Being Mary Jane / Screen

Being Mary Jane: “One Is the Loneliest Number”

I’m not totally positive Being Mary Jane has any idea what kind of show it wants to be. Sometimes it’s a romantic dramedy and other times it’s an issues-laden drama. This week’s “One Is the Loneliest Number” is something in the middle. The school shooting that has everyone emotional and uncertain is a strange addition to the episode, as it happens throws everyone into turmoil and is quickly abandoned. This is a more a symptom of the show’s much larger problem of having no idea how to tie an episode together. Things are thrown into a pot to be played with without ever feeling thematically linked. The school shooting essentially amounts to a bad day for the characters, though it’s more fully tied into Kara’s doubts about her parenting. Patrick’s forced to take the lead in his own daughter’s life as Tracy mysteriously disappears, and neither of those things has anything to do with what the episode’s mainly concerned with: romance. 

But this is the most adjusted Mary Jane’s ever been. There’s no mention of David, of marriage or babies or anything else. She’s working and flirting with Sheldon, positive beats in Mary Jane’s otherwise haphazard romantic storylines. Hers and Sheldon’s flirtation over last night phone calls is charming, though it has the same cringeworthy moments typical of those in early relationships where people aren’t yet all that sure of one another. He falters when he asks her if she’s barren or not, a topic that any reasonable person should know is off limits in polite conversation, but they smooth over that hiccup, and the remainder of their interactions are more of the sweet and promising variety.

Being Mary Jane can benefit a lot from a love interest that isn’t married with children like Andre or expecting and attached (and stupid) like David, and it’s already making good on it. Sheldon’s awkward but charming about it, and when he invites Mary Jane to a party, they agree to take things slow which is as good for Mary Jane’s romantic prospects as it is for the show. Mary Jane’s romances can’t all be sperm stealing and affairs so her and Sheldon going through the typical getting to know you phase is a blessed relief. So while everyone else (Kara, Mark) are getting laid, Mary Jane and Sheldon are saying their goodnights over the phone.

Which brings me to the annoying romantic dramas of Mary Jane’s friends. Mark has never had the development necessary to make him feel real and his despair when ex-boyfriend Eric finds someone new, a kid and a plane ticket to London is essentially irrelevant. And then there’s Kara’s ongoing relationship with Gael, which starts off fine (Gael being less creepy and more charming in this episode and Kara being on her best behavior) before becoming a weird psychological evaluation that may or may not even poetry. When Mark and Kara both fall into bed with respective paramours, Kara with Gael and Mark with some guy he meets at Sheldon’s soiree, it’s difficult to care much at all but at least Sam Smith is playing.

Stray Observations

  • Kara was much more appealing this episode. Ad it was kind of nice to see her not being annoying and leaving work early no less.
  • I’m honestly unsure about how much of my positive feelings about this episode were due to Sam Smith being played in it. But whatever. Still counts.
  • Sheldon’s weird pick up lines and general awkwardness and absurdity reminds me a lot of my own boyfriend. Which is maybe why I like him so much.
  • Patrick’s plotline of the missing Tracy and having to care for his daughter on his own was, like most things on this show, weird and hard to care about.
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