Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bye Lisa

 
 
 
 
I had high hopes for the character, Lisa on Being Mary Jane. Her character was a perfect opportunity for BET to shed light on mental health issues in the black community; (spoiler alert!) but they just had to go and kill her.
 
First, I must admit that I have not seen any episodes of the current season. In an effort to save money and eliminate time wasters, I cancelled my cable and I haven't found a way to see Being Mary Jane for free, yet. I have only read recaps on VH1.com.
 
However that does not keep me from having and expressing my opinion.
 
In one of the first episodes of Being Mary Jane, they showed the lead character helping Lisa during a seeming suicide attempt. It appeared Mary Jane thought her friendship and love was enough to help Lisa. She didn't want to recognize that Lisa's condition was serious and needed professional attention.
 
I was so excited to see a character like Lisa on television. She was nuanced, layered, relatable and complicated. Yet, they never fully developed her storyline leaving many questions unanswered. We see glimpses of her jealousy for Mary Jane, a unrequited love, childhood sexual abuse and struggles with her religious beliefs. But it was just that, glimpses. I am disappointed that they did not develop her character over time.
 
Why were her religious beliefs so important to her? Why and how did her and Mary Jane maintain a friendship over such a long period of time? Who else knew about Lisa's illness and how did they relate to her because of it? When did her illness begin? Did she have a history of mental illness in her family?
 
I know the show is called Being Mary Jane but I think Lisa would have been a great supporting character. Maybe we will see her in flashbacks. Then again, that wish did not come true for Vernon played by Malik Yoba on Empire.

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