Thursday, February 27, 2014

Being Mary Jane = Being Messy - The Evolution of #TeamDavid and Ride or Die Chicks

#TeamDavid, I misjudged you. Please forgive me. Mary Jane, you are NOT ride or die, but you are CRAZY. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get into the good, the bad and the cray cray that is #BeingMaryJane.

The good

The theme of Tuesday's season finale seemed to be truth and seeing people for who they really are. 

The Evolution of David: 

When this show first started, I thought I had the men, particularly David (played beautifully by Stephen C. Bishop) all figured out. He was a manwhore, but probably a good guy.  Nope, I was wrong, there was definitely more to David that we were led to believe.

For whatever I reason, I missed the part about David and MJ being an actual couple. I thought they were just friends with benefits. After the epic "Did you steal my sperm?" pregnancy test discussion (chile.....), it's revealed that MJ and David were in a committed relationship, but it didn't last because MJ believed her friends who said David was a loser stringing her along and taking advantage of her. It turns out they were totally wrong. Yeah, MJ supported David, but he was no slacker, but rather a man trying to make his dreams a reality instead of relying on his parents' money. So of course, after MJ dumps him, he hits the big time with his web company and the rest is history.

After MJ chases David down to profess her love (chile....), we learn something new: David is genuinely hurt that she bounced when he was down even though he stood by her when she got fired. In David's eyes, MJ is only interested in him because he's doing well, personally and professionally. Even though MJ says later that she's a ride or die chick, her previous actions say otherwise.

MJ: What was I supposed to do?

David: You were supposed to love me.

Well damn! There it is. "You were supposed to love me," totally sounds like something a girl would say in a romantic comedy, but the beauty of Bishop's portrayal is that the line sound both genuinely emotional yet still masculine. In that scene we really got to see David. The "casual sex" guy we were introduced to in the pilot had me fooled. David is not a bad guy. He's a hurt guy who's trying to move on with his life despite still having soft spot for the "crazy lady" known as Mary Jane Paul....or Pauletta, depending on who's around her. and then some.

When Keepin' It Real Gets Weird

Say what you want about the outrageousness of some Akil productions, but you can't deny that Mara Brock Akil is a great writer who skillfully weaves in social commentary that impacts Black lives in a way that you won't see that often. I literally squealed with glee when Ava Duvernay popped up on the screen to talk about her brilliant film, Middle of Nowhere, and the prison industrial complex. I also appreciated the poignant colorism-focused scene between MJ and Niecy. 

Preaching without Preaching

Another pro was the way Mara inserted little spiritual gems that make you go "Umph. That's a word right there!'" Whether it was the maid's sugar and vinegar analogy or Leo the limo driver giving that "Everything you're going through is preparing you for what you asked for" wisdom, preaching without being preachy is definitely a skill that Mara has mastered.

The bad

Side Chick Advice: Girl, WHAT?!?!

So for all the good we saw the other night, I'm still a little in my feelings about MJ's apology to Avery and her willingness to give unsolicited advice regarding her marriage to #TeamAndre (hey, Omari Hardwick).

While it was great she apologized to Avery, the whole thing came off as extremely self-serving. She only did it after Kara forced her and to assuage her guilt for contributing to the breakdown of a marriage. It was all about MJ.Girl, I see you, and it ain't pretty.

If that wasn't enough, after she apologizes, she advises Avery to greet Andre at the door, ask him about his day and get down on her knees when...well you know. I usually suspend disbelief quite easily when watching TV dramas, but that scene rubbed me the wrong way.  If I was Avery, the last thing I'd want hear is insight on what I did wrong from the #2. Um, girl, you dang near helped destroy a MARRIAGE!! Apologize, be grateful that Avery didn't cut you and get on. The truth shall set you free, but it can also get you hurt.

Am I Losing You for Good? Yep, Looks That Way

Oh, and getting back to David, after sleeping with a married man, MJ goes to David and proposes getting back together even though he has a girlfriend. So, while she feels guilty about wrecking one home, she's cool with wrecking another? Girl, bye.

The Cray Cray aka What The Entire F***?

Want Some Pot Roast to go with that Pap Smear?

So Dr. Lisa almost inseminated MJ on her kitchen floor with a turkey baster. Um, WHAT??? Please lawd don't let this become a thing. I know that TV has to go a little left to keep the tweets flowing, but really? Va jay jay on the kitchen floor? File this under  DOING WAY TOO MUCH FOR A TUESDAY. OR ANY OTHER DAY.

Sperm Etiquette

Why did MJ keep the sperm for so long? Why didn't David take the sperm when he left MJ's after confronting her about stealing it in the first place? Why did MJ give the sperm back to David instead of just throwing it away? What the hell is David supposedly to do with thawed sperm? Why are we being all willy nilly with sperm?

Too many questions and not enough answers. Ladies, just leave the sperm where you found it and WALK AWAY. Please.

So class, what did we learn?  If this season finale was about facing the truth and seeing people for who they really are, then Mary Jane probably shouldn't like what she sees. However, how many of us do? How many of us need a mirror to confront our crazy? Hopefully Season 2 Mary Jane will give us a reason to root for her, rather than a reason to give the side-eye.

Also, this is a television drama for a reason. None of Tuesday's night ratchetness will cut it in the real world, but you knew that, right?

Stay random,

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