Mary + Jane 10 p.m., MTV
“Mary + Jane” is a new MTV series about two women who deliver weed — excuse me, two women who, as they put it in polite company, run a “legal prescription delivery service.” It’s a true — ahem — buddy comedy. The show, premiering on Monday, aims to be as lovably kooky and sister-powerful as “Broad City.”
The action is set in LA, where our ganja-preneurs, Paige (Jessica Rothe) and Jordan (Scout Durwood), are trying to make a living. They room together, deliver together, and cope with some fierce competition — particularly from a frenemy named Tanya, but also from a creep whose business, Pot Holder, is soaring after he managed to get his photo taken with weed icon Seth Rogen.
The show is about the weed business only tangentially; the real focus is on Paige and Jordan, their bond, the LA silliness all around them, and their dog, Daniel Day-Lewis, also known as DDL, whose thoughts are revealed to us in subtitles.
Paige is the more innocent and responsible one — she’s blond, of course — the one who sorts all the product while Jordan is out carousing. Jordan is omnisexual and, in episode two, is having an affair with both members of a very wealthy couple. Together, they hop from restaurant to restaurant and client to client looking something like Britney Spears and Joan Jett on holiday.
The show features some sharp — if not entirely original — satire of LA, including an air-kissy woman who talks in text-speak, wears a T-shirt that says “Some Band You’ve Never Heard Of,” and humblebrags with lots of vocal fry. At one point, Paige and Jordan go to an absurd hipster restaurant named MNNA that serves only dry toast — no butter, no jams, no coffee. If you take a photo there, you get booted by a fierce server, not unlike the Soup Nazi on “Seinfeld.” The price: $14 per slice.
The writing is good, with jokes that come back around and with some spikily amusing cultural observations; but the relationship at the center of all the action is missing an important element: chemistry. Rothe and Durwood are likable as Paige and Jordan, but they don’t fit together organically as best friends. Their pairing feels a bit networky and prefab, a touch like the women in “Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23” or in “2 Broke Girls.” And that friendship, that sustaining bond between these two women, is a critical element on the show, the real point of it beyond all the comedy and cannabis.