Mary + Jane: “Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1)

Weed lacks a rich and varied tapestry in television. Generally speaking, we’ve seen two kinds of potheads on TV: we’ve got our Cheech and Chongs, and our Stringers and Avons. That is to say, we either have our idiot comic relief or our criminals. With marijuana becoming as mainstream (and legal) as it is, I hope to see more than two common cliches roaming our channels.

Women have been experiencing a surge of attempts at equality. Broad City put women in the role of a pot smoking, slightly raunchy, duo. Mary + Jane attempts to do the same.

It did not.

The Characters

Like everything else in Hollywood, the titular characters aren’t real. Best friends named Mary and Jane would be too on the nose. What we have are Paige (Jessica Rothe) and Jordan (Scout Durwood).

Paige is not what you’d expect from someone who smokes as often as she does. She’s anxiety-ridden, precise, and a little uptight. She’s the “straight man” in this odd couple. Without her, this weed delivery service they built together would not survive.

Jordan, of course, is the opposite. She’s laid-back and more than a little messy, yes, but she also has an excessive amount of sex. Laid-back was maybe not the right choice of words; Jordan is relaxed, yet wild.

The Conflict

Paige and Jordan have to make it in LA. For a couple of women with a new business, that is exactly as hard as it sounds. Selling drugs, even mostly legal ones, is a cutthroat business. What these chicks need is some kind of advertising boost—a lighthouse to cut through the purple haze of the competition. They need a “Green Fifteen.”

The Green Fifteen belongs to a … blog? Well, anyway, it’s a publication’s listing of the top fifteen weed delivery services in LA. If only Paige and Jordan could crack that list, then they’d be swimming in cash.

The Criticism

Mary + Jane brings women together with weed on television. This idea isn’t fresh. Broad City has been doing it for longer, and doing it better. Weeds did it first, and still did it better than Mary + Jane.

Being unoriginal is not a sin. Being poorly written is. The bare bones of this series has promise, though: the acting is above par, at least.

I am not the target audience here. I have to respect that, while I am open-minded, women who partake on the regular might identify very heavily with these characters. The show has some laughs that I won’t overlook.

The Conjecture

I can’t imagine it would take longer than a season for the ladies to actually crack the Green Fifteen, but I have an even harder time imagining Mary + Jane can last that long.

Snoop Dogg produces the show. If he’s not doing anything else, I’m sure he can afford a cameo or two.

The Conclusion

While Mary + Jane won’t blow any minds, I can hope it will offer a feminist primer to those trying to find a show to get high to. While the pilot didn’t do it for me, given the right set of hydroponics (read: more interesting writing), this series could grow on me.High Maintenance, another show premiering this season, offers a completely different story style and the premise is instead of a man delivering weed. It might not be a female-driven cast, but it is better written.

If you’re interested in the series, Mary + Jane airs Mondays on MTV. If you’d like to see what else Cody is watching, you can check his Trakt page to keep up-to-date with all of his shows.

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