Being Mary Jane / Screen

Being Mary Jane: “Mary Jane Knows Best”

Mary Jane does not know best, and I half-love half-hate Being Mary Jane for titling this episode that. There’s nothing  love more than Mary Jane being completely unaware of how messed up she is and trying to pass along advice to other people. That’s kind of what she does daily on her show, though she has reams of research and money behind here there. This week she turns her not-so-helpful-but-certainly-well-meaning gaze on Niecy who she hopes to help encourage to embrace a healthier lifestyle. That Mary Jane practices her speech to Niecy in front of a mirror speaks volumes about Mary Jane as a person, and speaks to her understanding that Niecy’s not going to accept this conversation topic with open arms. Their talk is suitably awkward, and you can’t really tell which of them the show sides with at this moment. At times it seems to be Niecy, who makes fine point about Mary Jane  just subscribing to beauty standards and then there’s Mary Jane who makes a valid point about Niecy hiding food beneath the bed being a not so great sign. Of course Niecy eventually agrees to try out Mary Jane’s methods, but by episode’s end Niecy’s unraveled some of Mary Jane’s own bad habits. It’s a testament to the show that Mary Jane isn’t always right, that there’s a chance for people to argue with her and be proven right and there’s an equal chance that she’s going to be the one in need of the intervention.

I wouldn’t have labeled Mary Jane an alcoholic last season, but since this one kicked off with Mary Jane drunkenly attacking her brother and her friends, I can see how the show is going there. Not to mention the egg freezing process including warnings not to drink excessively (though one glass of wine a night is fine). That Mary Jane’s got some issues in need of working out isn’t a mystery. Her house is plastered with post-it notes of quotes that either 1) make no sense or 2) don’t help her anyway.

You can trace Mary Jane’s mental state through her laughable personal choices. Which aren’t so much laughable as they are painful these days. Lisa suggest Mary Jane’s only doing the egg freezing thing as a way of getting back at David, and of course she is, but why this is a problem is beyond me. If she wants to freeze her eggs, let her. it’s not like we haven’t been treated to Mary Jane’s anxiety about not being able to have children later in life before. The egg freezing isn’t even the most ridiculous thing ever, lots of women are doing it, but it’s not Mary Jane’s methods of maybe having a baby later that everyone should be worried about. It’s what she’s doing in her life right now.

To snag an interview, Mary Jane tries to land an invitation to an exclusive gathering. Her brother doesn’t come through, but David does. Mary Jane going to him for this is so lame but also so Mary Jane, and she’s just as excited about David taking her as she is about getting a chance to meet Sheldon Dewitt (more on him later). I’m convinced we’ll never meet a decent love interest for Mary Jane, not now that David’s occupying the same stupid position Andre was last year. He’s in an unsatisfying relationship of his own, his girlfriend/baby mama with an ex of her own she can’t let go of. For some reason he thinks he can be upset about this while offering to take Mary Jane to this party with him and trying to have sex with her up against a wall. It’s not as if David has no choice in the matter, he could easily not be with his girlfriend, but he wants to be in this stupid relationship and chose that for himself so why do we, and why does Mary Jane, have to put up with it?

Thankfully Mary Jane tells David where to go when he tries to rekindle things at the party, but as nice as it is to see her standing up for herself, it feels fake. Not because she didn’t mean it in the moment, I’m sure she did, but because it’s brought on by her meeting a different man. Sheldon Dewitt (Gary Dourdan) makes his first appearance at the party, and his and Mary Jane’s flirting is only refreshing because we’ve never seen him before and he hasn’t yet done something completely ridiculous. It at least reminds Mary Jane that she can do better than David, even if Sheldon doesn’t become a recurring character this season.

The introduction (or drive by whatever) of Mary Jane’s “cutty buddy” is very stupid. But only because he’s just another in a long line of random people we’ve never seen before who supposedly occupy some significant space in Mary Jane’s life. It’s hard to tell if the show’s trying to surprise us with these reveals or what, but this one felt more confusing than anything else. While Mary Jane’s having sex with this guy I’m just wondering who the hell he is. With Mary Jane, whose life we follow so closely and who has a drawer packed full of vibrators, we’ve never heard a mention that she has the real thing coming into town for occasional no strings attached sex? I’d love to see how Mary Jane’s arrangement with this guy is going and how it began, etc but the show is uninterested in sharing. But BMJ is interested in sharing some of the family shenanigans that have never gained the momentum necessary for their independent scenes to feel earned. Is there anyone who really cares about Patrick’s failed club from a million years ago?

Stray Observations

  • Mary Jane does not need to be anybody’s life coach.
  • Okay so Helen seems very healthy this season yes? What happened to her fatal lupus, huh?
  • Why does Mary Jane have a camera in her bedroom? It’s not even facing the bed so what is she recording?
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