Fear of Reality: Mary Jane, Flaws and All

Being-Mary-JaneBeing Mary Jane is back. The season premiere just aired, and like the movie, it didn’t disappoint. There’ll be no “unpacking” of the episode. Instead, let’s talk about satisfying consumers. My initial plan was to watch the premiere alone, meaning without texting my friends during commercial breaks or engaging on #BlackTwitter. I failed at both attempts towards the end.

As usual, Mary Jane is living her life, dealing with family, drama and moral dilemmas at work and her crazy dating life. The ending scene which consisted of a gym shower, married man and shower cap got a lot of Tweeps’ panties in a bunch. “Is she the next Olivia Pope?” Is she the next “smart” black woman who will open her legs willingly for a married man and even another? So desperate for unrequited love that she can’t stand strong against lust (or in her case, maybe love) for a beautiful man?

Yes, I, too screamed “Nooooooo!!!” at the television during that climatic scene. I wanted Mary Jane to know that could be stronger than she was. That that one act could set her back majorly in her decision to move forward without him. I also didn’t want her to get her weave wet, but no such luck.

More comments: We don’t need another black woman on the small screen degrading herself. She’s a side piece to not just one, but two men! Commercials for Oraquick, home HIV tests, aired during the show, so why is Mary Jane engaging in risky sexual behavior?

Le sigh.

We, as consumers, can be so self-righteous, especially when the characters are African-American. Mary Jane is a character. She’s not a real person, but as an effective storyteller, she has to have a life that resonates with viewers. Bottom line: This shit goes on DAILY, no matter how dirty, grimy or immoral it may be. Why are we so afraid to air our dirty laundry on television even in a fiction?

One truth about writing is a good character—one who grabs you and speaks to you, one you will remember—is flawed. Like we are. We’re all flawed in real life, so why do we get so upset when characters, mainly those who look like us aren’t perfect? That’s unfair.

It’s actually possible to have every area of your life in perfect harmony, except your personal life. You could have the picture perfect marriage and children, but be catastrophic in your financial or spiritual life. That’s what life is! At even given time, you won’t be “smart” or right in every area of your life. The pendulums always swing . Hopefully, we give Mary Jane time to grow as complex characters should and see where she needs to do the work. It’s only the first episode.

So while you may not sleeping with a man who took vows with someone else, there might be something else going on in your life that needs adjusting. It’s not your reality, but pieces of it are someone’s reality for sure. Maybe this show can help black women take inventory of our lives. Don’t let the fear of reality ruin a good story for you and chance for introspection. Oh, that goes for women and men. I see you.  .

3 thoughts on “Fear of Reality: Mary Jane, Flaws and All

  1. i love the show! i think people #blacktwitter especially get over opinionated to draw people in. There have always been people on my timeline that i know have past that they don’t want anyone to know about. I know so many people that cheat on their spouse . it is just part of everyday life. I never have felt that these shows , show us in a bad way. people talk about scandal and being mary jane but say nothing about basketball wives and other shoes.

  2. OH – and forgot to add that I totally enjoyed the article! It echoed much of what I’ve been carrying on about with my friends!

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