Game On: Every Netflix Show In The Comedy Crossover Series
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Game On spotlights four of Netflix’s new sitcoms, with various performers crossing over into different storylines. Here’s what you need to know.
Now streaming on Netflix, Game On spotlights four of the streaming service’s popular sitcoms, with various performers crossing over into different storylines. The episodes were seemingly produced to align with the now-cancelled 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan, as character dialogue references the iconic event. Game On, a four-part Netflix special, released on August 10, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many TV productions have either been delayed or completely shut down. On August 21, 2020, Netflix cancelled both The Society and I Am Not Okay with This, two popular series (with promising casts) that required bigger production costs than the typical sitcom. In 2020 alone, Netflix has released 15 comedy series, with the latest being Space Force, The Baby-Sitters Club, and Teenage Bounty Hunters. Game On celebrates traditional network comedy.
With Game On, Netflix captures the best elements of the featured productions. There’s accessible family entertainment, smart writing, and strong performances from the focal stars. Many of the actors and actresses are indeed familiar faces in pop culture, but not necessarily mainstream superstars. As a result, the various series have a naturalistic feel, and the crossover concept in Game On allows for some clever in-universe connections. Here are the four sitcoms in Game On.
The Big Show Show
The Big Show Show season 1 released in April 2020, and stars retired professional wrestler Paul Wight as a fictionalized version of himself. When his daughter Lola (Reylynn Caster) moves to Florida from Minnesota, Paul attempts to keep everyone happy, including his second wife Cassie (Allison Munn) and daughters Mandy (Lily Brooks O’Briant) and J.J. (Juliet Donenfeld).
Directed by Melissa Joan Hart, “The Big Show Show: The Big Games” in Game On focuses on the “Garvey Games,” an annual athletic competition that has been won seven years straight by the Erickson family (acquaintances of the Wights). Paul makes a new friend during the event, but Cassie has major conflict with a passive-aggressive opponent. Gabriel Iglesias, the star of Netflix’s Mr. Iglesias, makes a brief cameo as the winner of a wave runner that Paul hoped to share with the Erickson father.
Mr. Iglesias season 1 premiered in June 2019 and returned one year later for season 2. The aforementioned star is best known for his stand-up comedy, and portrays a history teacher at a Long Beach, California school in the Netflix series.
Game On features a crossover episode called “Mr. Iglesias: Olympic Effort,” in which Gabe prepares his students for the mandatory SAT tests and uses some cultural cliches in the process. Meanwhile, his best friend Tony Ochoa (Jacob Vargas) enters a youth-oriented “Meet Your Hero” contest (hoping to meet Mexican actress Salma Hayek), which leads to Paul Wight from The Big Show Show making a cameo and offering advice about cheating to Gabe’s students.
The Expanding Universe Of Ashley Garcia
The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia season 1 debuted in February 2020, and returned for a season extension in July 2020. Paulina Chávez stars as the title character, a teenage genius who moves to California to live with her uncle, Victor (Jencarlos Canela), a former NFL kicker for the Dallas Cowboys
Netflix’s crossover includes an NFL twist by incorporating Moz McKellan (Anthony Alabi) – a former NFL player – from the series Family Reunion. In the Game On episode, the primary conflict revolves around a coffeehouse competition between Victor and business associate Gia (Eva Longoria), who trolls her competitor with personalized NFL references. Moz and his wife Cocoa (Tia Mowry) make the trip to California for an ex-NFL player’s convention, which boosts the comedic drama that is primarily focused on Victor.
Family Reunion season 1 released in July 2019, and was followed by part 2 in January 2020. The premise centers on Moz and Cocoa’s move from the American Pacific Northwest to the Deep South, where Moz’s parents “M’Dear” (Loretta Devine) and “Grandpa” (Richard Roundtree) influence the couple’s four children.
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In the Game On episode “Family Reunion: Remember the Family’s Feud,” flashbacks are used to explain why there’s so much conflict between the McKellan and McCoy families, whom both participate in the 65th Annual Columbus Country Games. For the crossover event, Ashley and Victor from The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia show up to celebrate the birthday of cousin Rico, who just happens to be married to a McCoy. It’s also revealed that Moz and Victor were both 2010 NFL “Calendar Boys.” Overall, the Game On crossover productions work as stand-alone episodes, as there’s no beginning or end to the Netflix special beyond the episodic structure.