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Tara Ariano

S02.E02: Freedom

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Mary Jane's plans for an anxiety-free weekend go awry when Mark asks her to be his "beard" during an unexpected visit from his parents. In other events, Mary Jane's interview of a teen sex worker makes her re-evaluate her relationship with Niecy.

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Loved the scene with David's dad, and his response to his son not telling him that he was gay. Can't remember exact words, but Dad said something to the effect that he thought he raised him to be a better man, than to be dishonest, especially with his dad about who he really is.

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I'm on the fence on Mark's coming out to his parents. It's one thing to be disappointed that he didn't trust them enough to be truthful, but I think that his father should've been more self-aware about it. You can't go around saying homophobic things and then wonder why your gay son would rather keep up a ruse than tell you about his sexuality. His "I'm a homophobe, so what?" attitude was off-putting.

While I agree that Mark shouldn't care, I get how it's easier said than done; especially since he was obviously close with his parents. I felt sorrier for his lover. I don't know how long they've been together, but having to make yourself scarce and be a secret is too much. It would've made more sense for his boyfriend to call him a coward and break up with him for that instead of the reason being that they only had a physical connection, but nothing else.

Edited by Sheenieb
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Another good episode!  I didn't expect Mark's father's reaction at all.  The homophobic part, yes.  But when he went on to say that he was disappointed about Mark not being honest with them, I was surprised by that.  And I'm happy anytime I see S. Epatha on my TV. Good piece of writing and acting in that scene.

 

I also liked the way the show handled the human trafficking story line.  I learned a lot more about the issue just from MJ's meeting with Polly, but I don't think it was overdone.  All of that seemed to go down realistically, even with MJ being totally clueless and thinking she could give the pimp a check for 20K.  What in the world?

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I'm a little lost about how the 15-year old sex slave made Niecy look better.  But, ha, MJ would have had Niecy installed at the LongTerm Inn America after the first night anyway.

 

Where did the hottie come from that was talking with Kara at the end?  And, wow, Kara.  "I hope that doesn't offend you"?  That business card was a gift you didn't deserve.

 

I don't know if stunningly beautiful women get away with all this stuff in real life, so they learn they don't have the same parameters as other people, and it becomes an escalating cycle. . .or whether it's just tv.

 

ETA:  I heart S. Epatha.

Edited by candall
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I was pretty appalled by Kara's behavior as well. But it falls in line with what we've been shown thus far. That's one thing that I love about this show - the people are imperfect. They make missteps - small AND enormous - they have insecurities, they're all trying to figure it out without it all being so "pat" in the end. I don't have to like the people to like the show and the bad behavior makes me like the show even more. I hope we have a lot of eps in this season!

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I like the show better this year--maybe it's the pace, maybe the writing is better or maybe I am just more patient with the characters. Mary Jane's insecurities feel real to me, not like the usual tv ones that are either plot advancers or clues the character is going way off the tracks or both.

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*****squeeeee!!!!!!!******Shug Avery!!!!!! So excited! I love her so much! And she looks fantastic! "Sista, you've been on my mind..." Whew, sorry! Color Purple flashbacks people.

Anyway, I'm really late to the party here, so please bear with me. (I tend to watch hard news, classic films or really bad reality tv. I lack the focus & concentration to follow scripted tv these days. I don't know why.) I was very impressed by all of the talented & accomplished Black actors on this show! They made a mistake by marketing this show as strictly a GU vehicle. I think I would have tuned in sooner if I had seen promos featuring some of the other actors. I have mixed feelings about who I *think GU is as a person in real life & that, perhaps unfairly, turned me off from watching this show sooner. :/

I really enjoyed what I just watched. Hopefully I can catch up to the plot threads & maintain my attention span long enough to get into this show.

Um....ahem....there's a lot of sex! (I already said I was late, people.) Did anyone else think that what'shername, the big girl (sidebar: her creamy smooth skin though!!! Gorgeous!) was a little too blase about opening the big drawer of dildos? And watching GU masterbate? Ew!

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The big girl is Mary Jane's niece and that was real nasty of her to rifle through Mary Jane's drawer and watch her surveillance videos.

 

Another thing: Niecy claimed to want to go to nursing school but was not trying to give Mary Jane the hormone injection.

 

Speaking of which, where did Cut Buddy come from? I hope Mary Jane doesn't end up pregnant, and from what it looks like, jobless.

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Is MJ written to be petty and unlikeable? If so - success.

 

I'm down for a flawed character...but Mary Jane seems to act out of desperation and immaturity, rather than being this  "empowered"  woman the show tries to convince us she is. MJ is supposed to depict an educated woman with career and family challenges -- but she sure doesn't represent me or my circle of friends. Not all black women get home, mope around, then hump their pillow at night.

 

She just acts so loss and clueless most of the time. (when she's not trying to "fix" Niecy)

 

This show makes me dislike Gabby as a person....

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I'm down for a flawed character...but Mary Jane seems to act out of desperation and immaturity, rather than being this  "empowered"  woman the show tries to convince us she is. MJ is supposed to depict an educated woman with career and family challenges -- but she sure doesn't represent me or my circle of friends. Not all black women get home, mope around, then hump their pillow at night.

I think that's the point of the character.  She isn't supposed to be likeable or relatable.  She has her mean, petty, spiteful side, and her moments when she's a good friend, daughter, aunt and sister.

 

My least favorite MJ trait is her constant quickness to put down her brothers.  They're a mess, yes, and she's the successful one, but she doesn't let them forget it.  Last week when Patrick mentioned that he was trying to get an apartment for Niecy and his grandchildren, she was snarky. I don't blame her for not approving of Junior's drug dealing, but she once again makes sarcastic comments, then has the nerve to try to bogart his invitation.

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Yeah, I'm always in the mood to be generous when someone tells me "You're going to give me something I want."   And then really begging:  "Seriously, you ARE going to do this for me!"

 

But as much as Mary Jane bugs me, this is one of the few shows I pause to check how much of the hour is left.  I always want it to go longer.  Tell me more!

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I noted this episode was directed by Regina King. I really like this show, I liked it even better when I made my self realize you don't have to like the lead character.

Not used to seeing leading character (okay black females) be soooo, whatever MJ is.

To me she is real I see bits and pieces  of women I know.

There are times you don't like them, and times you are spell-bound about how brilliant they are. You also see why they can't keep a man, they seem to gravitate toward men who are out of reach.

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Hey y'all. Did we give up on talking about this show? The new episode aired.

 

There hasn't been any new episode threads since the 2nd ep.  But I noticed that people made comments on the 3rd episode on this thread, so it looks like this is turning into an all episodes thread.

 

Loving the MJ/Niecy dynamic.  Both are right and wrong and many levels. 

 

Did Niecy do the do in MJs bed so that she could watch it later in the survellience camera?...

 

Also enjoyed them touching on the professional Latina perspective with her producer and her date.  When she snapped at him, for complimenting MJ about her immigration piece, and being a proud latino... felt like a very real coversation, and one I've never seen on TV before. 

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I'm not sure how to feel about Kara. I don't have an issue with her enjoying her job and being busy, but her saying that she doesn't date Latino men, and calling out Gael for being "a proud Latino" is making me pick up on some self-hatred.

 

Niecy was dead ass wrong for getting it in on her aunt's bed. Girl, you have your own guest room to do that in. Why MJ's bed? WTF. This is why I go back and forth with that girl. She tries, then backslides into messiness. It would be one thing to be messy like most 19 year olds, but she has two children, so she has to get it together faster than the rest of her peers.

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I'm not sure how to feel about Kara. I don't have an issue with her enjoying her job and being busy, but her saying that she doesn't date Latino men, and calling out Gael for being "a proud Latino" is making me pick up on some self-hatred.

 

I have so many friends of my own race who are exactly like this.  (Hell -- look at Mindy Kaling and her show.  One huge example for you.)  It honestly does hurt my feelings.  But it is so damn realistic.

 

I don't get why MJ takes Niecy's decisions and struggles (? are they struggles if Niecy's really happy with her life?  LOL) so personally.  I keep trying to picture being an aunt and how I would feel if I didn't agree with my nephews' or nieces' (Niecy = Niece LOL) choices.  I think it's pretty clear that the show is portraying MJ as resentful and jealous towards Niecy for having two kids (hence, the laughing while she injects herself while staring at the Bed of Post-Niecy's Lovemaking) but is that all there is?  Why is she so controlling and paternalistic towards her older brother's kid?  Is it that Niecy does not have a female role model aside from her and her grandmother?

Edited by Ms Blue Jay

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I'm not sure how to feel about Kara. I don't have an issue with her enjoying her job and being busy, but her saying that she doesn't date Latino men, and calling out Gael for being "a proud Latino" is making me pick up on some self-hatred.

 

Niecy was dead ass wrong for getting it in on her aunt's bed. Girl, you have your own guest room to do that in. Why MJ's bed? WTF. This is why I go back and forth with that girl. She tries, then backslides into messiness. It would be one thing to be messy like most 19 year olds, but she has two children, so she has to get it together faster than the rest of her peers.

Niecy is just trifling. She wouldn't have had to call the grandpa to come get her because I would have had her have her fuck buddy drop her off on his way home from screwing in my bed. Who raised that girl?

 

Who the hell is her mother and where the hell is she? I think that Mary Jane is on her case because she doesn't seem to have a mother figure except the mean old grandmother. She sympathizes with her on that part but also is tough with her because she's such a mess and moving in a trajectory that is on a reverse course from the one Mary Jane's father started them on. Everyone in that family is smart and has a college education, even if they've had some major stumbles/messiness like drug addition and/or drug selling but Niecy's life is one big mess, starting with having two baby daddy's by the age of 19, the latter of which she was extra excited about because his filipino heritage meant her baby would have "good hair." Remember that nonsense?

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You know how Previously sometimes does the poll on whether the audience liked the show that aired? I'm not sure if I would have done a thumbs up or down. It was interesting to say the least. I'm just not sure how I feel. Thank you all for posting though. I guess it left such an impression that I was circling this sight thinking, "Surely someone wants to talk about this. Surely someone else is feeling some kinda way."

 

So, starting with the Latina producer. Really?!!!! Really?!! Why is Gael continuing to even try to woo her. He seems so cute and nice and stable. She is so neurotic and self-hating. Now, look, I am the member of a minority group so I get trying to keep race out of life so you can get a piece of that dry/stale ass American pie, but her level of....whatever we would call it is unreal. I love that the show is showing this aspect of being a minority in the US though. Still, she gave Gael the business for her just being rude to him, again, and again. Can anyone say abusive, self-absorbed? Really. I know it is much more to it than this, but, this is a pretty clear indication of what living with her will be like for the rest of your life. You can't love everyone better. The chip on that chick's shoulder is more like a boulder. Run Gael!!

 

Niecy - Lord if she isn't the perfect caricature of how milinniels think and what is going on today with some young people. It is just stinking thinking. After7Only, I had not thought about the survelliance camera, sharp thinking though. I would not think she is above doing that. And, why did Travyon's dad look so young and unattractive, kinda Sean Kingston-ish. I was so proud of her sitting at the restaurant being tough with him, but I knew, I knew she was gonna fold. Here this guy hasn't seen or been around his kid for 2 years! And, I thought it was poetic and that more young girls should see that scene because it really drove home how she was stuck taking care of their kid while he was able to continue to live and go to school and do whatever the fuck he does while away. Her life is the culmination of the choices he made also. Wow! That was a good scene.

 

No David. Good. Now, I am so glad to see Gary Dourdan working. OMG, I'm so happy to see he may be getting his stuff together. As someone whose stuff is raggedy right now, I can judge. Oh, he doesn't look as hot as he used to, but the potential is still there. Yes! I'm not sure I want to see MJ with him though, romantically/sexually really. Anyone else feel like it will cheapen all the progress she's making and, in some weird way, Dourdan's comeback?

 

Everyone knows that dad that placates everyone. Moving on, nothing left. Oh, but alas, Neicy wouldn't be in my house until that full apology came. That is all.

 

P.S. Excuse the spelling issues; I haven't figured out spell check on here yet.

 


By the way, I never watched, but what is the deal with I guess The Mindy Project as it relates to the Latina scenes?

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Agreed, I'm sick of the trope where the woman in the room who is the biggest asshole to you , makes you pursue her even harder-- I've seen this on Sex and the City with Carrie Bradshaw time and time again.  Kara and Gael are that......

 

With respect to The Mindy Project, some people are complaining about Kara and her self-hating minority issues.  I find this attribute incredibly realistic not only in my personal life (I know a lot of women like this) but I also use the example of Mindy Kaling.  She's very proud of the fact that she only hires white love interests for her show. In 3 seasons, there's probably been 2 dozen of them at this point.  Two SEPARATE characters she dated on the show were played by actors who are brothers in real life!  Any time anyone asks why she never has men of colour on her show (besides the character of her brother) she basically responds with, if you don't like it, tough.   She finally had Larenz Tate and John Cho on at different points, probably to answer the criticisms, but they very clearly played men she was not dating.  This is just my opinion.  

Edited by Ms Blue Jay

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Niecy - Lord if she isn't the perfect caricature of how milinniels think and what is going on today with some young people. It is just stinking thinking.

The only place they dropped the ball with Neicy was the apology she blurted out when MJ walked in on her and babydaddy.  More likely there would have been:  "Oh, get over it. With the dry cleaning bill you rack up, one more bedspread isn't going to kill you."  (I have a young Neicy-type relative--been there, done that.)

 

If they're planning to have that guy come back and be all intrigued by the beautiful rude woman, I think they went too far with Kara.  She practically spit in his face.  FFS, have some self-respect, Montoya--the zombie apocalypse has not yet wiped out Atlanta.

Edited by candall

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I'm sorry but Gael seems very creepy and stalkerish.  Kara is an asshole to him but something in the leche ain't clean.  Nope.

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I sense that something isn't quite right with Gael; he felt serial killer-ish to me.

 

As for Mindy, maybe she prefers white men.  What's wrong with that?  Non white men date white women and it's all good.  Many TV shows will show black men with white women, that pairing seems to be fine but if black women go with white men, it's like..."alert the media!"  

 

I also find it strange that MJ hasn't been with a white man, considering her profession and income.  

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I think MJ totally under reacted to Niecy and her loser ex in her bed. I would've kicked her from here to Sunday, especially for trying to minimize it. The character has no redeeming qualities, just a selfish, disrespectful, ungrateful, ratchet beyotch. I wish she'd just go away.

 

I don't know about assuming Kara is self hating just because she said she doesn't date Latino guys. She may have had a bad experience, we aren't required to date our own race. I wouldn't say anyone that exclusively dates their own race hates all others.

Edited by BigBlueMastiff
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