It was recently announced that BET’s “Being Mary Jane” will end with a two-hour movie this February and the upcoming season of CMT’s”Nashville” will be its last. Why?
In the case of “Being Mary Jane”, I place 75% of the blame on new executive producer Will Packer who replaced creators Mara Brock Akil and husband Salim Akil. (They are now producing the upcoming Black Lightning for the CW) Packer and team took a character that was socially conscious, career driven and family focused and turned her flaws into the focus of this last season. At first, it was cool to see Mary Jane advance into the world of network television, sparring with veteran journalist Rhonda Sales (played beautifully by Valarie Pettiford) and bumbling through her first few weeks with her bestie Kara on the job. What ruined my enjoyment was the way the writers turned Mary Jane into an immature superficial emotional mess. Mary Jane lost her childhood friend to suicide, the love of her life starts a family with someone else and instead of learning from all those experiences, the writers chose to take their fresh start and not explore growth for that character. It killed the show for me.
I loved “Nashville” when it was on ABC. I was lured by the rivalry between established artist Rayna James and young upstart on the rise, Juliette Barnes. I loved the relationship between Gunnar, Scarlett and Avery and their drive to make good music. There was a lot of drama but the stories were compelling. ABC cancelled it in 2015 and CMT quickly picked it up but not before producers replaced the show runner Dee Johnson with Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. Next thing you know, Rayna gets killed in a stalker plotline and the show shifted focus to a lot of new faces and the psychotic ramblings and antics of Juliette Barnes. Nashville was mired in too much drama and badly needed a dose of levity. CMT cancelled Nashville last week. It didn’t have to be this way.
NCIS has struggled since the passing of Gary Glasberg who ran the show for 5 years. I used to be a devout viewer but the chemistry of the cast is off due to the departure of Michael Weatherly and the addition of 3 new cast members. I’ve tried to warm up to Wilmer Valderamma but his character is so cocky and annoying, I just want to punch him in the face. Why does it matter when Law and Order SVU changed supporting cast members at least 4 times and no one bat an eye? Because nobody talks about the plot of any NCIS episode, but folks can remember a chilling story seen on Law and Order and have it be casual conversation at a party.
I’m really gonna miss Being Mary Jane. At least there’s season 2 of BET’s Rebel…I hope.