We need to talk about 'Jane the Virgin' because it's SO GOOD
The CW’s Jane the Virgin was a show that I avoided for a while because I was somehow convinced that it was going to be a show about immaculate conception. While a dubious premise can occasionally make for an awesome show (here’s lookin’ at you, Doctor Who), I was definitely skeptical. So, I abstained from watching Jane the Virgin. Pun intended.
Turns out I was wrong on all accounts! I was pleasantly surprised when I sat down to watch the Jane pilot and found a show with a unique voice and perspective, and a refreshingly stable-yet-funny heroine who just happens to be a virgin who was artificially inseminated by mistake (whoa).
Here are just a few reasons you should seriously consider giving this show a shot:
1. The premise is pretty unique.
So, okay, it’s NOT about immaculate conception, as I had previously assumed. Instead, through a farcical turn-of-events, Jane is accidentally artificially inseminated during a routine gynecologist appointment (oh, hello, my nightmare). To make matters even more complicated, the sample used to inseminate Jane was actually from her former teenage crush, much to the chagrin of her current fiancé. And if all of this sounds confusing, fear not: the narration and onscreen text expositions for each character help to clarify any murkiness in the storyline. Thankfully, the show is smart and funny enough to offset the ridiculous scenario Jane finds herself in, and uses her situation to examine social stigmas concerning women, sex, and reproduction.
2. Gina Rodriguez makes for a strong female lead.
Not only is Jane funny and independent and likable, she’s actually relatable. Rodriguez brings a down-to-earth realism to a titular character who could have easily slipped into flamboyance. You’re not only rooting for Jane as you watch, but you actually see where she’s coming from concerning her beliefs and lifestyle choices.
3. There’s some serious love for Spanish soap operas.
One important aspect of Jane’s family is that she, her mother, and her grandmother enjoy watching the telenovelas together. Since the premise for the show is loosely based on the Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgen, it only makes sense for the show to pay continual homage to the telenovela genre. With the smooth narration by Alex Mendez, and Jane’s recurring visions of her favorite soap star, the show creates a storybook-like world in which the bizarre circumstances seem both vaguely plausible and immensely entertaining — rather than entirely improbable and terrifying.
4. It tackles sexuality in an unusual way.
A show whose premise is (more or less) hinging on the main character’s abstinence is always going to be a tad controversial. The interesting thing about Jane is that her attitude towards abstaining until marriage seems to stem almost entirely from her grandmother’s teachings. It will be interesting to see how/if Jane’s beliefs about abstinence evolve over the course of the show. Though there are many social challenges facing sexually active women in today’s society, it will also be enlightening to see some of the challenges faced by women who opt to not have sex.
Here’s hoping that the series continues its strong run and bashes a few gender stereotypes along the way!
(Images via the CW)