Mean Betty on Jada Pinkett-Smith and the Power of the Rumor Mill

Are rumors responsible for the cancellation of Jada Pinkett-Smith's show 'HawthoRNe'? Meanie puts on her detective hat and investigates.

Mean Betty on Jada Pinkett-Smith and the Power of the Rumor Mill

Are rumors responsible for the cancellation of Jada Pinkett-Smith’s show HawthoRNe? Meanie puts on her detective hat and investigates.

-Mean Betty

Jada and Marc

Kittens, brace yourselves, for Meanie has some terrible news for you: TNT, that venerable network which claims to “know drama” like no one else, has recently informed the world that HawthoRNe is no more. Gasp! Surely not! Can it be? Alas, it is! The hour-long medical drama about the saintly nurse Christina Hawthorne, as played by the lovely Jada Pinkett-Smith, has been given the axe, making the third season’s finale the final episode for the entire series. A cliffhanger! Tragedy! Now we’ll never know what happens next!

Although, kittens, Meanie has a confession for you: She never actually watched the show. Meanie doesn’t know about you, but she prefers lighter fare over her evening cocktails. But even so, Meanie finds the cancellation of the show fascinating, because she just can’t help but wonder: Doesn’t the timing of it seem a wee bit… fortuitous?

Consider: In July, gorgeous couple Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez spilt (Meanie is still crying over that one). Then, in August, rumors abounded that for Will Smith and Jada, there was trouble in paradise. Now, Meanie isn’t terribly good with math, but from what she can see, the common denominator here is HawthoRNe, which featured both Jada and Marc—and lo and behold, shortly after the whispers about dear Will and darling Jada began rustling in Meanie’s ear, a bomb dropped declaring that Jada and Marc were– ahem– carrying on; and that furthermore, it was this hanky-panky between costars that led to Will’s and Jada’s problems. Stories flew fast and furious: Will found out second-hand! Will caught them in action! Will was seen sobbing his poor little heart out about it! Of course, all of these rumors are unsubstantiated; the butler doesn’t even know the juicy truth behind the gossip, and believe Meanie, kittens, Meanie’s butler knows ALL the juicy truths behind the gossip (it’s one of the qualities that makes him such a marvelous butler in the first place). But rumors have a nasty habit of sticking around, and these rumors have proved no different.

Read Mean Betty on Punching Matthew Fox in the Face

It’s true that HawthoRNe has been a troubled show from the beginning; Meanie may not have watched it, but she does know that in spite of its first season having received largely negative reviews (not even the pool boy liked it, and he isn’t known for his especially discerning taste), it somehow managed to chug on for two more season like the Little Engine That Could. But apparently, this little engine really couldn’t, which no doubt led to the decision to yank it without so much as a by-your-leave. But when Meanie considers the circumstances surrounding the cancellation, she can’t help but think that perhaps the higher-ups at TNT were getting a teensy bit nervous about the hullabaloo concerning Marc, Jada, and Will. Perhaps they worried that all of this negative press about the show’s stars would cause it to lose its precious audience, which (let’s face it) was already too small to begin with. Was all of the tabloid drama the final nail in HawthoRNe’s proverbial coffin? It’s doubtful that TNT will ever tell us for certain, but Meanie remains convinced that the timing of the announcement is no coincidence.

Of course, Meanie might just be overindulging her inner conspiracy theorist. Still, though, it could happen… right, kittens?



Mean Betty


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0 thoughts on “Mean Betty on Jada Pinkett-Smith and the Power of the Rumor Mill

  1. I actually think the gossip would have increased the shows ratings so no, I don’t think that’s why they yanked the show. It may not be exciting, but the most likely reason is that they needed to make room in the schedule for a new show and HawthoRNe’s ratings just weren’t up to snuff.

  2. I think I accidentally deleted my whole comment. I will start over. IF Mean Betty had watched the show, she would know exactly why it was cancelled. The first two seasons, while not at the level of some of the other TNT shows, were warm and delightful to the fans. The characters were well drawn, likable, involving and excellently acted. Plots were always a problem, however, but the show’s good points made up for them. The show blazed with understated diversity points and willingness to take on serious problems, like the unfairness of the health insurance industry. There was a huge fan base for the central relationshp of the show between Pinkett-Smith’s character and Michael Vartan’s character. Their chemistry was fantastic, their relationship was well grounded and complex and their acting was sublime. And any woman with a pulse knows what wonders Michael Vartan can do as the devoted, caring love interest. Fans were constantly filling the show’s threads with their hopes and fears for the couple. Then came Season 3. Pinkett-Smith talked loud and long on promos about a “love triangle” and things getting dark and “messy,” Well, did they ever. A big reveal at the end of Season 2 (Pinkett-Smith’s character was pregnant) had people hoping and exulting that maybe a wedding would happen. It did, right off the bat, first episode of the 3rd season. And in the same episode, tragedy struck and the title character proceeded to lose her mind and all strength and caring she’d demonstrated the previous two seasons. The “love triangle” with Marc Anthony’s character took over the show with dark and unsympathetic developments. His character’s presence,let alone his actions and the lead character’s reactions to them made no sense to anybody – except the Marc Anthony fans who suddenly appeared on the boards. Worse, women of color had been thrilled to have Jada Pinkett-Smith heading her own show and presenting an admirable, caring, ethical (sometimes over-ethical!) woman to counter negative stereotypes. In Season 3, all this was smashed and did not ever resolve positively. Pinkett-Smith’s character cheated on her brand new husband, earning her the “ho” label from her own fans, and treated him like dirt. Not only did it NOT MAKE SENSE with the first two seasons, it was extremely unpleasant and unentertaining to watch. Viewers disappeared by the thousands (actually a million or more at least) and it surprised no one that the show was not renewed.

  3. It is of my personal opinion that TNT allowed the timing of the cancellation of HawthoRNe to create a catch 22 of sorts. Sort of a ‘gotcha!’ lesson as payback for both Jada and Marc. Hollywood is notorious for its double standards, and Will Smith is in fact an ordained ‘golden child..’ of the Hollywood, and i kind of think the powers that be kind of stood in Will’s corner and placed a cease and decist order on the frolicking that his wife was able to enjoy on the set of her own TV show.

    Call me cynical – if you must.

  4. TENNISPRO said it all. Jada’s character went from Oprahesque to ‘ho’ for no explicable reason. I couldn’t figure if the writers changed or what happened. Perhaps they were trying to reach the preteen crowd? It made absolutely no sense. After two seasons of building the relationship between Jada and Vartan, fans were invested in that relationship but Hawthorne suddenly cheats on her husband IN A PUBLIC PLACE about a week after the wedding? I felt I’d wasted two yrs watching Jada/ Vartan’s relationship grow and as Tennispro stated, Vartan is the best at portraying dedicated love. When he left Alias, the show became downright depressing.I don’t see how anyone would be surprised if fans deserted Hawthorne in droves. My head is still reeling at the strange turn in Hawthorne’s behavior/personality– how insulting to viewers.

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