Lauren London made her return to television in BET’s new juicy drama, Games People Play Tuesday night, starring in the role of basketball wife Vanessa King. London’s performance was relatable as she unveiled the ugly truth of being married to a successful basketball player who struggles with an addiction and infidelity, all while flashing her mesmerizing smile.
While the cast is made of black Hollywood all-stars (including a few celebrity guests), it’s Lauren London’s character that we can’t get enough of, as Vanessa effortlessly makes us empathize with the often-idolized lifestyle of a glamorous yet constantly cheated on basketball wife. It’s clear that London’s own experience as a doting mother of two comes through in her role of Vanessa King, as she prioritizes her family both on and off screen. “Being a mother has changed my outlook on life,” the 34-year old actress recently told The Grio, “and I think that naturally filters into my work.”
In the series premiere, we’re introduced to Vanessa and Marques King (Sarunas J. Jackson), a good looking and successful couple who seemingly have it all but struggle to keep their marriage in tact due to Marques’ compulsive cheating. In spite of their struggles, we see that Vanessa clearly loves her husband, or “King” as she calls him, and even puts her dreams of becoming a high-powered attorney on hold to become the perfect wife and mother that’ll help take her husband’s professional basketball career to the next level. Like so many wives and mothers in real life, Mrs. King is devoted to keeping her family together, but her constant sacrifices can’t seem to stop her husband from messing around with known side-chicks and groupies behind his wife’s back.
As an escape from Marques’ persistent unfaithfulness, Vanessa turns to her sorority sister and gossip blogger friend, Nia Bullock (Karen Obilom), for support and a sense of familiarity in her new Los Angeles home. But in the age of social media and click bait, there’s no escaping that reality as Marques’ extramarital affairs will soon be made public through an exclusive interview with his mistress done by Vanessa’s BFF, Nia. Now, Nia is conflicted on whether to remain loyal to her girl or impress her boss by running the exclusive story about Marques’ cheating.
The pilot episode started off with a bang and we can only anticipate that more drama will unfold in the weeks to come. Catch “Games People Play” Tuesdays at 8pm (EST) on BET.