Gabrielle Union is back as the star of Being Mary Jane; Our favourite, troubled and tested TV anchor is in a new city, with a new job, fighting the same old drama.
Season 3 ended with Mary Jane seemingly coming full circle. She finally put an end to the crazy, found closure on the lost love of her life David after seeing him in full daddy mode, snagged control at her job with TV network SNC in Atlanta and even began healthy dating again. We were introduced to Pauletta Patterson aka Mary Jane Paul in Season 1 as an accomplished beautiful woman who seemed to have it all and soon found out how wrong we were. After 3 years of watching her unravelling and dealing with tragedy and short-lived triumphs in every area of her life, it was great to see MJ in a calm, centred place again.
Season 4 begins with Mary Jane in New York ready to start a new job at morning programme Good Day America. The action has moved on a year, hopefully the gaps will be filled in throughout the series because as we’ve seen previously, a year is a longtime in Mary Jane Land. At Good Day America the top dog is Ronda Sales (Valarie Pettiford) who is at first openly welcoming of Mary Jane but it’s soon obvious they are rivals. Mary Jane is led onto a rollercoaster, from being told she will be head anchor in a matter of months to Ronda declaring that she’s not going anywhere anytime soon and the producers reneging on their career promises just a day later. Kara has to talk her down from the ledge and convince her to stay and fight for her job, for her own selfish reasons, of course!
Speaking of Mary Jane’s resident sidekick / business partner and producer Kara Lynch (Lisa Vidal), I’m curious to find out what scandal made her flee all the way to New York behind Mary Jane. Once again putting her career before her children… here’s hoping we get an explanation soon. Because this is one character who baffles me. Constantly trying to fit into a white world whilst maintaining the hard-working, fiery Latina persona. Kara always seems to be working hard to obtain a happiness she runs away from as soon as it appears. I’m predicting episode 4 is when her conscious will kick in!
When it comes to her personal world, Mary Jane has taken her father’s advice and is being proactive about shaping her future. She has signed with a (love) matchmaker who is reluctant to work with her but takes her 20k anyway. Mary Jane’s first task to put her in the mindset of finding her elusive husband – no casual sex! But Mary Jane being the mess that she is immediately breaks that rule with newcomer to the cast, comedian Lee Truitt played by British actor Chiké Okonkwo (The Birth of a Nation), affectionally nicknamed ‘London’.
After a brief meeting in a bar, they swiftly move onto a hotel room to engage in some kinky sex which involves a rubber band…pause… It gets weird when Mary Jane breaks down mid-stroke. Kudos to the writers for introducing a slick line about consent when London proclaims he cannot continue until she says so. Mary Jane realises she’s not the vixen she’s trying to be at that moment and asks the handsome stranger to declare his love for her – not the behaviour of an emotionally stable woman! London obliges and gets to finish the job. Did the matchmaker find out about her shenanigans? We’re left wondering after she promptly cancels their arrangement and tells Mary Jane, “You have some work to do on yourself Mary Jane.” (No Shit Sherlock!)
London shows he maybe more than a one nighter, after he appears, on camera, at Mary Jane’s first live broadcast the following morning. Which seemed a little creepy to me – you sleep with a random chick one night then see her on TV the next morning and rush down to her live broadcast to accost her on air?! Stalker alert! Mary Jane being the queen of bad decisions, follows London to his comedy gig later that evening, eventually ending up back in the sack. Thus the Mary Jane Paul merry go round continues to spin, unabated.
(I’m kinda hoping Mary Jane doesn’t settle with London too soon as Michael Ealy – Think Like A Man, Barber Shop, joins the cast this season and I am looking forward to those sex scenes in particular!).
Back in Atlanta, we catch up with The Pattersons who are still dealing with the fall out from Niecy’s arrest. Season 3 ended with her being tasered and arrested by a cop during a traffic stop in front of her child. We learn that Mary Jane angered the wrong people by being very vocal about police brutality via her show at SNC which led to her dismissal. Niecy is over the attention and just wants to return to normality, but the officer is allowed to go back to work and her father Patrick has taken over from Mary Jane as the spokesperson, constructing a press statement which sheds some light on what happened; A law suit, the family being attacked in the press and the incident ultimately bringing them closer together. It’s interesting to see illusive Baby Daddy No. 2 Dante sniffing around talking about compensation from the law suit. Hopefully Niecy sees right through that nonsense.
So overall this was a great return to this series. I’m excited to see where it goes. It’s great to see that the new additions to the cast have not changed the dynamic of the show, and with the exit of show creator Mara Brock Akil and Director/husband Salim Akil the black girl magic has not been lost!
Look out for:
An appearance from new rap star Dave East signed to Nas’ Mass Appeal Records label and Def Jam.
The interview with New Jersey Senator, Cory Booker who was recently in the news for being the first sitting Senator to testifying against a colleague, Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for Attorney General.
Being Mary Jane airs every Sunday, 10pm on BET International.