Forgive me father, for I have sinned. Instead of taking the time to prepare for finals I spent the last two days binge-watching the CW hit-series Jane the Virgin. And I am positively surprised, because it is so much better than I could have imagined. Here are ten reasons why you should put your life on hold for a day or two and catch up!
1. It offers a compelling main story.
The main story of the series revolves around Jane Gloriana Villanueva, a 23-year old virgin that ends up pregnant due to an accidental artificial insemination. To be honest, the premise scared me off at first, it sounds too cliché and, after all, it’s a CW production. Not a very promising combination. But the realization on screen just works. It warms my heart to accompany Jane on her maternal journey. And even the love triangle seems to work for this show. Am I Team Rafael or Team Mike?
2. The subplot is actually interesting as well.
As it often happens on television, the main plot may be a strong one, but the boring minor storylines fade into the background. Not so on Jane. Apart from having an unplanned baby with Rafael, the man she had a crush on 5 years ago, Jane also gets to know her father, a famous telenovela star. Her mother is kind of dealing with his presence too, and Rafael is busy getting rid of his wife, who brings along her own set of baggage. There are murders happening, too. So. Much. Happening.
3. It gives us three-dimensional characters.
We have a wide range of different characters to choose from, and most of them are, in their own way, quite loveable. Jane is especially well-written. She is strong, confident, and goes after her dreams, she accepts her pregnancy but will not let it dictate her life. Even the manipulating, spawn-of-the-devil Petra/Natalie, or the often confusing and emotionally unstable Luisa have a way of getting to our hearts. I can’t think of a single character that I am tired of, at this point of the show, and that is really impressive.
4. Three generations of Villanueva women.
Something that impressed me from the beginning was the relationship between Jane, her mother Xiomara and her grandmother Alba. The connection these three women have reminds me of some of the best family-series in history (very Gilmore indeed) and I love it. They are infuriating, heart breaking and hilarious. It’s a divine combination.
5. Gina Rodriguez is an actual cupcake.
Okay, so not an actual cupcake, but she is definitely just as sweet. She is also a truly inspiring role model that fights to make a cultural change through the arts. “I am not defined by the fact that my parents speak Spanish or that my skin color is brown. I’m defined by my character, and my character is a strong woman that’s independent, that’s following her dreams, that wants love, that wants a family, that wants to succeed just like anybody else in this world.” Also, check out her emotional acceptance speech at the Golden Globes below. I dare you not to cry.
6. The importance of faith, the role of Religion.
These days, contemporary shows barely ever include any religious aspects, or if they do, they over-do it. What’s refreshing about Jane is that they do not push religion onto their characters, their never-ending faith seems natural. It integrates itself really nicely into the story arcs. I also really admire Jane’s wish to stay a virgin until marriage, even though she is pregnant. You go, Jane.
7. There is definitely a cultural exchange happening.
If you’re tired of TV-shows about good-looking rich white people – understandably so – this show will be a breath of fresh air. The people are still good-looking, but I am not one to complain about that. The characters bring on some Latino heat, which I truly enjoy. BUT if you feel slightly overwhelmed by regular Spanish television like overly dramatic telenovelas, don’t let that scare you off.
8. Rogelio de la Vega for presidente.
Jane takes up the telenovela cliché, but with a humorous twist. Jane’s father is everything you’d expect of the chliché telenovela star – loud, dramatic, a little fake, and pretty much in love with himself. He delivered some of my favorite moments of the show, because he is just a joy to watch. He makes you cry with laughter, but don’t underestimate the relationship with his daughter, it will pull on your heartstrings.
9. Learning and improving your Spanish skills.
I am not even kidding with this one. Jane’s grandmother Alba only ever talks Spanish, and thankfully we are offered subtitles. While I am not someone who speaks Spanish, the contact with the language does give me a feeling for it. I always believe that if you want to learn a language or improve your language skills, watching TV can actually be very helpful. All the Spanish I know at this point I have learned from Breaking Bad, Dora and Jane.
10. And the story is not over yet.
At this point it seems like Jane has made her decision, to be with Rafael and raise the baby with him. But we all know that this won’t be the end of Jane The Virgin. There will be at least another 28494 twists, just before the baby is born, which will keep Jane, Rafael and Mike on their toes. We also have yet to find out who Sin Rostro is, and whether Rafael is really involved with him. What will happen to Petra and her devious mother? And what about Rogelio and Xiomara? Again, so much happening! Thankfully we are only halfway through the current season, and season 2 has already been confirmed!
Tune in to Jane The Virgin, Mondays at 9/8ct on The CW!
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