The problem with Jane the Virgin is the title -it didn’t provide any incentive for me to actually watch the show. My immediate assumption was that it was some silly teen comedy grappling with a drawn out ‘will she or won’t she’ debate. Except that in the show poster she’s holding a positive pregnancy test, which in my mind meant they were giving everything away: she will, and did, and fell pregnant. Big whoop. MTV’s already saturated this market with ’16 and Pregnant’ and ‘Teen Mom’. I ended up watching the show because I had already watched everything else on TV (that happens when you’re unemployed), and oh how I was mistaken. Jane the Virgin has started it’s third season, and minor spoiler alert: Jane is still a virgin. So the title makes sense then, I guess.
Jane the Virgin focusses on Jane and her family. Jane is no silly teenager, in fact, she’s goal-oriented, a meticulous planner and list maker who happens to have a penchant for romance. Watching telenovelas is a family bonding activity in Jane’s home, an escape from her normally diligent and level-headed life. Said life then becomes pure craziness, through no fault of her own and even if you didn’t count the lesbians and love triangles, there’s more drama than you think could possibly fit into one episode.
I would describe Jane the Virgin as ‘a play on a telenovela’ because it is incredibly far-fetched, but in the most refreshing way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a drama person and refuse to watch Grey’s Anatomy, but Jane the Virgin has such a great balance of comedy and a style that is so different that it easily draws you in.
Gina Rodriguez, who plays Jane, is just everything. I’m not a professional film critic, I’m just a lazy person who loves to watch movies and TV rather than going outside. So I can tell you if things are good or bad based on personal experience of watching all the TV, but I don’t generally take notice of specific performances. Gina Rodriguez changed that for me. She is such an incredible actress and has actually blown me away.
Even though this show is about three generations of women, including a supportive mother who fell pregnant as a teen and wants better for her overly-responsible daughter, a la Gilmore Girls. I commend the CW on bringing us great shows that focus on women.
Jane the Virgin touches on certain topics such as immigration and (most recently) abortion, without trying too hard. It’s done in a very approachable, non-offensive and realistic way that’s relatable to the characters as well as the audience. The abortion discussion in particular was in collaboration with Planned Parenthood and was handled so masterfully that you actually barely notice it. Again I was expecting a long will-she-or-won’t-she decision making process, but they cut straight to the point that women are allowed to make their own choices.
These tough topics are just the exceptions however, and most of the drama can actually be described as ‘fun’. The show is incredibly entertaining, has an amazing narrator who provides tons of comic relief, and is just different from anything I’ve seen on TV. I highly recommend that if you haven’t seen Jane the Virgin, make it your binge watch of the weekend.
What do you think of Jane the Virgin? Have you been watching it? Let us know in the comments below.