March 12, 2012
By Hasan James, Editor-In-Chief, Root Magazine
In the year 2000, two young ladies from Inglewood, California took the music world by storm with their debut effort, “Thankful.” Out the gate their first single, “Shackles” became an instant radio smash, on the Billboard charts and the video was on heavy rotation on BET and MTV. In the 11 years since their debut, sisters Erica and Tina went from being single to married women, gave birth to seven children collectively, picked up three Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, over a dozen Stellar Awards, an NAACP Image Award, a Soul Train Award, a BET Awards and sold over 5 million albums.
Over the past weekend it was announced that CeCe Winans will be replacing Mary Mary on the fifth season of BET’s Sunday Best but as the saying goes, when one door closes…you know the rest! Mary Mary has always been known for reinventing themselves and continues to raise the bar for gospel music with their not only their music but their business acumen. Over the weekend I viewed the first two episodes of WeTV’s new reality show simply titled- Mary Mary and I must say it was indeed a great show that takes you on a journey in the lives of the two sisters that we would not normally see in this particular light.
In Episode 1, we get to see Mary Mary as Erica and Tina; sisters who don’t always see eye to eye but will do anything to see the other one happy. The sisters have to deal with balancing family life with stardom and everything in between. In the last trimester of her pregnancy, Erica tries to keep up with business as usual by being on the road going from performance to performance but will early contractions get in the way of them performing at one of the biggest shows of their career? Mitchell, the girls manager, is a no nonsense guy who pulls no punches, while Goo Goo, who has a big personality herself, is not only the stylist of the group but also their little sister. Mitchell makes no qualms about his feelings for Goo Goo and it’s no secret that if she was not the sister of Mary Mary, she would probably not have the job as their stylist. With that being said, family is the most important thing and it is quite evident when Thanksgiving almost didn’t happen…for Tina that is.
In Episode 2, the party continues and the Mary Mary brand is being put in jeopardy due to an upcoming 10 city tour. However, the problem is not the tour, but the fact that Erica is far along in her pregnancy, which may cause the tour to be cancelled. On the home front, Tina’s husband Teddy, confronts Tina about her appearance while she is not on the road, which causes Tina to be on the defensive. In another segment, Mitchell (the manager) confronts Tina about her weight and we all know Tina does not hold her tongue so let’s just say you just have to watch the show to see what happens.
Reality shows like Love and Hip Hop, Basketball Wives and Braxton Family Values are all very entertaining but can at times be a little obnoxious. Mary Mary, however, has a good balance of family life, a little drama and an element of surprise that will keep you tuned in from week to week.
Kudos to WeTV for giving us something positive, yet entertaining to look at, as this is a HUGE feat for gospel music.
Catch the first episode of Mary Mary on WeTV on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9PM.