I have found a new love in my life, and it is a tv show called Jane the Virgin. This fantastically quirky, heartfelt, and humorous show debuted on the CW in 2014 and just started its sophomore season a few weeks ago.
Gina Rodriguez plays the title character whose full name is not really Jane the Virgin, but Jane Gloriana Villanueva. Jane is 23 when we first meet her, and despite the fact she’s in a two year committed relationship with her boyfriend, Michael, she is still a virgin. This is almost completely due to the influence of Jane’s abuela (grandmother), Alba, who Jane lives with, along with Jane’s mother Xiomara. Alba is originally from Venezuela and is a devout Catholic. Xiomara had Jane when she was only sixteen, so it is Alba’s mission to protect Jane’s virtue and to not let Jane follow her mother’s path.
The show is set in Miami and is so delightful with the cast of characters. The best way I have come up with to describe this fantastic show is a wonderful combination of the Gilmore Girls, a Mexican telenovela (soap opera), and the magical realism of author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, infused with the hallucinations of Ally McBeal. For Gilmore Girls fans, there are many similarities between Jane and Rory, and Xiomara is a much looser interpretation of Lorelai. Jane is hardworking, determined, goal oriented, and loves her family. She also longs to know her father, but Xiomara lied to Jane telling her he was a soldier on leave. In reality, Jane’s father was Xiomara’s high school love, Rogelio de la Vega, who turns out to now be a megastar on the Villanueva family’s favorite telenovela, The Passions of Santos.
The premise of Jane the Virgin is tricky, but I’ll try to explain in the least complicated way I can. It is a soap after all, complete with a narrator and captions on the screen. Jane lives at home with her mom and grandma, is in a loving relationship with Michael, is finishing up her undergraduate degree in education with hopes of becoming a teacher. To help pay her way through school, Jane works as a waitress at an upscale hotel on South Beach called the Marbella.
Here is where it starts to get complicated. Jane the Virgin works for the super hot young hotel owner, Rafael Solano, with whom she had shared a kiss five years prior when she was a waitress at the country club where he belonged. Rafael is married to Petra, who wants to have his baby to save their troubled marriage. He previously had cancer, but is now in remission, so Rafael had saved some sperm prior to his chemo with hopes of eventually having a child with Petra after she miscarried a few years earlier.
Petra is now taking Rafael’s sample to her ob/gyn to be artificially inseminated, without his knowledge. It so happens that Jane is at the same doctor for her annual exam. The doctor also coincidentally is Rafael’s half-sister Luisa, who is very upset, having found her wife cheating on her the night before. Even though her nurse tells Luisa correctly that she has an insemination in one room and an exam in the other, Luisa mixes up the rooms and goes into Jane the Virgin’s room. Luisa asks the exhausted and partially sleeping Jane if she’s ready for her insemination and Jane pulls a “what? yeah” out. So Jane is accidentally inseminated with her boss Rafael’s specimen, then Luisa enters the second room to find Petra there waiting to be inseminated. Did I mention this was also Rafael’s only remaining sample?
As you can imagine, hilarity, and a good bit of drama ensues once it is discovered that Jane the Virgin is pregnant with the baby her boss’ wife was trying to surprise him with and it was his half-sister that caused the mix up. Many soap opera tropes appear like hidden identities, twin swapping, unknown parentage, affairs, and of course murder.
Having said all of this, Jane the Virgin is one of the funniest and most lighthearted shows I’ve seen. I highly recommend you check it out. The first season is streaming on Netflix and available on dvd, and the first four episodes of this season are still streaming online at the CW. Jane is one of my favorite characters on tv ever. She is intelligent, independent, loving, and hilarious. Go watch Jane the Virgin now and I bet you’ll fall in love too!Follow us for more updates: