TV: Jane The Virgin, Season 1 (2014)

Jane the Virgin

The American telenovela you should be watching…

I have to fess up. At my job I heard the advertisement for this series over and over and over multiple times a day for about 9 months before the show even premiered. Jane’s audio clip of “But I’ve never had sex,” became so embedded in my brain I figured I had to watch if for nothing else but to make fun of the flimsy premise it presented. A devoutly religious girl becoming artificially inseminated sounded like the set up for a one-trick pony (and a lawsuit to boot).

Courtesy of scenariosusa.org

Courtesy of scenariosusa.org

To my surprise, it was instead a great piece of comedy with a cast that you cannot help but fall in love with. Not only that but every episode presents an overall theme that will help the characters grow and sometimes even give the audience insight or a new perspective depending on the topic discussed. So without spoiling anything here’s why Jane the Virgin is defiantly worth taking a look at.

To get this out of the way the events leading up to Jane becoming pregnant are actually believable and yes, there is a lawsuit so the show doesn’t ask its audience to completely suspend their disbelief. To those of you rolling your eyes thinking, “Well, the only reason she’s keeping this baby is because she’s a devout catholic,” there’s more to it. The show does not shy away from discussing abortion so don’t expect this to be promoting a religious pro-life message. While first and foremost a comedy that follows a telenovela (a Spanish-speaking soap opera in laymen’s terms) format, the show also tackles some pretty serious subjects and includes a whole murder-mystery subplot tied to an underground drug lord Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Courtesy of www.voiceoftv.com

Courtesy of www.voiceoftv.com

I think above all the most endearing feature is the show’s cast. After all Gina Rodriguez did earn several awards and while she has the most demanding job, creating a main character the audience can fall in love with and root for, her co-stars deliver formidable performances. Since the cast is rather large and explaining why they’re all so wonderful could potentially leak out a spoiler, I’m just going to focus on Jane and her family—sorry Michael and Rafael…

One of the big themes of the show is family and how the women create support and strength for one another.  Jane was raised by her mother, who had Jane as a teenager and her very religious grandmother. Both women delivering great performances; the audience can really tell they are Jane’s rock, her support group that when all else goes wrong, they will be there. The women may butt heads on occasion but at the end of the day you know they’ve got each other’s back—thus giving us a really positive presence of women on screen.

Courtesy of www.tvguide.com

Courtesy of www.tvguide.com

Early on we do find out who Jane’s father is, and let’s just say he delivers some of the show’s most hilarious one liners. I feel given his character you will either love or hate him, I’m totally for him but I see how others could find his personality narcissistic and overbearing. Regardless, he’s peppered into the series in such a way that I think over time he will grow on you.

One final word is I would say the show is more appropriate for older high school students and up. I’d say younger age groups would lack the maturity and understanding to really get into the show. There are implied sex scenes, but you will not find full on nudity as this show is aired on network TV. I like to watch the show with my mom (then again I also watch Game of Thrones and True Blood with her) but what I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t really have scenes that will make you blush (too much) if that sort of thing is of concern to you.

Courtesy of cwtv.com

Courtesy of cwtv.com

Actually I’d recommend watching it with a mom or other relative since it ties into the themes of the show. I think some men might find some of it cheesy, especially in the beginning but I recommend that they have a little bit of patience. The two lead males are pretty relatable in terms of how they handle the situations they go through.  So go make yourselves some popcorn, sit back and tune in to Jane the Virgin on the CW, Hulu, or Amazon. You should get to it to catch up in time for the approaching finale, which is scheduled to be on May 22nd unless the first season exceeds 22 episodes in which case the internet lied to me…

 

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About Heather Nichols

Heather is an all-around entertainment buff (with the exception of male-dominated Westerns), though she has a special affinity and encyclopedic knowledge of all things Japanese: J-Horror, Anime, Manga, and above all Miyazaki films.

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