I know some of you expressed some concern for what the focus (or foci) would be in the new BET hour-long drama from the Akils, Being Mary Jane, starring Gabrielle Union.
Your reactions have varied, from whether it would be a scripted extension of the "crisis of the single black professional female" meme that's been exhausted (the program was initially titled Single Black Female, and was soon changed to Being Mary Jane - thankfully); to whether it'll be a series that "bashes black men," as others have expressed, and everything else between.
It doesn't help that not much has been revealed about the project, other than your basic synopsis:
Being Mary Jane chronicles the work, social and family life of a successful African American career woman who has achieved a decorated career as the host of a fast paced 24-hour national cable news network. As Mary Jane juggles her life, her work and her commitment to family, viewers follow how far she’s willing to go to find those puzzle pieces that she, and society, insist are missing from her life as a single black female.
In a new interview with Ebony magazine, posted on their website today, Union reveals a little more, which I think helps fill in some holes, and gives what we already know about the character she plays, and the story, a bit more *flesh*:
I actually just finished wrapping up a pilot tapping. "Being Mary Jane" is basically about a television host, who has her own show, and how she balances her life. Between wanting to talk about hard hitting news and other stories, she shuffles through her own personal morals. It’s about her trying to stand up for what she believes in but also keeping her ratings. She also struggles with the idea of being raised with the same morals, values and opportunities, throughout her family and being the only one to make it. How does that change the family dynamic? Her family comes from the upper-middle class, but she is the only one out of her siblings that is doing well. Her lack of a love life and the poor choices that she has made are also explored. I would probably say that the show will launch next fall or early winter, but who really knows, I just work there.
So, a little more info there than what we've known until now; and it doesn't sound like it'll be any of the things some of you have expressed concern about.
Of course, we still have to watch the pilot to get the full picture before reaching any conclusions on what it is to us individually.
I'm definitely curious... yes, it's BET, but it's a BET that appears to be making definite strides to become something other than what it's been long criticized for.
Let's see how this shakes out; I suspect we'll be seeing a teaser/trailer soon.
Read the full Ebony interview HERE.