying to become a journalist, but all this crap just keeps getting in the way. All these obstacles, all these scandals, all this drama and she’s just trying to roll with the punches as best as she can.” Her hustle is something most women can relate to and admire.
Jackie Long, who starred in ATL and Real Husbands of Hollywood plays the role of Kareem Johnson in Games People Play. Kareem and Marques are best friends and who both fell in love with the game of basketball. Marques makes it becoming an all-star baller and Kareem is left on the sidelines. “If you have a friend who made it and you didn’t make it, you might feel a little bit of jealousy,” said Jackie when discussing his character. This leads to Kareem constantly wondering what life in the limelight would of been like for him.
I got the opportunity to interview some of the cast members and executive producer, Tracey Edmonds, to get the inside scoop of what we all can expect to see in this sultry new thriller. “Outsiders will discover the price you have to pay to achieve the so-called ‘perfect’ life and all the challenges, the drama, the secrets, and the games that are being played that goes on behind the scenes,” said Tracey. I was also advised to expect the unexpected! Plenty of unexpected twists and turns, guilty pleasures, and addictions fill the lives of characters like struggling actress Laila, a desperate basketball wife Vanessa, and gossip journalist Nia.
Individually, each character is faced with their own issues while surviving in LA, but collectively they all allow us to understand the sacrifices people might make in the industry. “As each episode progresses, more layers are exposed,” said Tracey Edmonds, Executive Producer of Games People Play. In the premiere, we get familiar with the characters, but there are definitely more juicy scenes to come that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.
The roles are so realistic which made it fun and easy for the cast members to immediately adjust to each character. “Being a former basketball player made it easy for me to get into Marques King’s character, but I don’t necessarily agree with how he handles things,” said Sarunas who plays the all-star ball player that repeatedly falls into temptations. If you were anything like me, wondering why each character does the things they do, the cast gave an inside scoop saying episode 106 will provide us all the answers we need.
With Laila choosing to not to play nice anymore to rise to fame, she understands the true meaning of all publicity is good publicity after sleeping with Marques King and leaking photos of his body to keep the public wondering who this mystery man is. “I always think there is a better way to reach fame, but I love the way Laila did it,” says Parker Mckenna Posey who plays Laila in Games People Play.
At the end of episode one, we are left with a lot of cliffhangers! Vanessa is confronted by the police, Nia is left to choose between her friend and her career, and Laila is about to be on the rise to fame. Waiting until next week to see what happens next makes me anxious so I tried to get a sneak peek of what we’ll see, but the cast told me we’ll just have to tune in! Games People Play will return Tuesday, April 30th at its regular time 9 pm ET/PT. Be sure to check out episode one if you haven’t already, you’re in for a ride!