Can’t Stop Watching: ‘Being Mary Jane’s’ Complex Characters, What’s Hot/Not & More

by | January 15, 2014 at 8:48 PM | Black Entertainment, Can't Stop Watching

Mary Jane enjoying good company on BET's "Being Mary Jane." (Photo: BET Networks/Quantrell D. Colbert)

Last night’s episode of “Being Mary Jane” served as a reminder of something we often forget: people, including ourselves, can be very complex. We obviously know this about Mary Jane Paul, the uber successful sista whose relationship issues mirror another TV character we love–Olivia Pope from ABC’s “Scandal.” But, it was the people in her world–her father, married lover Andre Daniels and his wife, Avery, and her girlfriends–who fueled my realization. With her father, Paul Patterson Jr., played by Richard Roundtree, we see that he still loves his beautiful yet sickly wife, Helen, and is respectful of their marriage but doesn’t totally rebuff the advances of aggressive sexy senior women (if he really wanted, he could make it very clear that he’s unavailable the word would spread). Though it seems he doesn’t want to stray, he’s lonely and his wife is in many ways unavailable. His feelings seem very natural. Fortunately for Helen, Mary Jane is “very protective of her father, very protective of her family,” as Gabrielle Union, who stars as Mary Jane, recently described, and emits a not-on-my-watch vibe. Vultures, be forewarned.

Andre and Avery’s marriage seems to be plagued by miscommunication, blocked sexual expression and dishonesty. Andre’s dishonesty is apparent–his mistress and wife knew nothing about each other. But Avery, who is played by Robinne Lee, hasn’t been clean either, especially with herself. We see she’s a frigid woman who has stringent rules (a control freak) and is afraid to express herself intimately with her husband. She seems not to be fond of sex and does it out of obligation. The truth, in my opinion (and gathered from her asking if Mary Jane orgasmed when she made love to Andre–Mary Jane said yes) is that her disinterest in sex is (probably) due to her inability to free herself to experience orgasms.  She seems so caught up in her head–implied from Andre’s comment that she wants to “dress him up” and fit him into her “perfect little dollhouse”–that she’s unaware of the truth about her marriage and probably the rest of her life. Before you say I’m coming down on Avery too hard, I’m not. Let’s just say, I know of what I write, LOL. By the end of the episode, after the couple have a lengthy, argumentative discussion about his affair, we see them engaging in passionate foreplay. It’s safe to assume they made love. The next morning, Mary Jane wakes up alone, checks her phone to see Andre, played by Omari Hardwick, didn’t respond to her many texts. Does this mean Mr. and Mrs. Daniels are back together and Mary Jane should wait around for her on-again, off-again lover, David? Not so much. If you watched the episode, you now he proposed to Mary Jane at the beginning and a preview of the next episode show him begging to be with her. Chile…

The girlfriends. During a get together, the ladies, sipping on wine, begin airing their “dirty laundry” that they never shared. One girlfriend, who seemed judgmental of Mary Jane’s disclosing that she stole David’s sperm to keep in case she wanted a child, admits she didn’t vote for Barack Obama and buys marijuana from Mary Jane’s brother. One admitted that she purchased a more desirable engagement ring because she disliked her fiance’s while another confessed she’s a “modern-day Geisha” who enjoys the perks of being a mistress and a wife who’s separated from her hubby admitted she’s sleeping with a male intern at work. Despite all of these secrets, Mary Jane, probably knowing her friends, opted to keep her affair with Andre secret and pulled the stored baby Andres out of the freezer. In the end, her girls–the weed-head included–all seem supportive even though they probably wouldn’t have done it. Will she ever tell them about she and Andre? And if she does, will they judge her harshly? I guess we have to stay tuned!  ”Being Mary Jane” airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. EST on BET. 

Watch “Being Mary Jane” episode 1, “Storm Advisory”

On my watchlist? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand…
“American Horror Story: Coven”: Last week’s episode–um, yeah… It was full of shockers so you know I’m checking it out tonight. Show creator Ryan Murphy tweeted earlier that the next three episodes are amazing. Word?! It airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on FX. [WATCH HERE]
“Sleepy Hollow”: Missed Monday night but will catch up. It airs Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on Fox. [WATCH HERE]

The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: Lupita Nyong’o's red ensemble at the Golden Globes (What can I say, the girl is on fire!).
NOT: The 71-year-old ex-cop, Curtis Reeves, who shot and killed a man who was texting during a movie (Lives ruined for what??).

HOT: Kelly Rowland at Beyonce Knowles’ mother’s Tina birthday party (Everyone looked lovely but Kelly’s gown and bob caught my attention. Stunning!).
NOT: The Beyhive (over-enthusiastic Beyonce Knowles’ fans) upset that the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, wants to cover Destiny Child’s hit “Bootylicious” for an upcoming project (I ain’t mad at Bey but these little buzzers are a mess!).

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.