I used to love television. In fact, before I moved to Spain, I would watch at least 10 hours of TV every week. As a kid, some of my fondest memories were of me and my sister watching Survivor, or anything else that was remotely interesting. As I’ve gotten older, it’s taken a lot more to keep me addicted to a TV show. While I mostly read, and write, in my off time, the few TV shows that keep me coming back for more are especially rare.
Jane The Virgin is by far the best TV show that the CW has produced in years. Without a doubt, the show covers so many interesting topics, and in such an honest way. Although the show’s meant to be an Americanized remake of a Venezuelan telenovela, and is therefore meant to be over-the-top and dramatic, it somehow remains relevant. The original premise of the show seems unlikely, but the issues that Jane, the protagonist, deals with aren’t unlikely. Jane struggles with maintaining her personal standards and values in a world where standards and values are as flakey as the weather is. She lives in an area where glamour, and shallowness, is prioritized. However, our protagonist knows where she stands; we’re meant to follow her as she figures her life out.
The first season of the show was incredible. I was absolutely hooked, which is saying a lot for me, as someone who doesn’t enjoy watching a lot of TV. As the second season went on, things got a little stale. However, season 3 has managed to completely change the direction of the show. While I’m not entirely sure where the writers are going with Jane’s life, I appreciate the way the show tackles real world issues along with the glitz and glamour of dramatic TV. Jane still struggles with (spoiler alert!) the death of her late husband, and with being a single mom. Despite the show starting off with Jane being a happy-go-lucky girl, she now faces a reality where she barely ever gets to “win”. Despite that, her character doesn’t seem to have completely deviated. The show doesn’t have to rely on ridiculous character changes the way other TV shows often do.
Jane The Virgin also tackles religious, cultural, and personal differences between its characters. Jane, her mother, and her grandmother all have varying degrees of religiosity, and the show explores that. It’s refreshing in this day and age of “shocking” TV that focuses on extreme subjects, and amorality. Jane The Virgin deals with morality, and how morality is relative.
But why do I love Jane The Virgin? Could it be because I can relate to Jane in several ways? She’s a writer, so we have that in common. She believes in a moral code; while she initially finds herself to be judgmental, she learns how to see things from other peoples’ perspectives. Most of all, I relate to Jane’s character development. A lot of TV screams inauthentic to me, but Jane The Virgin is as authentic as it gets, especially for something that was inspired by a telenovela.
Or maybe I love the show because of how cute Rafael and Mateo are. But I’ll save that discussion for another day.