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?

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.


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