Black actresses occupy the lead role in a number of today’s popular television shows from “Scandal” to Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and The Have Nots.” So what makes BET’s new film and series, “Being Mary Jane,” different?

Writer Mara Brock Akil says what sets “Being Mary Jane” apart is her objective for the show. As the brains behind the anticipated film and series, Mara is not trying to “solve a problem” but rather explore a complicated conversation about what it really means to be an independent, successful and single black woman in the face of negative media reports about our relationships, looks, health and more.

The film, “Being Mary Jane,” which will air on BET on July 2nd at 10:30 PM EST, is receiving critical acclaim for its candid look at the highs and lows of Mary Jane’s personal and professional life. Several writers who attended the screenings in major cities across the country gave glowing reviews about the film.

Renae Bluitt of In Her Shoes said:

“Mary Jane is beautiful, successful and really working hard to better herself. We see that from her sticky notes. Her vulnerability is awesome. […] What I loved is that from the outside looking in, she has it all together but you dig into her personal space, you can see that she’s a work in progress.”

Jessica C. Andrews of Glamazons Blog wrote:

“What I love most about “Being Mary Jane” is that it gives an honest, relatable portrayal of black women as multi-dimensional humans and not caricatures. Gabrielle Union‘s character is flawed, layered, complex and dynamic. Like most women, she seamlessly wears multiple hats: the caring daughter, the wise older sister, the powerful news anchor, the insecure lover who longs for a steady relationship and the enlightened woman on a constant quest toward self-improvement. It’s amazing to see Mary Jane occupy all those roles (sometimes concurrently) all the while trying to discover who she is and what she truly wants out of life.”

Luvvie Ajayi of Awesomely Luvvie shared:

“Gabrielle Union was great as MJ, not just because she plays sassy better than most but she has this girl next door quality that worked for the character. Powerful but painfully lonely, and sick of being the person everyone leans on without someone she can lean on herself. I think we all know a couple of MJs (or we might be her ourselves). The character had more depth than Miss Attitude ALLATAHM so I appreciated that (she had some real breakdown moments).”

If Mary Jane is as fascinating and relatable as these insiders describe her, the film and series is definitely worth tuning into. What are your thoughts, Clutchettes?

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