Tag Archives: BET Being mary Jane

Has BET Being Mary Jane simply become another bitter black woman?

Last year when Mary Jane premiered on BET the character seemed to have a great career, a great home,  problematic family and a challenged personal life, but she was likeable. Sure she made some ill advised decisions, and in some cases they were simply dumb, but you still rooted for her. You wanted her to find that true love that simply alluded her, but this season is an entirely new ballgame. There is a thin line between the strong, black woman and the bitter black woman. The strong woman has obstacles in her life but she is a survivor. She is going to get it done, and she is simply not going to take no for an answer, but she knows things will get better because she is going to make it happen. There is a slippery slope from strong to bitter and this season Mary Jane has taken that slippery side and she is simply bitter. She is a woman in the midst of a self imposed war. Her adversaries are everyone in her life. She is at war with her on and off again love David, her family and her job. She has no allies and those who might want to be she has shut the door to their advances. The show is no longer fun. It is angst ridden and anxiety producing. Last night was simply sad. Some might call it a slice of life and if it is you can keep my slice.

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BET Being Mary Jane has something for everybody

being mary jane

Last year I watched Being Mary Jane the movie. I found the plotline interesting a number of levels. Mary Jane is the successful black woman that is forced to navigate her life in a way that not only pleases her but also pleases the people in her orbit, and that is a difficult task. She takes care of her extended family in spite of the fact that they rely and resent her success. The movie was enough to bring me back last week to watch the first episode last week. Last week we saw Mary Jane navigating her love life and we were left to ask is this show for my demographic? I was very surprised to find out my mother-in-law had watched the show and she simply said “it’s not for me”. So I was ready to write it off as a show for Generation X, Y and Z, but last night I decided to try it again and I must say I am glad I did. Last night’s episode dealt with a number of topics but one that struck a chord with me was the Angry Black Woman syndrome. Mary Jane’s right hand woman a Latina had gone behind Mary Jane’s back and offered to help another struggling network show. Initially she gave Mary Jane the impression that the opportunity had been thrust upon her but later in the episode we learned she had sought out the opportunity. When Mary Jane expressed her anger her co-worker tried to deflect her anger by accusing her of always being angry. This struck a cord with me because far too often the righteous anger of a black woman in the workplace is dismissed, deflected or simply ignored. Too often the word is “that’s how they are”. I loved it when Mary Jane challenged the caricature and forced her co-worker to not only acknowledge the game, but to also apologize for doing it. The family dynamics are also fascinating. Last night we got the opportunity to learn more about her parents and how their marriage works. Her brother and his daughters also add to the mix. The oldest daughter is pregnant and yearning for the love that her baby daddy does not seem capable of giving. It was heartbreaking to watch her wait for him to go to the doctor. Her own dad had to state the obvious—the baby daddy was not coming. All of these characters along with her lovers are a part of what makes Mary Jane tick, and I think that over the next few weeks it will be interesting to get to know Mary Jane and her family.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-10/being-mary-jane-finds-an-overlooked-audience-black-women