While her career may seem a little shaky, seemingly the rest of her life is hanging on by a thread.
Despite BET being around for more than 20 years, surprisingly scripted shows are still fairly new to the network. But, apparently between increasing competition for black viewers, and maybe the numerous critiques of the network finally getting to someone’s ear high up, there is now a program like Being Mary Jane, starring many familiar Black faces, as well as a few new ones.
Topic 1: The Work
At Mary Jane’s news station people are starting to get chopped, but thanks to Kara being a bit more cut throat than Mary Jane, seemingly both will remain on the payroll. However, Mary Jane does wonder at what costs? Kara is willing to watch an elderly couple meet their death on air, due to a hurricane in Florida, so that they both can keep their jobs. And while Mary Jane hates the idea, it seemingly raised her status a bit, and has helped Kara become prominent enough that now she doesn’t just have Mary Jane’s show, but now also she is consulting for another show.
Topic 2: The Friends & Family
But, realize, while Kara may seem heartless for wanting to feature a stubborn elderly couple who rather go down with the house than go off to safety, realize she was trying to make a sacrifice matter. With the station looking for cuts, Kara is in no position to say no to her boss so she can see her son’s solo at school. So, rather than go the safe route Mary Jane would have liked, she went for the kill and seemingly got something to make up for missing her kids.
As for Mary Jane, outside of a frantic mom, we don’t see much of the family we met in the pilot. No pregnant niece, no brother, father or etc., just her mother Helen who has Lupus and way too much time on her hands. However, the episode does start with her running to the aid of her friend Lisa who seemingly tried to overdose, though we are told she was just trying to take enough to knock herself out. Though considering her admitted depression, such information told to the emergency responders may have been said to save face.
Topic 3: The Love Life
And the drama doesn’t stay to just Lisa by the way, both of Mary Jane’s suitors, Andre and Luke, bring more fascination into the character. To start off, Mary Jane is still having issues with Luke’s lack of commitment and though with him she is playful and sweet, he still is unable to commit and, in the episode, when Mary Jane cancels on him, he ends up finding another girl, who he has slept with, and goes with her. Then, to make things worse, he is blunt with said information.
Thus leading to Mr. Andre, the married father. Now, we see his face twice, one time quickly and the other time at the end, but what really matters about Andre’s part in the episode isn’t so much him, but his wife. Her name is Avery and after Mary Jane’s reveal in the pilot, she has some questions. So, she comes to Mary Jane’s office and asks such things like: Does her husband make her cum; does he eat out; and where do they go on dates? Mary Jane, out of respect, answers these questions and seemingly Avery is trying to more so know who she is competing with than trying to gather information from the source. But, while Mary Jane seemingly is done with Andre, Andre isn’t done with her. Leading to the episode ending with us seeing them having sex at the gym since, with Luke being unreliable but this married man always there, Mary Jane is willing to set aside one moral in order to get the affection she needs.
I like Being Mary Jane and though thoughts of Scandal come to mind, especially since it seems everyone wants to bring up Gabrielle Union tried out for the part, I do feel Union and the cast create an atmosphere which makes this show stand out. Starting off, the depiction, or mention, of a Black person with depression is rare, and hopefully will be gone into more; then you have Union who may not have a signature lip quiver, but seems more relatable and approachable than Olivia Pope for Olivia always is in control and Mary Jane seemingly is taking situations as they come and doesn’t seem as robotic as Olivia does sometimes. So, overall I think this is a good alternative and likely this will be the first and last time I will compare Scandal & Olivia Pope to Being Mary Jane and Mary Jane.