A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though the characters on Being Mary Jane are complicated and make mistakes, a warm bond of family unity keeps characters from making too many mistakes, and supports them when they err.
Positive Role Models
Mary Jane is kind, honest, talented, and well-educated. She's also foolhardy and lets her emotions overrule her good sense. Parents may want to watch with teens to point out her positive and negative choices.
Violence & Scariness
Couples sometimes fight physically, throwing objects and shoving each other in moments of high emotion.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mary Jane is single and carrying on various affairs, including one with a married man. We see them semi-nude (no private parts), moaning and thrusting. We also see the married man's wife reacting emotionally to news of his affair. Sex acts are sometimes discussed; casual sex is referred to both positively and negatively.
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Some language related to sex: "We screwed in the gym!" A few curses too: "I'm a damned trained seal."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters order cocktails and wine onscreen; characters get drunk or tipsy and act silly or make bad decisions and blame the alcohol for them. One character struggles with drug addiction; there are references to this and to acts like "buying weed."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Being Mary Jane is a mature drama about a single, professional woman who is dating and sexually active. She and her friends sometimes have affairs with married men, and the morality of doing so is debated. Viewers will see semi-nude bodies onscreen (no private parts), writhing and moaning, as well as the pain of betrayed spouses. Casual sex, oral sex, and other sexual acts are referred to frequently and graphically. Characters drink cocktails, beer, wine and champagne onscreen and may act silly or sloppy when drunk. One character struggles with drug addiction; there are references to that and to buying and enjoying drugs like marijuana. There is some mild cursing and sexual language. Parents may want to watch with teens to counter any iffy messages, but they may appreciate the rich family bonds on display and Mary Jane's own strength and honesty.
Is It Any Good?
Many a network show has captured the life of a lovely young something-or-other: doctor, teacher, lawyer. Watching a woman in her early 30s work to get ahead in her career while navigating her own love life is a time-tested television formula, but Being Mary Jane distinguishes itself with fresh, smart writing and an appealing ensemble of cast members, each of whom have their own soapy problems to deal with.
Union herself, who's struggled to find the right roles since her breakout role in the cheerleader flick Bring It On, is enormously sympathetic in her nuanced portrayal of Mary Jane. She doesn't always make the right decisions (having sex with Andre at the gym might have been the wrong choice, for one thing), but she's so intelligent and emotionally savvy that watching her is a towering pleasure. Add to that a warm and loving family (which adds its own complications), and a circle of zesty friends and Being Mary Jane transcends its seen-it premise to become something quite rare: A realistic portrait of a young woman learning how to be her best self. This show is highly recommended, though parents may want to watch with teens to counter any too-mature messages.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.