BET premiered its highly-anticipated dramatic series Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union on Tuesday, January 7. Picking up where the movie-length Being Mary Jane pilot (which aired July 2, 2013) left off, we find Gabby’s character, Mary Jane Paul, doing precisely what she does best — taking care of everyone but herself.
As we learned from the pilot, Mary is basically the sole breadwinner of her family (consisting of a pregnant niece, a Lupus-ridden mom, and two jobless brothers) that she financially supports in another part of town. Meanwhile, our girl lives the fabulous life in her fabulous home, but can’t seem to fulfill her dream of settling down with the right guy and having children.
The season opened with an explosive scene of Mary Jane saving her clinically depressed friend from a botched suicide, and then quickly moved on to our lead character overseeing an awkward exchange at her home between the two (extremely hunky) men in her life — the married Andre (Omari Hardwick) and boytoy David (Stephen Bishop). But of course, the drama that is “being Mary Jane” doesn’t end there.
As Mary goes on with her day, she’s hit with word that big changes are happening at her broadcast news job, which can very well lead to the end of her anchor position. And while her boss Kara (Lisa Vidal) works on a seemingly sensationalist way to keep both their jobs, Mary is blindsided by her overbearing mother’s incessant phone calls, her inability to have a real relationship, oh, and Andre’s wife showing up to the workplace to ask for explicit details of her sexual rendezvouses with her husband (side note: that was quite possibly the best scene ever).
While at some times the show does pour it on pretty thick with the intensity of Mary Jane’s life (did we mention this all happens in one day?!), show creator Mara Brock Akil is no stranger when it comes to creating complex and beautifully flawed professional females of color (ie. Girlfriends, The Game).
Though Gabrielle does a pretty good job of making us want to crack open a bottle of wine and have a drink for the overworked Mary, we do think that there has to be more to her character that drives her to do the things that she does aside from being an overburdened people pleaser.
All in all, we think Being Mary Jane has tons of potential and we can’t wait to see Mary Jane’s story unfold.
Being Mary Jane airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on BET.
What did you think of the Being Mary Jane season premiere — love it or leave it? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!