Do you watch Jane the Virgin on The CW? You probably don’t. It’s on a network still aiming to shed it’s immature vibe and has an admittedly silly (yet wonderful) title. However, you should be watching, and as a Film and TV student here at BU, I feel it my duty to encourage you to do so.
Why You Should Watch It:
1. A BU COM alumna is on the writing team. I saw her speak at BU last year and we bonded over the fact that we are both #TeamMichael. Her name is Corinne Brinkerhoff and she is my idol.
2. It’s based off a telenovela and plays with the genre in a super fun way.
3. Gina Rodriquez, who plays Jane, won a Golden Globe for her performance. It was well-earned; she is funny, charismatic and charming on the show and she never misses a beat. In addition, she is beautiful, but she doesn’t look the way you may expect a female lead to look. She is Latino and she is not a tall, blonde rail. She is healthy (and she always looks great in her cute dresses ugh I love her) and if you follow her on Instagram, you can see that she’s super powerful from her love of kickboxing!! Really though, they make Jane above average in her personality, work ethic, and commitment to her beliefs, not because she looks more like a Barbie doll than everyone else watching at home. Gina portrays this character beautifully, and her performance is one that no one should miss.
4. Hot guys. But not typical hot guys! Let me explain.
4A. Brett Dier, who plays Jane’s friend and ex-fiance Michael, is goofy hot. It is impossible NOT to fall in love with his charm and quirkiness and he can give hope to guys everywhere who may not look like Ryan Gosling.
4B. Justin Baldoni. Ok, he looks as good as Ryan Gosling. He’s the typical male model type, but the fact that he looks perfect makes up for it. His appearance also works perfectly with his character — his behavior stems a lot from how he may have been treated because of his looks, and others also expect him to be a playboy because of it. He defies a lot of those silly stereotypes by becoming a genuine guy, and as the sperm-donor of Jane’s baby (sorry, are my random hints about the plot confusing? Don’t let it intimidate you!) he definitely has a lot of touching moments in the show. He rocks.
4C. Jaime Camil is a Mexican silver FOX and I want to hang out with him very badly. In my opinion he is the funniest part of the show. He plays Jane’s telenovela-star father who was out of her life until recently, and throughout the season he and Jane’s mother were potentially falling back in love. Gasp! Such a telenovela. Anyway, he’s sexy and he knows it, and he contributes beautifully to the generational aspect of the show.
5. Enough about hot guys, because even though they’re there, this show centers around the bond of three women. A grandmother, her daughter, and her daughter, to be precise, and they all live together to make the happiest of families. Jane’s mother Xiomara (how pretty is that name?) had Jane very young, but that didn’t stop the women from raising her to be a bright and balanced woman. Now they share a bond of friendship, support and understanding, and the way they handle battles together is inspiring. If you like empowered women, you’ll love them. If you like sentimental mother-daughter relationships, you’ll love them. If you love families, you’ll love them. If you love happiness, you’ll love them.
6. THE PLOT. All I’ll say is that it has an absurd premise of a girl artificially inseminated by a heartbroken lesbian. If I try to continue, you’ll think I’m insane. Somehow the writers created a twisted and constantly turning story, reflecting those of telenovelas, and made it a) understandable, b) riveting, c) tasteful, and d) incredibly high quality story telling. There isn’t a weak moment on Jane the Virgin, even when you think, “WHAT? HOW?” The strength of the characters drives each absurd addition and allows the audience to enjoy every moment, without scaring us away with its complexity. GENIUS I say!
7. THE PROGRESSIVE ASPECTS OF THE PLOT. The plot includes issues of gay marriage, highlighting that a lesbian character on the show is only able to marry in some states. After the Senate decision about national same-sex marriage, the writers tweeted the screenshot from that episode and remarked that they were VERY happy that that statement was now inaccurate. How cool.
They also deal with the issue of immigration, for Jane’s grandmother is not technically legal in the country. They touch on Christianity in the most subtle, interesting way, and they of course brought abortion into the mix while somehow avoiding an uproar. Although the show is not about a Latino family, it is about a family who is Latino, and the cultural insight that comes with the show is refreshing and necessary. Needless to say, the show does not shy away from social issues near and dear to our hearts, and it does so in a manner that seems to avoid major conflict!
After a near perfect first season of killer acting and a stunningly crafted plot, not to mention a gorgeous AND human-looking cast, we can confidently expect a brilliant ride with the second. I want this show to succeed and I want you to help me make it happen. Tune in Monday 9/8 central or find it on Hulu, and if you like it or dislike it, reach out to me and let me know! The only thing I love as much as watching Jane the Virgin is talking about it.