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‘Being Mary Jane’ satisfies with long-awaited season four premiere

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Arts & Entertainment Reporter

JANUARY 11, 2017

Leave it to Mary Jane to ring in the new year with a new job, a new attitude and a new perspective on love — with the help of a professional matchmaker. The hopeless romantic, played by acclaimed actress Gabrielle Union, made her triumphant return to BET’s award-winning drama “Being Mary Jane” on Tuesday and did not disappoint!

Set one year after the season three finale following the wrongful assault of her unarmed niece by a police officer, season four of “Being Mary Jane” picks up with Mary Jane acclimating to her high-profile job in New York City as a reporter for morning news and talk show Great Day USA. In previous seasons, Mary Jane served as an esteemed anchor at cable news station SNC in Atlanta prior to her termination of employment for defending her niece and ruffling the feathers of network executives by denouncing police brutality and racial profiling on-air. With New York City as her oyster, nothing says ‘a fresh start’ better than conquering the Big Apple and working in America’s leading television market.

One establishing shot from the premiere features Mary Jane strutting the hallway of her new workplace toward a cheerful crowd of New Yorkers, then cuts to the stunning New York City skyline. A dauntless reporter, Mary Jane delivers the kind of charm in her morning broadcast that would give Tamron Hall a run for her money. Her undeniable charm, however, is met with pungent shade from her idol and Great Day USA veteran lead anchor Ronda Sales, played by Tony-nominated actress Valarie Pettiford. Like a bulldozer, the tenacious journalist manages to annihilate Mary Jane’s aspirations of assuming her chair at the news desk without batting an eyelash. Though Mary Jane has taken up residence in the “City of Dreams,” it may not be long before Sales becomes her worst nightmare.

Between falling for a married man and stealing sperm from an on-and-off lover who conceived a baby with another woman, Mary Jane is in dire need of a new beginning in love. Opting for a brief moment of pleasure instead, the accomplished journalist pursues a steamy hookup with an attractive stranger she meets at a nightclub.

Fiercely rocking red heels — to the tune of Beyoncé’s “6 Inch,” no less — Mary Jane leads her unacquainted guest from the club to her hotel room in an attempt to make him her “last casual encounter” before finding her future husband. As fate would have it, this mysterious gentlemen is Lee Truitt, a successful stand-up comedian from the U.K. Much to Mary Jane’s dismay, Truitt, played by the handsome Chiké Okonkwo, sweeps the broadcaster off her feet with enough promise and gratifying charisma to fulfill Mary Jane’s marital desires.

Each episode of “Being Mary Jane” opens with a typewritten quote from a prolific figure that caters to an individual theme. Season four opened with a thought-provoking quote from American poet Robert Frost that perfectly captured Mary Jane’s constant yearning for love. Frost’s quote reads, “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” Bringing the Pulitzer Prize recipient’s profound statement to life, the newest episode finds the protagonist gazing longingly into Lee’s eyes while solemnly requesting that he confess his love for her during their one-night fling. In typical “Being Mary Jane” fashion, the journalist’s eternal quest for love continues — if to no satisfying avail.

Much like Stella from the timeless classic “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” Mary Jane is on a mission to reclaim her groove this year in the city that never sleeps. Under the direction of a new production team and new showrunner Erica Shelton Kodish, season four of “Being Mary Jane” is shaping up to be a joyride of love, redemption and epic proportions.

Contact Jordan Joyner at [email protected].

JANUARY 10, 2017

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