Not Angry Just Tired: Thoughts on BET’s Being Mary Jane

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I have watched the trailers of the new series on BET “Being Mary Jane” starring Gabrielle Union, that will air on July 2nd and I will be watching. I watched all of the trailers and then scrolled to the comment section about the series. Almost all of the comments stated that this was another show that will contain the stereotype of the angry Black woman just like series and movies created by Tyler Perry. Well I did not get that interpretation  when I watched the trailer, I saw a Black woman whose was balancing work, family and love and was tired not angry.

The angry Black woman stereotype live in the idea that the said Black woman is constantly angry at the world and is never happy or have a happy moment. 95 percent of the time she is angry and everyone feels her wrath. Now with that being said about “angry Black women” I did not see the character Mary Jane as angry. She was tired of taking care of a family that did not want to do better for themselves and who felt she would take care of them because she has a great job, no kids of her own and makes a nice living for herself. I also noticed that she wasn’t angry when it came to her love life, but aren we told if we get our stuff together a good man will come. So being educated, financially stable and easy on the eyes, then you should have a good man that complements you. Right???? Then while at work, the scene that it shows is her having a discussion with her boss about a segment she wants to do about a magazine that insulted the way Black women look. Even then as much as she wanted to discuss the magazine her boss talked her out of it so she would not come off as another angry Black woman to the audience.  She was angry but in order not to be seen as such she agreed not to discuss it. (Now I am interested in how that plays out).

So with all of those aspects to her character, she has the right to be angry at times because she is tired. She is tired of being the responsible one in the family, who feels like she has to do because of what she has accomplished in her life and how little her family has not accomplished. You know we have a hard time telling other people no and even harder time telling family no. She does not want to leave her family and she is capable of helping them but she seems tired of the things that happen and how she has to overlook the wrong and still be the responsible one because others choices. Her love life consists of a married man, the man that got away, and a current love interest, but even with her having options she seems tired of her not so committed love life. Their are probably times when it is exciting but for the most part she is a single woman who has to deal with loneliness. Work, in and of itself will make anyone tired, whether you are superwoman or just a regular woman with an 8-5. So many things happen that make you tired of your job and angry sometimes as well.

So to all the people who state this is just another representation of the “angry Black woman” and in the same category with Tyler Perry productions, I beg to differ. I see the potential and will definitely be tuned in to see how this series turns out. Hopefully it will show the complexity of a Black woman who appears to have it all but in reality has to give so much of herself in return for very little. Hopefully it will show her strength and vulnerabilities to the people and things that happen in her life.

For a look at the trailer and some thoughts and reviews of the series, click here


This could be a good thing

I have recently become intrigued with the new show “Reed Between the Lines” coming this October on BET. This could be a good thing. Looking at television shows about Black families you find stereotypical roles. Tyler Perry’s shows “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne” are each stereotypical Black families. It shows a stereotypical dysfunctional family.
“Reed Between the Lines” are taking a modern-day, what I would call “Cosby” approach to being a family. True, the entire concept behind the Cosby’s is uncommon and will not happen but it did provide a positive view of Black families. It showed that their can be positive Black families with two working parents living a middle-class lifestyle and taking a huge part in their children’s lives. “Reed Between the Lines” can offer a positive perspective on Black families. Unlike Tyler Perry who needs a large Black man to be funny “Reed Between the Lines” seems to be taking a middle-class family and showing how it works.

This new television show could be a great start to an old approach at wholesome family television. Could this show become a stereotypical mess, yes, but hopefully it doesn’t. I can’t wait to see how this show turns out. I will be waiting on the premiere and hoping that this show will provide a different type of Black family.