Metro Detroiters star in TV show 'Player Gets Played'
Metro Detroiter Emily Walker isn't a woman scorned. She's a woman vindicated.
That's because the fashion designer found justice, thanks to her appearance on the new Oxygen reality show "Player Gets Played." Suspicious that her boyfriend, local R&B singer Elijah Connor, is cheating on her, Walker turns to the series and its producers to get to the bottom of Conner's incessant and secretive text messaging.
That's when Walker finds out Connor doesn't have one, but two other girlfriends. Viewers will find out how this tangled love affair shakes out when "Player Gets Played" premieres tonight on the basic cable network. A cross between the 2014 comedy "The Other Woman" and the syndicated series "Cheaters," the show gives women the abilitly to safely and discreetly meet one another and plot their revenge.
"I am glad I did it because it gave me the opportunity to show what kind of person I am," Walker said during a recent phone interview promoting "Player Gets Played." "It also gave me the opportunity to come together with other women and kind of figure some things out collectively as women and to learn things about ourselves as well.
"As women, we should come together vs. bickering and not getting along."
Walker should know. When she first finds out that Brittany Harris, a former Detroit Pistons dancer, also is dating Connor, her reaction is less than cordial. Harris also initially responds in a not-so-friendly manner.
With a little space and time the two women — who share more than a passing resemblance — overcome their pettiness, compare notes and reach out to Connor's third girlfriend, model Maria Swanson. In case her last name looks familiar, Maria Swanson's family owns the successful Detroit-based Swanson Funeral Homes chain.
But will Swanson join their revenge plan or will she run to Connor and confront him first? Viewers will have to tune in for what turns out to be the episode's most scintillating scene, full of meme- and Twitter-worthy lines and moments.
"Going into the project, you don't know how anyone's going to be," Walker said. "You don't know what to expect. Overall, I'm happy with everything. I was able to show people how I am and what I do."
"Player Gets Played" definitely doesn't hurt the three women Connor lies to and manipulates. Walker, Harris and Swanson come across as glamorous and successful.
Whether or not consumers purchase more dance, swim and evening wear from Walker's fashion line on NynaNoir.com remains to be seen. The same question applies to Swanson's modeling career and Harris' dance studio aspirations.
Possible friendships between the three seem possible, but unlikely.
Time will also tell how "Player Gets Played" affects Connor's musical career. His song "Sorry I" deals with an unfaithful but apologetic man, and happens to fit his personal dating habits and his eventual remorse on the show. But on the other hand, if women make up the majority of his fan base, will they continue to support him?
"That's for the viewers to decide," Walker said.
She's more hopeful that national TV viewers alter their perception of Detroit. In case you're wondering, the city represents well and, thanks to places such as Cliff Bell's, looks quite swanky and modern as a backdrop for this soapy reality tale.
"What people don't realize about Detroit is that it is a great place," said Walker, a city native. "It has some wonderful areas. I just did a fashion show on Woodward at the Garden Theater and it's gorgeous inside. There are so many beautiful places in Detroit."
Mekeisha Madden Toby is a Los Angeles-based TV critic.
'Player Gets Played'
Debuts 9:30 p.m. tonight