In 2013, BET introduced the world to Mary Jane Paul (played by Gabrielle Union), a successful TV news anchor from Atlanta who seems to have it all together… except for her love life, that is.
For the past six years, we've gotten to know and love Mary Jane through the ups and downs of egg freezing, family drama, and lovers quarrels, but last year, BET announced that it would all come to an end in an epic two-hour movie finale premiering on April 23rd.
Being Mary Jane, created by Mara Brock Akil, was originally named "Single Black Female" and resonated with women across the nation because it was one of the few shows that featured a three-dimensional black woman as the main character. Mary Jane, born Pauletta Patterson, dressed well, had a thriving career and judging by her fabulous crib and foreign whip, had a significant amount of disposable income but struggled to balance her personal and professional life in the midst of her success.
Throughout the series, the show's characters have confronted a number of issues that black women face on a daily basis. Mary Jane's vulnerable and multifaceted character archetype showed that a woman can be wealthy and still feel empty. Mary Jane proved that a woman can come from an affluent family and still encounter drug addiction and teenage pregnancy within that household. And she also proved that a woman can have it all together and still be deathly afraid of being alone.
In the final season of BMJ, Mary Jane is finally on the cusp of having it all: a fine ass man, the job of her dreams, and a semi-stable family life. The 4th season ended with her millionaire boo, Justin (played by Micheal Ealy) down on one knee, but after almost a decade, will she finally get her happily ever after?
We'll find out on Tuesday, April 23rd! Until then, here's everything we know about the finale so far:
You Can Have Your Own Slice Of Mary Jane's Wedding Cake
Courtesy of BET Networks
BET announced that you can get your OWN slice of Mary Jane's wedding cake baked by New York Times best-selling cookbook author, Ayesha Curry, in an edible Instagram experience held in New York on April 20th at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal at the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place. We've pretty much grown up with Pauletta, so it's only right that we get a personal invite to the wedding, and from 1:30 to 7:00 PM, you can show up to say goodbye to Mary Jane by getting your own slice of the interactive 9-foot tall, 4-tiered wedding cake-style edible billboard.
Head of Original Programming at BET Networks, Connie Orlando had this to say:
"'Being Mary Jane' drew viewers in with its raw and honest voice, enabling fans to connect with our beautifully flawed heroine in more ways than one. With this interactive experience, we are creating a unique space for our audience to celebrate Mary Jane Paul and take a 'piece' of their favorite show with them."
Harpo, Who This Man?
Courtesy of BET Networks
All my life I had to fight to meet men as fine as Morris Chestnut and Micheal Ealy, and in teasers for the finale, it seems like Mary Jane has BOFFUM all to herself. In the teasers, we see a steamy exchange between the TV news anchor and the illustrious Morris Chestnut, leaving us to wonder… Mary Jane, who this man?! In a 15-second clip, we see Mary Jane in a stunning wedding dress, leading us to believe there are some nuptials to be said in the two-hour finale. but who will she meet at the altar?
*Alexa, play "How Will I Know?" by Whitney Houston.
Oh… Baby, Baby
Courtesy of BET Networks
In the final episode of season 4, we see Mary Jane taking steps to get impregnated by a sperm donor after accepting that she and Justin's relationship may be over for good, but during a teaser clip of the show, we see a shocked Mary Jane as she examines the results of a mysterious pregnancy test. Did Mary Jane finally go through IVF, or is one of her steamy suitors her baby zaddy?
So much scandal, so many secrets! The end of Mary Jane's story will finally be revealed on the 23rd, and I'm fully prepared for my wig to be snatched. I'll bring the wine and popcorn, who's hosting the viewing party?!
Featured image courtesy of BET Networks.
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Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
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If there’s a President Barbie world, run by actress Issa Rae, then I absolutely want to live in it. The Insecure creator has had a fairytail trajectory from shooting her own YouTube series, Awkward Black Girl to becoming thatgirl on the big screen in this summer’s box office smash, Barbie. And while she easily has the most epic glow-up of our generation, the 38-year-old isn’t afraid to speak on the pressure she felt to be “Barbie-ready.”
In a recent interview with Glamour, Issa Rae opened up about her challenges with body image taking a toll on her preparation to play President Barbie following the end of her hit HBO series, Insecure.
“Right before [the role came to me], I was post-Insecure, post–Rap Sh!t, and post-the-final-season-of-Insecure-press-tour,” she recalls to the publication. “I was like, ‘Well, I'm going to let myself go. I'm eating everything.’ And then I got the call to do Barbie and was like, ‘Oh, no, I am not Barbie-shape ready.’”
Thankfully, Rae realized that the reimagined Barbie world that director Greta Gerwig was creating, reflected bodies of all shapes and sizes. “So, while I was still on my fitness journey, I felt less insecure about my Barbie body or lack thereof,” she says.
Rae’s “youthful, fun” and fresh take on the president is one that is inspired by the childhood version that she always envisioned. Growing up, she remembers how her mother and aunties making a point to give her Black Barbies made her “hyperaware” of her Blackness from an early age, which served as a gift in representation that she understood as she came of age.
“In some ways, I was made hyperaware of my Blackness because of how intense my mom and aunt were about, ‘We're giving you Black Barbies,” she shares. “They said, ‘It's important for you to play with dolls that look like you,’ which I didn't really understand. I was like, ‘Okay, more toys, thank you.’”
She continues, “I never played with Christie. I don't think I knew about Christie until later. It was just Barbie with blackface kind of, and it didn't necessarily have Black features. It didn't really mean anything to me until I got older and understood why it was so important for my mom and aunt for me to have this.”
What is expected to be a “self-aware” take on Barbie’s existential experience, the new Barbie movie imitates life in a way that represents the full spectrum of what Barbies of today would look like. With actresses like America Ferrera, Margot Robbie, and Alexandra Shipp all starting in the film, Rae emphasizes that no matter her shade or background there’s a Barbie in this Barbie world for you.
“Everyone in Barbie Land is a perfect Barbie. I found that so beautiful,” she says. “Almost everyone in the world is represented in some way here. That's not an easy piece. I'm sure someone might be like, ‘Where am I?’ But know that there was such an effort made to have Barbie Land be inclusive.”
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Featured image by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Shipt