Being Mary Jane is a just-over-an-hour-long pilot movie created by a pair of BET veterans, the husband and wife team of director Salim Akil and writer Mara Brock Akil, both of whom have worked on the shows The Game and Girlfriends. In addition, they were responsible for last month's remake of the film Sparkle.
Being Mary Jane stars Gabrielle Union as the host of a news talk show on a CNN-like network, and her various trials and tribulations: dysfunctional family, work drama, and of course, finding a man.
|Mara Brock Akil & Salim Akil
The relationship stuff got the biggest rise out of the audience - Mary Jane has a very, shall we say, healthy sex drive, even when there's not a man around - but I was more interested in the work and family stuff.
There's nothing particularly new or different about Being Mary Jane aside from the black angle, but I can appreciate the fact that it attempts to fill a niche. In the post-screening Q-and-A, Brock Akil made clear how much it means to her.
|L-R: Union, Brock Akil & Tika Sumpter at the Q-and-A
She also praised her director husband Akil's contribution, saying that she needed him to help her tell this story. "Part of our love affair is our art," she said in describing their working relationship. It was announced last night that the Akils signed a deal with Paramount Pictures, so it appears that that relationship will continue to flourish.