Unlike #ZlotyBaby who always seems to have access to the latest entertainment, I am bit slow on the uptake when it comes to the new fangled things (I still have a DVD collection and only became Netflix obsessed earlier this year). So, today I’ll be reviewing a series which actually took off back in 2016. This series was somewhat ironically handed to me by one of my many Virgin friends in the aftermath of last year’s pretty epic breakup. I must say for once the Universe was kind to me because as I cried through many a sleepless night at least I had Mary Jane (whose life was a tad worse than mine) to hold my hand and keep me suitably entertained.
Being Mary Jane #BMJ follows the trials and tribulations of Mary Jane Paul (played by one of my favourite people in the world, Gabrielle Union). She is a highly successful news anchor, gym bunny and generally the type of strong, powerful, smart woman that every little girl should strive to be more like. Well, except when it comes to men. You see although while MJ aka Pauletta (that’s her real name by the way) has managed to single handedly sort out her life as well as the lives of many of her dysfunctional family members, in terms of her romantic life things are a real real mess.
Being in her late 30s, Mary Jane should probably know better, but like many of us, has a penchant for bad boys. From messy affairs with married men to simple booty calls and dirty workplace encounters, and then there was the time she stole sperm from her high school boyfriend (you’ll have to watch the series to learn more about that), Mary Jane really has done it all. Well, except maybe a Virgin (because apparently they only seem to make appearances in my life and don’t pose a threat to anyone else) although she does have a silly fling with a somewhat boring white dude to truly realise that only the BBC will ever do (her reverse racism there, not mine!) which is about as PG13 as she gets.
Despite all the HOT men (read this article to see what I’m talking about) Mary Jane gets to copulate with, she seems to be in a constant state of dissatisfaction As much as MJ is a strong, independent woman like, probably a lot of people, she deep down she is just looking for someone to really, truly love her and give her a reason to walk down the aisle. To make matters worse, as she is in her late 40s, her ticking biological clock (now you understand her need to steal sperm from ex boyfriends) features quite prominently and adds a sense of urgency to her search for #happilyeverafter. But alas, even when she does encounter her ‘Unicorn’, who just happens to be Brit (it seems we are that special to our friends across the pond!), she somehow manages to screw that up.
The fact that the MJ is so perfectly imperfect is what allows people to resonate with her as the protagonist. I spent half the time wanting to be her and the rest of the time wanting to stab her in the head for being a dumbass weak woman (especially after the incident with the Unicorn). But I guess we’ve all been there. I know I have with my friends blatantly rolling their eyes when I have my heart brutally ripped to shreds by yet another unsuitable suspect.
And while, you could easily watch the series for the beautiful beautiful men alone (although actually the cast is pretty hot across the board), there are also plenty of other interesting elements to the story. Having to deal with her crazy family and all of their issues provides plenty of additional entertainment. Then you have career politics and workplace friendships/relationships to factor in. Oh, and I could right another whole blog post on but RACE is also a pretty major point of contention in this series.
But beyond all the drama, sexy business and various subplots, the series also raises some really interesting questions. Firstly, whether as we grow older we downgrade our expectations – is that why you see so many girls chasing things (men) they can’t quite have in their youth, and eventually settling for the somewhat mediocre but considerably more stable guy later in life? Is this why in your 20s its more legit to go around shouting about how you’d never date someone with the baggage of a divorce/kids only to find yourself surrounded by nothing but such things in your late 30s? Then, there is a question of whether anyone, no matter how career-driven and successful, is above #happilyeverafter? People are always wittering on about how we shouldn’t chase men but instead focus on our careers or other passions but does anyone really want to deal with the prospect of dying alone? Probably not.
Anyhow, although she can get quite frustrating I think many 30-something women will probably resonate with some of the challenges MJ faces in her life. Also, watching the series when you are feeling like you’ve screwed up again with life and men will probably help you feel less rubbish about yourself, so give it ago. I binged watched 4 seasons last year and after a bit of a long break I hear that the producers of Being Mary Jane released a 2-Hour long movie episode earlier this year. I’m trying not to indulge in any spoilers so if anyone knows how to get a hold of a copy that here is R S of A please help a girl out. K. Thanks. Bye 🙂