I first discovered Jane the Virgin earlier this year, although I can’t quite remember how! It is a TV series based on a telenovela that premiered in October 2014 and began its second season a year later.
I am slightly unsure as how to best describe this show all the while making it sound good and not too naïve and far-fetched! It focuses on Jane, a young Catholic woman who has promised her religious grandmother to save herself for marriage. Jane is a fun and hard-working aspiring writer, working as a waitress in a hotel to pay for her studies. One day, she goes to see her gynaecologist for a routine pap smear and gets accidentally artificially inseminated instead, thus becoming a pregnant virgin.
While I find that the teaser doesn’t really do the show justice, I’ll let you watch it anyway so you can get a better idea of the general vibe:
Why I love Jane the Virgin
The initial premise is definitely far-fetched, which sets the scene for the rest of the series to date. The show relies heavily on elaborate schemes, multiple misunderstandings and riveting revelations. Each twist of fate is dramatic – thus staying true to the genre – and what I really like about this show is that it doesn’t take itself seriously. It is a sort of spoof on telenovelas and it references itself as such all the time, by dressing Jane up in fairytale-like costumes in her fantasies and occasionally pausing the action so as to let the rather fabulous narrator analyse what is going on.
I really enjoy watching Jane’s adventures as she tries to retrieve some sort of normality once the life-changing event occurs. Her character is loyal, very very organised and purposefully optimistic, not to mention hilarious when she starts dancing. When I first read the name of the show, I imagined something along the lines of American Pie and which is definitely not the kind of thing I like to watch. But the show is a real breath of fresh air. Of course, Jane’s decision is what gives the show its name but it is far from being the most important theme.
While the show’s script is eccentric (to say the least) and contains many dramatic scenes, it manages to delve in depth into some very interesting topics that I have rarely – if not ever – seen on TV before, like the status of illegal immigrants in the US for example. Jane’s relationship with her mother and her grandmother make up an important part of the show, almost on the same level as the love triangle that develops. It is very refreshing to see three generations of women who sometimes argue over their differences but who stick together through thick and thin. It just goes to show that Jane’s “old fashioned” values – religion and family, mainly – do not fail to have meaning in her modern life that she lives to the full.
I could go on, but I won’t: I’m going to let you start watching the show instead! You won’t regret giving the first few episodes a try: Jane the Virgin is just the right amount of crazy (so much drama!) to be a lot of fun to watch. Enjoy, and don’t hesitate to report back here to tell me what you think!