Being Mary Jane is saying goodbye.
To be honest, I saw this coming a mile away but I didn’t want to acknowledge it until the final word came in. People may disagree that the show could have been saved if Mary Jane didn’t move to New York but in my opinion once she did the entire show took a left turn.
Some will chuck it up as another show simply getting axed…no big deal another black girl magic show will be added–eventually. But that’s essentially why I’m sad because I don’t know when that will be. I remember when I first saw the commercial for the pilot that was basically a movie about a black woman news anchor who was coming to BET to show us all of her issues. I was so excited! As soon as the first quote was shown on the screen, I was hooked.
Mary Jane Paul was successful, she had an amazing home, car, and her clothes were poppin! Whoever does wardrobe on the set, can you please come and sneeze on my closet? Her career, for the most part, was perfect and then we looked under the hood of the car that was her life and saw that it was in shambles. From men issues to family drama the successful black woman who had it all was going through it.
And that’s why I loved her. Black women had a show where we were the boss and MJ’s single girl problems mirrored ours. She wasn’t some twenty-year-old trying to get it together, this was a smart, successful woman who with all her accolades was still trying to find herself.
She was vulnerable, annoying, and sometimes she was just flat out wrong (when she continued to deal with Andre’s lying cheating ass). Mary Jane made it okay for black women to look at themselves and say: Yes, I am strong but I’m also human. I make mistakes and I don’t get it right every single time but I deserve to be acknowledged and shown grace.
The show itself tackled a variety of major issues in the black community like substance abuse, teen pregnancy, mental health, suicide, the dynamics of the black family, being a black woman in corporate America. It even took on taboo bedroom topics…Y’all remember when Lee asked MJ to put her finger in his booty.
It shed light on different family dynamics–Kara and her family. It included Latina women and embraced their culture. After watching the show I have a newfound respect for working women who decide to leave their children with their fathers in order to pursue their dreams. Had I not watched this show I would have heard a real-life story similar to Kara’s and I am 89% sure I would have judged her harshly.
Kara and Mary Jane’s relationship was one for the books, they were both ambitious, successful, and driven. But they didn’t try to bring each other down, they lifted each other up. They had a few moments but their teamwork is what made them successful. As a viewer, I appreciated the writers for creating that dynamic between Kara and Mary Jane.
While I loved the show, I did mention that I saw the end near. Let’s skip over the fact that Gabrielle Union (the star of the show) sued BET and stick with the storyline. I don’t understand why Mary Jane moved to New York City. The start of the fourth season was the biggest indicator that the show would need a miracle to get signed for another season.
Moving to New York and dating Lee “the good guy” puzzled me because he had a decent set of baggage of his own. If they would have stayed in Atlanta and dealt with the aftermath of Niecy the show could have gone in a better direction. Also, Mary Jane’s parents and their drama, I almost had a nervous breakdown when they introduced “the other man” who her mom had been in love with all these years but settled for their dad. That entire storyline added a sour taste in my mouth, they could have left it out.
Mary Jane and I had a deal, we were both getting our ish together at the same time. Now, who is going to be my messy tv partner in crime? She was my black woman magic spokesperson for single non-twenty-somethings who were still trying to get their personal shit together, secure the bag in the workplace, all the while trying to find black love.
The series finale will air as a movie in 2018…I can’t wait. I know one thing, they better give her a black girl magic ending, because if they don’t I’m going off on Twitter. BET don’t do her like they did the cast of Girlfriends. I’m still waiting on my Moesha series finale episode.
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