BMJ Recap 0306: Is MJ A Sell-Out?

111715-shows-bmj-season-3-ep-6-mary-jane-paul-44.jpg “You know what they say about the skinny brothers. They be packing”


Ahhhh! There goes my boo thing Tanika Ray. Love her. Hey boo, hey! The curls are popping! And Kelly is popping up everywhere, ain’t she?. Hey, Kelly, girl!


Sorry. I felt like I was at the table and got distracted!

MJ and her TV anchor friends are out talking about sex… with Barack Obama?! Bwahahahahaha. After Tanika talks about wearing her A1s to handle the turbulence, MJ tells her, “I hope Michelle beats your ass.” Welp. *kisses, T*

The conversation turns to pre-nups, and whether successful women should be asking for them. “Are we talking about legislating love?”, MJ asks, sounding very Carrie Bradshaw.

The girls chat on and MJ gets caught looking around the club. For who? The finger popping white guy? That wasn’t a one night thing?

The ladies are wrapping up  outside and talking about edges when MJ spots her white boo pulling up. She butchers an excuse to go back inside without her friend knowing exactly what’s up, because she definitely knows something is going on unless she’s a complete idiot



MJ heads to the bar to speak to her white boo. Okay, the bob is growing on me. Anyway, they’re making out in the club, and by make out, I mean everything but penile penetration.

English-accent White boo wants to go home with MJ. She shuts him down: “I like what we do here,” she says. We find out that he doesn’t know her name. Oh, dear. This ain’t gonna end well.

The next morning, MJ’s walking thru the kitchen in her pink robe with the I-got-mines strut. She spots a napkin from the private club, remembers last night and gives a naughty little laugh. I’ve laughed that way. It was filthy. And yes, I was at home. We haven’t seen MJ smile like that in awhile.


Later that morning, a pair of stylists show up at MJ’s house. One observes, “She’s cute. Even in person.” There IS a difference. I look like I weigh a million pounds on TV when I actually weigh a thousand. Even after I've "come down", as gym people like to say. But even before I lost weight, people would see me in person and often comment, “you lost weight!”, or “you’re so small!” even on my heaviest days. Sigh.

Sorry. Pet peeve. And tangent. As the stylist is laying out MJ’s designer options, she gets a message from Cutty Buddy asking for some Mary Jane. “She’s my main thang,” the text reads. The stylist thought it was corny. I loved it!

The stylist gives MJ some booty call rules. Late enough where you don’t have to feed him, but not so late you’re yawning. “No one wants to waste their gas on a lazy lay. It’s rude," he says.

Give whoever wrote that PSA-worthy line a raise.

After commercial break, MJ is on the air talking about a dog and is not happy about it. Kara insists there is a demo for it. She invites MJ to go over story ideas; MJ declines. MJ is enjoying the perks of her new job, including a stylist and not fighting with Kara anymore. She says she is going to “go with the flow”.

Kara wants to know where MJ is going. She saw a story on Gawker about MJ and “the “anchorettes” hanging out and she wasn’t invited. MJ points out that when she asks Kara out, the answer is always “no”. Kara agrees; she ain’t really feeling this new, all-Mommy, all-the time life. Later at her desk she has a meltdown. She feels trapped.


MJ is at home getting her back blown out by Cutty Buddy. His back? Lawd!

Oh LORD!!! He’s having convulsions! What is going on?!

Ok. He’s fine. For now. Wooooo-sahhhh! He had a seizure. This scene is one of the reasons I love this show. They do life. Like as soon as he was fine, most shows would have cut away. The cameras here stay after the others would be gone. They show her worry, and HIS embarrassment/fear/vulnerability. The awkwardness. That is life.

The next day at work, MJ says she stayed up all night with him, but tells Kara, “he is not my boo, just someone I do.” She says she has too much going on to be focused on a relationship. As they’re talking, MJ’s phone goes off. Pictures of Mark making out with a man have hit the newspapers. Aw, hell!



Mark says he ain’t ok, but blames himself for being “in the parking lot, kissing like a school girl”. Um… it was more than that. MJ tells him he is very well endowed. Oh! MJ tells Mark to embrace being outed. “Gay is the new black, honey.” Mark is offended that MJ thinks “gayness is trendy.”

Mark is legitimately worried about his career, and a staffer popping in to say that Greg, the Big Boss, is asking for him, doesn’t help.

In the meeting, Greg says that SNC wants to support Mark. A marketing guy wants Mark to do a 3-day promotional campaign, and come out on air to boost the numbers for the upcoming week. He suggests that going forward Mark will have a segment that “bridges LGBT issues and foreign policy.” Huh? How does that work together?

More or less, Greg offers Mark a higher profile job and a raise. Mark says he’s not interested in being the face of gay politics. About that…. Greg says that while Mark has been planning reporting trips to Syria and Nigeria “for weeks”, he can’t go anymore. “The last thing we need to do is send a recently outted journalist into hostile territory,” Greg says. Mark argues, offering to spend his own money on security to go. He got it twisted. “This isn’t up for debate,” Greg says.

Mark quits.

Elsewhere in the newsroom MJ is hosting a segment on immigration reform. Ha! Look, it’s Goldie! We Twitter chat. I read her work. She looks amazing. You know she’s a grandmother? She and Marjorie Harvey are medical miracles. I’ve never heard Goldie speak before.

MJ’s sleeves are ridiculous. I mean, it’s an adorable outfit. It is. But those are not news sleeves. She looks like she’s got wings.

Anyway, MJ is noticeably quiet on the segment, which I noted even before Goldie said something. Goldie tells her she was expecting to tangle more. “I get you, but we still need you, Sis, and we need you highlighting our issues.” MJ knows it’s true.


MJ’s white dress sans sleeves is awesome.  Or is that a whole new dress? And the bob has grown on me.

Greg pops by to talk to MJ about Greg quitting. He wants her to pass a message along: “SNC wants him, needs him. Seriously, we can’t afford to lose him.” MJ’s taken aback. Greg says he’s fighting for Mark as hard as he fought for her. MJ says she may have misjudged him and eventually says, “I’m sorry.”

Greg: "see, white guys aren’t so bad after all".

In one scene, I think totally different about Greg. That’s a testament to good writing, and good acting. And direction. Nicely done, Mara.

Kara’s wandering around the office eating microwave dinner when she spots Marisol at her desk. They haven’t found a new place for her yet, so she’s trying to stay in touch and stay visible. Kara throws her some shade, and Marisol finally stands up for herself and asks what’s good. Kara says she wasn’t feeling her sliding into SNC on the “quota program.” Marisol says Kara is busting her ass for 14 hours days and 65 percent of the pay. The look on Kara’s face tho?! She cuts back that it’s better than gaining entry acting “like a Chiquita banana”and wearing crotch-less panties.


MJ is at Mark’s trying to get him to take his job back. Mark doesn’t want to talk about gay topics because he thinks people will be looking at his ass instead of thinking about what he’s saying. MJ laughs. Mark doesn’t think it’s funny. “I’m baring my soul to you and you’re laughing,” Mark says.

MJ apologizes for making light, but, seriously, asks him to “talk to Greg.”

MJ’s knocked out in the dark, but somehow hears her phone ding. It’s Cutty Buddy asking via text if she’s still up. She lies and says she’s working. FFwd: she tells him to come over.

In the next scene, it’s bright lights and tonguing. Look Gabrielle Union got a good life right about now. She is being paid to tongue down Thomas Jones and then goes home to D. Wade? Ma’am? You are a winner. Side bar: everytime CBW watches MJ do a sex scene, he’s like, “does Wade know she’s doing this?” Like that man ain’t got a TV.

Anyway, they’re making out, and MJ calls a foul on the play. They have to talk about the elephant in the room, the seizures. Brandon, aka the man we will never call that because his name is Cutty Buddy, says that the seizures started two months ago and he’s freaked out because he’s trying to make another team. “All I have is football,” he says, shortly before he bounces.

The next day, MJ is shopping with a friend, talking about Cutty Buddy. She says she likes him, buts he can’t get involved in his issues. She keeps having that conversation. She says, “it’s like I know too much about him. The mystery is gone.” The convo moves to MJ and her white boy. Her friend says she’s been with a white man but doesn’t want to venture back to the “ baloney pony”. Bwahaha.

MJ admits that she hasn’t had sex with the white guy because she’s recently had sex with Cutty Buddy. She doesn’t want to be a “ho”. Her friend reminds her that she’s grown and can “do what you wanna do”. MJ asks if her friend were Queen for the day what her “International Ho Law” would be. This conversation is hilarious. Hee-lar-ious! MJ says she loves giving blow jobs. Her girl says that’s fine, “just don’t drink off my glass.”

The conversation moves to the “trickiness” of being single” and navigating sex. MJ advocated resetting the 'ho button' at 35 OMG! This is one of the greatest conversations in TV history. Watch it on repeat like that man singing about Patti’s pies.


FFW: Mark talked to Greg. The answer for Mark going overseas to cover ISIS and Boko Haram is still no. Mark says the cost of his dignity is too high for SNC. “I’m not a ratings ploy,” he says. Mark says he’s going to hire his own team and go over to Nigeria on his own dime.

MJ says its time to “live a little and stop fighting”. “I’m a B-list celebrity and I like it, I love it,” MJ says. “People don’t care about the truth. Audiences are half asleep and I am exhausted… why keep fighting a losing battle?"

Oh, God. I struggle with this every, single, day. I could write a whole post on that concept. Being true to self and fighting the good fight on GP is hard. HARD.

“I may be a sell out but I’m finally getting what I want,” MJ says. I'm not even mad at her. I get it. I also get Raven-Symone. Though I don't think I could go that far astray. Offer me a couple million in a contract and we'll put that to the test.

Mark says he’s not going to give up or sell out.

Later that night, MJ is back at the private club. Her White boo walks in and tells her he watched her show. She says he ruined the fantasy. But the look on her face says she doesn’t mean it.

What did you think of Episode 6 of Being Mary Jane?

TV Recap Being Mary Jane 0304: Being Cara

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 8.09.10 PM Mary Jane is getting her freak on…. No, wait! It’s Kara getting her back blown out by her boo! As soon as she gets hers, she excuses herself from bed to go work.


Kara heads to the couch with her laptop, her real man, and works ’til she passes out. Bay-be, what are you doing?

In the AM, Kara wakes up late—on the couch—and scrambles getting dressed, leaving her dude at the house to lock up after her. He reminds her that his bestie is in town and they have dinner plans that night. Watching a harried Kara, he offers to reschedule. She swears she can make it. Um… you sure?

Kara puts on her face in the car, and the bottle of prescription pills in her purse doesn’t go unnoticed.

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I assumed Kara was late for work, but actually, there was a parent teacher conference that she missed. Her ex-husband is walking out of the school when Kara gets out of the car. “You couldn’t stall for me?” she asks. He reminds her that despite him sending a bunch of email reminders, she still showed up 20 minutes late. Womp.

Kara’s youngest isn’t so good at math and the teacher wants to have him tested for dyscalculia, dyslexia for numbers. Kara’s pissed. She isn’t trying to hear something is wrong with her kid, and she wonders how much testing is going to cost because she’s paying child support, the mortgage on the family house, rent on the condo she lives in and she helps her parents.

Whoo, chile. That’s a lot!

Kara has a bright idea: maybe the kids (and the dog) can stay with her for awhile so she can spend quality time with them, and help the babe with his homework since she is better at math.

Um… I love Kara. I do. But she told the God’s honest truth that time when she said she wasn’t fit to be a mom. She’s a good person. She is. But she doesn’t have the temperament for kids and all the other stuff she has going on. I respect that she’s trying to do better, but this is a bad idea.

Her ex points out that she always pulls this superwoman ish. “You missed a meeting, so what?” he says, trying to make her feel better (I think). This pushes Kara over the edge.

“It’s not fine for me anymore,” she says, dissolving into tears, then storming off. Oh, dear. She got a lot of guilt about not raising her kids.


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Kara’s already had a long morning and she hasn’t even made it to the office. Finally at work, she’s still a mess, thinking she got off on the wrong floor. Before she gets to her desk, an assistant is updating her that MJ is on a warpath and she hits up her boo to pass on dinner because she has the kids.

Earlier, Mary Jane was back at her anchor desk as the producers tested out her face on screen. “All I see is scars,” the Big Boss says. I can’t see anything. She looks back to normal to me.

MJ catches Kara in the hallway, “greeting” her with “what the hell?” She’s mad Kara wasn’t there for her screen test. Kara reminds her that she had to be at her kid’s school. MJ is all, yeah, I know. Thought you would reschedule.

Um. Her kids > you.

Big Boss sidelined MJ for another week. Womp. MJ is freaking at, as usual.


MJ still doesn’t have a car, so a driver drops her off after work. Sorting through the mail she comes across a letter for Lisa. Aww, hell. Instead of opening it, she calls Cutty Buddy. He comes over in a hurry to offer Vitamin D.


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Kara wakes up to the dog licking her face. Before she’s fully coherent, her teenage son is in her room yelling about “there’s nothing to eat!” Then he tells her the kid “peed the bed... again!” Then the dog chews on Kara’s good shoe.

Kara has been up all of 90 seconds and all the sh—she’s been through has made me tired and stressed watching her. I need a nap. Kara’s hysterical, screaming at her oldest about the dog, who she threatens to get rid of. The youngest hears this and runs out of the room distraught.

Aww, Lawd. I hope she’s on pressure meds. ‘Cause this? #toomuch

When both kids leave, Kara reaches in her bedside drawer for her pills. Um… I’m glad she has some, just hope she doesn’t abuse them.


Across town, Cutty Buddy is trying to stop the 6:30 AM alarm from going off. I’m sorry. Did Kara just go through all that sh—before 6:30AM? iCan’t.

MJ rushes into the room for her phone. Oh, Cutty Buddy is spending the night now? MJ is dressed to “run an errand”, so CB offers to bounce to the gym. She asks him to stay instead. This man has beautiful eyes. No, really. All of him is lovely, but his eyes are amazing.


Kara made breakfast and is apologizing to the kids for flipping out that morning and reminding them that she “loves them more than anything in the whole world.” She tells the kids that their dad is going to pick them up from school and bring them back to the house.

The kids ain’t feeling that idea they want to stay at “Dad’s house”. Kara corrects them: “That isn’t his house, it’s my house. I gave him that hou—“ She feels herself winding up and stops. She tells the kids to do whatever they planned to do after school by her.

Oh, and the oldest kid called his dad on Kara and said it was “an emergency” because Kara was freaking out. The kids start rough housing why she’s on the phone and knock over the lamp. It’s chaos. Dad offers to help, but Kara insists she has it.

Do you?

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CeCe is sitting on a park bench reading a book when a surly MJ walks up in her gym clothes to hand over 5k to CeCe.

“I hate what the Black man has done to the Black woman,” CeCe says. "Abandonment is the direct cause of our masculinity.”

It’s too early for this sh--. The direct cause of MJ’s “masculinity” this morning is being extorted by CeCe.

MJ: "Do you think about anything besides Black people and race?"

CeCe: "No."

Me: *cackles*

CeCe isn’t feeling MJ today, so she’s ready to head out, but not before offering condolences about Lisa. MJ ain’t here for that. “Shut up!” she tells CeCe. “You don’t have the right to talk about my friend’s life ever. This arrangement doesn’t afford you that luxury.”

Obviously and rightfully, she‘s sensitive about Lisa.


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Kara’s headed into the office, texting her boo to apologize about missing dinner last night. She spots Marisol in a meeting with Big Boss telling him her big ideas. Kara asks for “a word.” In short: she tells Marisol she’s out of line for going behind her back and accuses her of sexing the boss on the low. Marisol’s big idea just cost them a feature segment for the next day’s show. No bueno. “I don’t like problems,” Kara reminds her.


Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 8.27.39 PMMJ is at home in her glasses shoe shopping online when she decides to call Cutty Buddy. He’s in the pool with her providing what she needs when Niecy comes by and catches them. Awkward.

Niecy’s there to get help with her resume, but has no work experience. MJ adds an mailroom internship at her job to Nicey’s resume. Niecy doesn’t know what that entails, but says she’ll watch Chris Rock in Boomerang to figure it out.LOL

Niecy: "When I do all that, can I get one of those in my pool?" (She’s referring to Cutty Buddy.)

MJ: "You gotta get a pool first."

Me: *snort laugh*

Kara’s home from work and her ex is chilling on the couch. The youngest tried to wait up for her but fell asleep, the oldest is getting his first kiss on the porch. Kara’s day isn’t done. She has to make brownies for the baby’s class tomorrow.

Really? After a long day of work? Brownies? Ex is like, why didn’t you just buy something? But Kara is on her Martha Stewart Superwoman ish and tired of being judged by the mothers of the kids in her son’s class.

She’s trying so hard. I’m exhausted watching her. Watching this episode is birth control.

She pauses to grab wine with ex-hubs who tells her she’s a great mom. She knows he’s lying. She wants to talk about the kid wetting the bed and the dyscalculia. “I’m a problem solver, I fix things,” Kara says. John tells her to get off the roller coaster.


MJ is getting her freak on… again. Look. I ain’t mad at this lady. I don’t know if CB has any money, but he is definitely a provider. And I get the craving for sex, especially in these circumstances. Experiencing death can give folks a craving for life, or the act of creating it. I grieve the same way.

CB finishes too soon for MJ and he reminds her that she can’t be mad. “Woman, you got yours twice. Let me get mine.”

Welp. He has a point.

He says he has to get some sleep, but before that, he wants to know how she is being as she’s been going through a lot lately. MJ says she is “fine.” I guess we’ve moved on from the eulogy last week.

She offers to get him a towel to avoid the conversation. In the bathroom, she spots Lisa’s name on her BC pills and gets stuck for a moment.


Back at Kara’s, she’s having some manic moment, baking brownines and researching her son’s disability and texting her book all at once. Unsurprisingly, the brownies burn.

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At MJ’s there’s a knock on the door. It’s Kara, asking her after midnight to make brownies for her cause she doesn’t want to send the boy to school with store bought brownies. She left the kids home alone. MJ reacts like that is horrid. Is it? The oldest kid is about 14, 15. He can be left alone with the little one… um, right?

She’s lost it.Through sobs, Kara says, “I’ve been A student my whole life, and I‘m just a C student in everything in my life right now and I hate it.”

Look, I haven’t birthed any babies, but I have had that feeling on so many occasions and it’s devastating. Ugh. I just want to hug Kara. I feel you, boo. I do.

“I feel like I screwed up my life,” Kara says. “I’ve failed.”

Mara, stop writing my life!!!

No lie, I teared up. I have been there.

MJ is in the kitchen making brownies when Cutty Buddy walks up to taste the mix. He's staying over regularly now? Oh.


I don’t know how I feel about him yet. I like MJ around him. He mellows her out some and I like that he’s there because I don’t want her to be alone right now. But I would probably say that about anyone single and not David. I might even accept Shelton and his living across the street from each other fantasies at this point.

MJ shows up at Kara’s with fresh brownies. This is a nice side of MJ.

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Niecy’s resume landed her an interview (yay!), which she showed up late for (boo!). Ugh! Come on, baby girl!!! Help yourself win!!! The interviewer is a little smug for my liking, but she’s not out of line.

Niecy doesn’t know the job interview rules so she doesn’t play by them. “Are you looking to hire me or not,” Niecy asks. “Because I feel like you judged me the moment I walked in here.”

Dammit Niecy. It’s what everyone has wanted to say at one job interview or another, but no one actually says that ish. Ughhh.

The interviewer admits that she’s not feeling Niecy because she was late. Niecy decides this is her cue to walk out of the interview. “I’m not late because I’m Black, it’s because I’m a mother,” Niecy says. “I hope you’ll still consider me for the job.”

Actually, I think she was late because she’s Niecy and she has a habit of being irresponsible. I’m just saying.


Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 8.56.50 PMMJ is on her laptop at home, looking at pictures of CeCe. Did she hire a PI to investigate her? She discovers that CeCe owns a book store, so she swings by to see her.

“You extorted me for a book store?” MJ accuses. “And you think I’m part of a dying industry?”

MJ asks CeCe why she didn’t ask for even more money because she clearly needs it.

CeCe: "Because that’s all I asked God for. Any more would be stealing."


MJ says she’s done paying. CeCe reminds MJ that she still hasn’t got the one thing that she wants: prime time. She knows that they’re giving her the run around at work and that she has the power to make her dream go away with a phone call to SNC

MJ: “You are no better than the slave master raping and stealing from Black people for their own personal gain in the name of Jesus. You’re a fraud!”

CeCe corrects her: ” I’m a survivor. I do whatever it takes to survive. You and I are similar in that way.”


At SNC, Kara’s boo rolls up to see her while she’s working late. She bailed on him again, it seems. She breaks up with him at some point. He says things are great, but she says that she needs to be more present for her kids and her relationship with him is getting in the way, so it’s a wrap. She does him in the backset of the car one last time, then goes home to her ex husband and tells him that she wants to move back in with him for the sake of the kids and to save money.

“So you want to be roommates?” he asks.

He says that he’s willing to do what she thinks is best, but his gut says it’s a terrible idea. Kara agrees, but she wants to be a better mother.


At MJ's Cutty says his penis is “broke. Not broke, but raw. It hurts.” She offers to get him some ice.

Niecy calls MJ while MJ is headed to the kitchen. Miraculously, she got the job and she’s starting with 20 hours a week and $7.00 an hour. It’s a start and it’s better than nothing .

In the kitchen. MJ spots the letter from Lisa and finally opens it. It’s an invite to an event Lisa was supposed to speak at in 2016. To the tune of one of may favorite songs, “Good Goodbye” by Lianne La Havas, MJ loses it, sliding to the floor and sobbing.

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Awww, boo.

CB comes into the kitchen and joins her on the floor, holding her. Geez. I’m so glad he’s there.

Later, he’s sitting on the deck when MJ walks out post-nap, apologizing for her break down. He says there’s no need. “It’s a blessing I could be here for you.”

That line made my yelp. Out loud. Hubs just turned around and glared at me.

CB has whiskey and Cuban cigars chilling on the patio table. He explains that he was raised by his grandfather, who worked in a mortuary. Granddad said the only way to balance out so much death was to live. He would smoke a cigar and have a glass of whiskey every night. “He was the most peaceful, happy man, I knew,” CB says.

I think I like him now.

What did you think of Episode 4?


Being Mary Jane, 0303: Ugly Truths (About Lisa)

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Lisa is having a fancy dinner alone in her big house. She takes a shower, slips on a sexy negligee then heads to bed with a glass of wine. She's up to something. I don’t know what.

Aww, hell. She’s popping pills like they’re popcorn, then chases them all with gulps from her goblet of wine. She exhales like she’s been waiting. This is not what Terry McMillan meant.

I knew she was going to do this sh—after MJ read her for deserved filth last episode. I know Lisa pissed everyone off with that David nonsense, but like Patrick said when he brought Lisa to MJ’s house, “I didn’t want her to kill herself.”

Lisa’s wine glass slips from her hand, then she foams at the mouth, her body trying to expel the poison. She stops breathing.

Ya'll, Lisa’s gone.


At work the next day, MJ is explaining to her colleagueMark that “he” won’t stop calling? Is "he" David? Or "Shelton?" Or the married guy? Mark teaches her how to block a call.

Now it’s Nicey calling MJ, asking her to come over to the house. MJ can hear her Mom is crying in the background. Nicey says, “it’s Lisa…” MJ knows what that means. It’s a call she probably was expecting someday.

MJ stays at work instead of going to be with her family, even as Mark insists. She says she needs a drink, but her work-husband has taken the liquor out of her drawer.

MJ heads home-- her place, not her parents's house--  and gets into bed fully dressed, staring blankly as her mind whirs. She checks her phone and sees the missed calls from Lisa.

Later, Kara comes by the house. Someone filled her in about Lisa. She wasn’t close to Lisa but she’s an obvious emotional wreck over her death.

Just for clarity: MJ is too. There are many ways to handle death. The most popular one, and the one people most understand, is tears and being emotionally distraught. MJ’s isn’t that. She’s gone numb and into “efficient mode”. People don’t often “get” that person, but they're under appreciated and so necessary. While everyone else is falling out, someone has to hold it together.


Now half the friend circle is at the house, discussing how to mourn Lisa: celebrate or cry? Now they’re telling Lisa stories. Apparently, she got drunk once, threw out all her hot combs, ran off to Kenya and came back with horrible twists. Oh, and Kara thought Lisa was lesbian when she first met her, but not because of her hair. No one in the room knows what Lisa called her god, they all agree that she was “constantly searching for something.”

The conversation turns back to Lisa’s suicide and the myth that Black people don't kill themselves. "We took pride in the fact that no matter how hard things got, we didn’t do that,” says Nichelle. “I used to wear that like a badge of honor.... What happened to us?”

Kara adds, “people see suicide as a weakness, it's an illness”

God, this is such an important conversation. Thank you, Mara.

The topic turns to whether medicine is bad or not. MJ argues that she's not a fan of meds because some meds cause suicidal feelings. This would explain why MJ is not on the drugs she so obviously needs. Kara acknowledges that some drugs are bad, but not all meds. "Life is hard and sometimes people need a little help to cope," Kara says. Ma’am. That’s a word. If you need help, get yourself some PRESCRIBED help with haste. (No self-medicating.)

Nichelle drops that David found Lisa’s body. Awww, hell.


David swings by MJ’s house to talk about Lisa. Notice she doesn’t let him in the house. He offers to cover Lisa’s burial expenses, but MJ says it’s already been handled.

MJ wants to know what David was doing at Lisa’s house. He says he was checking on Lisa because he didn't answer her calls since MJ’s accident.

David offers, “if you need anything---“ and MJ cuts him off with “I won’t.”


Look. I don’t hate David, even after his betrayal. I’ve adopted PJ’s take on David, which is David probably means well, but he just can’t do right for anything. Feelings are nice, so is intention, but the bottomline is he keeps f---ing up. And for that, he needs to be kept, at minimum, at arm’s length. MJ's self preservation matters more than his feelings or intentions.



The following day, MJ goes to the family home, and overhears her mother saying, “We killed her”, speaking of Lisa. “We wouldn’t talk to her when she needed to talk.” Um, who was she talking to? There’s no one in the room when MJ comes in. Did she hear MJ coming down the hall?

MJ says ok, and turns to leave. "I don't have time to chose a pity party with you, Mom,” MJ says.  She came by to plan a funeral, not this.

Mom tells MJ that she’s called Lisa’s parents. MJ is livid. Lisa hadn’t spoken to her parents in “over 15 years”. “Every mother has the right to know” MJ’s mom says.

I can see her  point, but this makes no sense to MJ. They have their typical passive aggressive exchange, Mom plays martyr and MJ walks out, ignoring Niecy on the way to the door. She treats that girl so bad sometimes.

MJ heads to Lisa’s house. It’s weird in there, and really empty, and cold. I’m all for minimalism, but this doesn’t look lived in. Tells you a lot about Lisa’s life, huh? MJ wanders around and sees the haunting remnants of Lisa’s last meal.

The doorbell rings (twice). It’s Lisa’s mom and stepdad aka Richard Lawson aka Mama Knowles's new husband. MJ doesn’t look happy to see them.


Anyway, Mom and MJ end up in the bedroom discussing Lisa. They agree not to divulge the circumstances of Lisa’s death. Mom has been telling the family that Lisa died “due to health complications.” MJ says she will do a FB post, notifying folks so Lisa has a “good turnout.”

Mom asks MJ to speak at the funeral because MJ “knew her better than anyone” and was Lisa’s sister. As they’re discussing arrangements, Stepdad yells up, “Baby, it's time to go". Where is he going that’s so urgent that he can’t let his wife sit and discuss funeral arrangements for her dead child?

MJ says stepdad isn’t allowed to come to the service. That’s bold. Mom says, “not now” and that “We put all of that behind us.” Um, all of what, exactly?

Charles aka Mama Tina Knowles husband comes upstairs to rush his wife along and find out what the women are talking about, ie, him. Charles suggests they go as MJ has “issues and is being very rude.”

I have my issues with MJ, but one thing I love about her is that she doesn’t hold any cut cards and she ain’t never scared. It’s a gift and a curse.

She ain’t playing any games with Charles today: “I will not be at a service that this man is at,” she tells Lisa’s mother and by proxy, Charles as he’s standing there as she talks around him like he’s the kid in the room. MJ’s thrown down the gauntlet: it’s Charles or MJ. Can’t be both. She tells Lisa’s mom to let her know by 9PM how she’s gonna carry it. (For my Bmore folks: Wassup, wassup?)

Mom and Charles are in the car. She insists that MJ has to be at the funeral because “people will talk.” He hits back with, “you’re so weak like that. I can’t stand that in you.”

I’m sorry, WHAT?

So we know that Charles is emotionally abusive to the mother. Was he that way to Lisa too?

Charles says “Lisa was bipolar with an overactive imagination. She was not mentally stable and you know that.” Well, there is some truth in that. “She haunted us when she was alive and she’s haunting us from the grave.”

Damn, man. The girl just died and you’re talking to her mama. Some compassion, maybe?

Lisa’s mom tells Charles he can’t come to the funeral. Bottomline. He doesn’t seem to like the girl so much no way, so maybe that’s just for the best for everyone involved.


At the Paul home, the family is getting ready for Lisa’s funeral. Niecy is going D’Asia's hair. PJ is playing with Niecy’s son. Mom reaches for a box on a high shelf, and without being asked, Dad goes to get it down for her. I love that as dysfunctional as this family is, (just like every other family) they lean on each other and come together (like family is supposed to) when ish gets rough.

MJ is with the body at the church already. Lawd! Lisa is in the dang casket in all white, looking like an angel. Wow.



Um, MJ’s outfit and fascinator at this funeral are EVERYTHING!

David takes a seat next to MJ and listens, the first thing he’s done right in a long time. She tells him that she couldn’t cry, but she was trying on dresses and felt like she was having a mini-heart attack and then ended up crying for hours on the floor of her closet. Geez.

Here’s where he starts to go left: MJ’s not hysterically grieving, but she is grieving. David grabs her hand and intertwines his fingers with MJ’s before offering the lame cliché, “she’s in a better place now.” He catches himself, noting, “Who really knows if she’s in a better place?"

MJ: “Could it be much worse, really?”

MJ says she owes Lisa, who she had barely seen or talked to in a year, a good eulogy.

And then David goes all the way left: “It's not your fault,” he says to MJ. “You know that right?” Um.. why would it be MJ’s fault? I’m unclear.

MJ gets defensive, and lashes into David about screwing Lisa “out of her money and her dignity.”

Sidebar: MJ kills me when she mock-stutters to make a point about someone trying to sell her BS. I howled in the middle of this very important scene.

She ain’t done with David: “You pretend to comfort me but you really just came to comfort yourself. I'm not a comfort to give you, David. I am out of anything to give you. I have nothing for you.”

Ya’ll! Write that down and put it on the fridge door or keep it in your phone Notes so you can say it verbatim the next time your ex calls.

David leaves. Really, he never should have sat down. Just goooo, man. Where is your pregnant woman?

Nichelle sings “Eye Is On the Sparrow”, one of my favorite songs. She does a beautiful job. I really feel like I am at a Black funeral. This is a hard, hard episode.


Lawd, Lisa’s step- father had one job: not to come to the funeral. Why he want to be there so bad? He doesn’t like Lisa. And it’s not like he wants to be supportive of his wife, who he talks to like sh--. This is a power move.

MJs going off, trying to shame Charles for showing up, when the minister pipes in to remind her that they are in the Lord’s house and all are welcome. That was religious shade.

Despite Charles’s presence, MJ does eulogy, as promised. It’s a beautiful speech and beautifully delivered, especially the "We’re all just pretending we’re okay when we're really not…. The lies that we tell each other, that's what killed my friend Lisa."


Mid-speech, MJ is going over Lisa’s basics, where she was born and when she graduated, and such. She takes a moment and drops a nuke bomb on those gathered at the sanctuary that day: Lisa’s dad molested her from ages 9 to 16. “She carried that pain with her everyday for the duration of her life,” MJ says.

Lisa’s mom wails. Her stepdad looks embarrassed. Lisa’s brother looked like he just had a revelation.

I’ve read a bit of backlash about this episode, especially MJ’s big reveal. I’ve read it was “ill-timed” and motivated out of spite/control that Charles didn’t listen when she told him not to come, and dared to show up.

My take: the truth needed to come out. And there’s no convenient and polite time to talk about molestation/sexual abuse/rape, so it might as well be brought up and dealt with whenever the mood strikes.

I’m bothered that people get more stuck on the timing than the horror of abuse. If you’re uncomfortable with the topic and don’t want to talk about it, say that, turn the channel, keep scrolling, whatever. But don’t deflect to trivial topics like  “timing”, “tone” and attitude to distract other people from focusing on what makes you queasy.

MJ said what needed to be said, and yes, it was embarrassing and shocking, and scandalous, but sh--, all that pales in comparison to the pain Lisa must have been in when the abuse happened and all the pain she carried for so many years. Lisa matters more than embarrassment and shock and scandal. Lisa, and all the girls and women who have been through that horrific abuse, MATTER.

Mary Jane has some hard character traits to deal with, many I see in me, but I was never more proud of her than that moment.

Mom is inconsolable, lying on her son’s shoulder as MJ wraps it up. “The best way to celebrate her life is to stop being liars, is actually to embrace the truth… tell everyone that you love that you will love them no matter how ugly their truth is.”


*slow clap for Mara and the writer’s room*

What did ya'll think of  Episode 4?


Inspired by 'Being Mary Jane": Her Name Was Shelique


Lisa is saying farewell to life. After a delicious meal, a fresh shower, and a sexy neglige, she climbs into bed and pops  pills like popcorn, chasing her cocktail with a goblet of red wine. Then she waits.

The wine falls from her hand, she foams at the mouth, her body trying to expel the drugs from her system.

Lisa is gone.

The remainder of the episode is dedicated to how those who loved-- and hurt-- Lisa most cope with her death and prepare for her homegoing.

It was a heavy episode for me. A friend committed suicide when I was 13. And last night, BMJ brought a lot of stuff up that I hadn't thought about or dealt with in years.


Tomorrow, I will write a proper recap with the play-by-play of what happened on BMJ and how. But before we get to that, I want, no, I need to write about something, someone else.

Her name was Shelique. No alias.

Maybe her name had two "Ls". I can't believe I can't remember anymore.

She was two grades above me, but we were a year apart in age. I was 12 in the eighth grade (I'd skipped a year). She was 13 in the 10th grade (She'd skipped two years). She fit in and everyone liked her, which I didn't get. Not that she wasn't likeable, I got why they liked her because I liked her. But being the youngest by two years didn't seem to bother her. I was always aware that I was younger than everyone else in my grade and it always made me feel awkward. I hung out mostly with the girls the grade below me.

I was round. She was one of those teenage girls that filled out a dress. She wore fancy clothes, that in retrospect, were probably designer.  She had this maroon sweater dress that was one of her favorites.

The year after she died, her sister started at our school. She was in 7th grade. She wore her sister's clothes to school.

I remember her sister in the dress too. She was coming down the hallway in it, and I "saw" Shelique. Freaked me out, but I recovered for her sister. I didn't want to make her feel awkward or weird. I mean, her sister just died. I imagine now that wearing her sister's clothes was part of the grieving process.

Shelique used to pin her hair up in a French roll, as was the popular style of the time (93?). I tried to imitate it once and my french roll, which I'd stuffed with my father's black dress sock, unraveled in the cafeteria. Shelique pinned my hair back together in 5 minutes, sans sock and better.

I heard she died while I was at a party just before school started up again. A girl who lived in my neighborhood and was a close friend of ours, had cousins that lived close by and were throwing a party. The neighborhood girl had invited me, and another girl from our school to attend. She was in Shelique's class.

After the party,  we were sitting at the living room table unwinding and rehashing the night's events. The girl from the same grade announced that Shelique was dead, that she killed herself.

The girl knew and came to the party and pretended like nothing was wrong because she didn't want to ruin everyone's night. She was Shelique's best friend and the only girl in the circle who read the suicide note. She didn't ever say what it said, and I never asked out of respect. She had a meltdown in the Main Building hallway once about how selfish Shelique was.

The last time I saw Shelique alive, we were sitting on the steps of our school waiting for our parents to pick us up. She was fretting because her folks were late and she had to get home and get dressed to go to a Jodeci concert that night. She was in love with DeVante like every other girl who loved Jodeci. She was all smiles and nervous anticipation. When I think of her, most often I picture her in that moment. To this day, whenever I hear a really good R&B song, I wonder if Shelique would have liked it.

My mom drove me and the girl from the neighborhood to the funeral. The girl went up to the casket to say goodbye. I just couldn't go. The casket was open, and I could see from the back of the church that the wig was bad. Shelique never would have worn her hair like that. But the funeral parlor had to hide the bullet wound somehow, I guess.

We sat in the balcony. When the funeral director closed the casket-- the slowest process ever, but  it would be wrong to just slam the lid on somebody, right?-- Shelique's sister had to be taken out of the sanctuary. Her mother who had sat quietly the whole time, wailed something like, "you're with grandma. She'll take care of you." Jesus. It was the words, as much as the agony in her voice.

Everything about Shelique's death was surreal.  I understood death and the finality and that Shelique was never coming back, but I didn't grasp the complexity of it all. Like, at 13, you don't realize how young 14 is. I didn't get that a baby just died. I didn't understand depression. Or the extra depths of a girl killing herself.

The story I got was that her father was having a birthday bash at the house, and she went upstairs and put a gun to her head. (I've always wondered about the timing of that.) Her sister ran up to the room and found her.

Her sister was all legs, kinda like Malia Obama. She ran track. At her first meet, the gun went off to start the race and I heard she lost it. I was cool with her little sister until she transferred schools. We never talked about Shelique. I never saw or heard from her after she transferred.

Many years later, I was in a college, in car on Route 50, headed somewhere toward DC with my BF and his cousin. The cousin was talking about some girl he was dating, a girl with the same name as Shelique's sister. I knew he was talking about her.

All this stuff came flooding back and I looked out the window and zoned out, trying to hold it together. All that I'd missed before about the complexities and depth of what happened finally hit me, about seven years later.

My BF asked if I was okay.

I didn't want to explain.

"I knew her sister," I said.

Cousin: "This girl doesn't have a sister."

She hadn't told him. I guess I could have guarded her secret. I mean, I get why she wouldn't tell anyone that tragic backstory. But I didn't want to pretend like my friend never existed. She wuz here. Her time was short, but she made an impact.

"She does. She did," I insisted. "Her name was Shelique."

Meet 'Being Mary Jane's "Cutty Buddy", Thomas Q. Jones


The closing scenes of last Tuesday night’s Being Mary Jane threw us all for a loop. After shooing away her ex, Mary Jane returned home and seemed to be in for the night. Suddenly she was getting dressed and heading back out to see a man we were introduced to only as “Cutty Buddy,” her friend with benefits who had more to give.

Well, her “friend” has an actual name. It’s Brandon in the TV series, and in real life he goes by Thomas Q. Jones. The now-retired NFL player has taken his talents from the football field to the small and big screens. (That explains that body, right?)

The Root caught up with the athlete-turned-actor to find out about his transition to Hollywood (difficult), if we’ll see more of him on Being Mary Jane (maybe) and where we can see him next (Straight Outta Compton, in theaters Aug. 14).

The Root: I shared with my friends that I was interviewing you. All the women responded, “Cutty Buddy!” and the guys were like, “Hold up? The football player?!” Why and how did you make the decision to go from being an athlete to an actor?

Thomas Q. Jones: When I [left] football, I was in this dead space. My whole life had been football since I was 5 or 6 years old. I didn’t have anything that I loved to do anymore, and it was a tough time for me. I’ve never been a drinker, but I was up at 8, 9 a.m. drinking Corona. I found acting as a way to detox from football. Football and acting are a lot alike. There’s a lot of raw emotion you release on Sunday as a football player. I put all of that into whatever character I’m playing.

TR: I was live-tweeting Being Mary Jane the other night when you appeared. That scene almost broke the Internet, and “Cutty Buddy” began trending. What has the response been like since the show?

TQJ: It’s been really cool. It’s always good to get a positive response. It’s a great show, one of the best on TV. Great cast, great writing. Gabrielle Union is amazing as Mary Jane. The audience is rooting for her to win, and maybe my character will be a part of that.

Read more on The Root

Uptown: Demetria L. Lucas The Anti-Reality TV, Reality TV Star

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 6.40.45 AM I don’t like watching reality TV shows, especially the programs that have a penchant for making Black folks look corny as hell. It’s not that I think I’m better than anyone who does enjoy these shows (like my sister, who says these programs help her de-stress after long days of school as she attains her master’s degree), but I just find the bickering and bullshit annoying (hell, I can get that in my own life). So when I heard that Bravo was releasing a new show called “Blood, Sweat and Heels“, I instantly rolled my eyes and attempted to change the channel as fast as I could – until someone very familiar popped up on my screen: Demetria Lucas.

I know Demetria through her strong writing as an advocate for the empowerment of Black women and an opinionated critic of relationships and everything that comes along with them. The reason I couldn’t change the channel was because I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that Demetria, a harsh critic of reality TV and its presentations of Black women, was doing on a show that, from the trailer, appeared to be everything she once denounced.

After watching the first episode, I realized something very significant about Demetria Lucas – of all the women on the show, she is not only the best at branding her business, but she is also (intentionally or unintentionally) positioning herself as an “anti-reality TV, reality TV star”. So getting the opportunity to sit down and talk with her was intriguing.

Lincoln Anthony Blades: The big question I have, as someone who writes and blogs, is how did this opportunity come up? And what did you think about it when it was first presented to you?

Demetria Lucas: Oh, my first thought was hell no. I’ve been approached to do reality shows several times, and someone reached out to my manager and said “we’d like for Demetria to consider it” and when she called me I was like “no, no, no this is not gonna happen. I’m not doing reality TV.” If you follow my work I’ve been very critical of the portrayal of Black women on television, and [my manager] was like “I think this is different, give it a shot” and I trust her, so I said ‘OK, let me see, I’ll hear them out.” So I met with the production team, I met some of the other ladies on  the show, and I liked that they all had good backgrounds and I thought maybe this would be different because the women here have something to lose. We’re not here to be famous, we’re not independently wealthy, we have to work for a living, so our reputations matter. So I think this might be something different and I think this might be a good opportunity. It took me a minute to sign on, but I eventually came around.

LAB: So, just to go off what you were saying before, there’s been a lot of campaigns like Michaela Angela Davis’ “Bury The Ratchet” campaign where she’s gone after everything from Love & Hip-Hop to Married to Medicine to the Real Housewives of Atlanta. If someone was to say that your show is like these other shows or asked you to prove your show is different, how would you explain that “Blood, Sweat & Heels” should not be considered ratchet?

DL: Well, I can say that there is no fighting, no bottle throwing, no over-the-top physical antics. I think you saw there is some psychological stuff, you know I got ambushed at a dinner table which I definitely didn’t appreciate. But you know what? Michaela has been a friend and mentor of mine for years. She is someone that I ran this by and she let me know very clearly what her expectations were of me. She’s known me for a while and she said “You know what I expect”. I hope, in that sense, that I gave it to her. But I do think the show tackles some deeper issues that working women deal with like, can a woman lead? How do you balance a career and a relationship? It gets tricky sometimes, but I think those conversations aren’t being had on Housewives. These women are married, most of them are in stable relationships and you don’t get the nitty gritty of that. We are all women who’ve sacrificed a lot of our personal lives in order to pursue our careers. And I think there’s always the question hanging over us of, was it worth it? Does it all balance out at the end? Do we get to have it all? So I think in that sense we are a little different than the other shows you see on television.

LAB: Recently, a lot of people have been saying that this is a great time for Black women in television because of Sasheer Zamata being hired on SNL with two other black writers, and shows like Being Mary Jane and Scandal, which have won awards. Do you think that your show contributes to what is a pretty good time for Black women in television?

DL: Absolutely. You know, for so long there’s been a conversation about Black women. There’ve been these studies and conversations on Nightline, The Washington Post and The New Yorkerand Psychology Today. Everyone was talking about Black women but this is the first time you’re really seeing Black women control their own narrative. In terms of Being Mary Jane, Mara Brock Akil is at the helm of that. Shonda Rhimes is at the helm of Scandal. For our show, we’re in control of what comes out of our mouths and  how we behave.


After the interview was over and I watched more of Blood, Sweat and Heels, its become even clearer that Demetria doesn’t fall into any typical Black reality TV caricature. She’s not a kept woman, or an anti-intellectual who thinks the underground railroad was an actual train. She’s not the backstreet brawler or the hood-chick playing bougie. It really seems like she’s essentially the voice of people with common sense who watch these shows shaking their head in disgust. In my opinion, Blood, Sweat and Heels (with this current cast) won’t do much to empower Black women or change the perception of professional African-American women in New York, but it may just be the platform to something bigger and better, kinda like the early ratchet Oprah years that preceded the far classier “Book Club” days.

Well, at least one can hope.


Read the complete article here


Ask Demetria: Do Scandal & Being Mary Jane Condone Adultery? (Sigh...)

photo“Do you think shows like Scandal and Being Mary Jane are condoning adultery or man-sharing to black women? It’s strange that the only two noticeable scripted shows about black women show them as ‘the other woman.’ I see so many women rooting for them. Is adultery ‘in style’ now?” —Anonymous

There have always been, and always will be, adulterous relationships—on TV and in real life. Adultery has also always been a staple of any dramatic series because of the messiness that is a natural byproduct of toying with emotions and betraying bonds. There is no recent study that points to a rise in adultery in the real world, especially not as attributed to these two TV shows.

That said, I’ve never understood the long-standing “Scandal condones adultery” argument, and I don’t understand the more recent assertion that Being Mary Jane does, too. I watch (and live-tweet) both shows, and I’ve never seen more miserable women. If anything, Being Mary Janeand Scandal show the downside of being the other woman.

Scandal’s Olivia Pope is emotionally tortured by her involvement with a powerful and married man. She gets stolen moments with him and some backroom romps. She’s constantly having to keep up appearances by downplaying or hiding her relationship, and as much as her lover insists that she’s his No. 1, Olivia “plays her position” as second fiddle whenever his wife is around.

Olivia is a powerful presence in every other occasion, but she is ashamed and embarrassed in the presence of her lover’s wife. She also operates almost entirely on her lover’s schedule and whims. Sometimes he’s into her; sometimes he’s discarding her. At the start of the third season, the affair was made public, and she nearly lost her business when all of her clients bailed and most of her money was spent. Nothing about her adultery seems glamorous.

In the case of Mary Jane, the ramifications of adultery look even worse. She’s confronted by her lover’s wife at her job and asked humiliating questions about her sexual practices with the wife’s husband. While she experiences emotional highs when she’s with him, when she’s without him—which is most of the time—she’s self-loathing.

In the most recent episodes of the show, her brother, who knows of her affair, goads their long-married mother into discussing adultery. Mary Jane squirms as her mother unknowingly describes her daughter as vile and incapable of “cultivating a man.” As the episode closes, Mary Jane is home alone and manically texting her lover, who doesn’t answer because he’s having sex with his wife. The next morning, he still hasn’t bothered to respond.

What’s so glamorous about that?


Read more: here