( 4UMF NEWS ) Being Mary Jane Review:
42% of Black women will never marry.
This shocking statistic is the premise behind Being Mary Jane, an upcoming series on BET. The stunningGabrielle Union plays Mary Jane Paul a successful TV news anchorwoman who falls into that 42% statistic. The hour-long pilot opened up the 16th Annual UrbanWorld Film Festival held in Midtown Manhattan.
Creator, executive producer and writer Mara Brock Akil has been working on Being Mary Jane for years and wanted to show the struggles and pains of a woman who, on the outside, looks as if she has it all but yearns to find love, happiness and a family of her own.
Paul juggles the pressure of hosting her own news format talk show with sinking ratings during the day and comes home to a beautiful but empty house at night. Pual is devoted to a family that doesn’t share her drive or determination. Her mother is battling cancer, her younger brother is a career college student and part time marijuana dealer. She is also saddled with the responsibility of being the big sister to her older brother played, by the debonair Richard Brooks, financially supporting him and his growing family.
Brock Akil, the creator behind the hit show Girlfriends and the executive producer of BET’s The Game, is a genius at creating characters we care about long after the credits roll. Akil, who’s husband Salim Akil directed the pilot, takes us on an hour-long wild ride in Paul’s life that includes the ups, downs and a masturbation scene at the office.
Being Mary Jane, originally titled Single Black Female, is a story millions of women can relate to. Oftentimes women make huge sacrifices for a successful career or refuse to settle or lower standards when finding a mate. Union plays Paul with such an open rawness and realness that the successful actress dating a superstar basketball player disappears; she is Park, a woman who is alone and lonely and questions her decisions on why and how she ended up alone and lonely. When she pulls the hood of her sweatshirt over her head and cries, we cry thinking about our own failed relationships When she finds out the man she’s been sleeping with for months is married and sprays him with the garden hose, we cheer thinking about how we got rid of our cheating mates.
As Brock Akil said, “Fasten your seat belts!”