The CW’s new show Jane the Virgin is shaping up to be one of the best shows of the fall. I’m hooked on this corny–but not too corny–wacky and lovable story about Jane Villanueva, a girl who was artificially inseminated.
I’ve never been one for telenovelas but Jane’s story didn’t feel like one too me. The additions of Spanish culture and her telenovelas speaking to her were a bit much, but they were necessary to set the tone. Jane grew up in a very catholic house, clinging onto her virginity like it was a white flower, that would be destroyed forever if she had sex. Her grandmother literally scared her when she was little into thinking that. I’m guessing it has something to do with her mother and her whore-y ways. Jane’s mother had her when she was 16, but she’s never met her father. No one knows who he is, or so the mom wants us to think. Watching these two interact is super interesting because their complete opposites. Jane is in love with her boyfriend of two-years, wants to be a teacher, super-conservative and wants to be a teacher. Her mother on the other hand, is sleeping around with different men, wearing super short skirts, talking about fake boobs and her career is impersonating Paulina Rubio, her obsession. Polar opposites.
Multiple parts play a role towards the main story in the premiere. Jane works at a hotel. The owner is Rafael, a man she used to have a crush on when she worked at the yacht club. Rafael is a cancer survivor stuck in a love-less marriage with Petra. Petra is conniving and will do anything to keep her husband and his money, while she sleeps with his best friend. She’s the equivalent of a villain in a show focused on the “real-world.” The doctor, Luisa, is Rafael’s sister. The day before Jane’s annual gynecologist visit, Luisa walks in on her wife, cheating on her with her assistant. The next day at work she’s a hot mess. She has two patients–one pap smear and one insemination. With her head in the clouds, she accidentally inseminates Jane with the sperm. When she walks into the other room she finds her next patient Petra, who is there for her insemination. She’s doing everything possible to keep Rafael. That’s when Luisa realizes her horrible mistake. Panicked, she calls her ex-girlfriend, who was once a lawyer and accidentally tells her she caught her wife cheating. She’s just making mistake after mistake.
Two weeks later, Jane is on the bus with her mother when she begins feeling nauseas. Still, raised as a devout Catholic, she decides to stand up when two nuns board. The minute she get up, she faints and ends up in the hospital. The doctor proudly tells her that the reason for her fainting and nausea is because she’s pregnant. Jane and her mother burst out laughing. Of course this isn’t possible. Jane’s a virgin. The doctor doesn’t believe her, thinking she’s just another teen lying about her virginity to her mother. Pregnancy test after pregnancy test comes back positive. She can’t figure out why, so she makes an appointment to see Dr. Luisa.
Luisa finally told her brother and Petra the truth. Petra wasn’t pregnant because she was never inseminated. The only pre-cancer sperm went to another girl, accidentally. Their reaction isn’t as bad as Jane and her mothers. The two freak out once their told the news. Can you imagine? Jane has tried so hard to lead this perfect life and do everything by the book. She never even had sex and now she’s pregnant with a strangers baby at such a young age. Jane’s mom brings her pills, in case she chooses to abort the pregnancy. It’s always good to have options. She wonders if her mom ever really wanted her. Would she have kept her if grandma didn’t tell her to? All her mother has to say is that she’s happy that she’s here. When Abula finds out that Jane is pregnant, she flips out thinking Jane lied to her about her virginity. When she finally calms down and realized she was accidentally inseminated, she tells Jane that when her mother came home pregnant, she told her to have an abortion. Her mother was the one who said she was going to keep the baby and she’s so happy she did.
So, Jane has a decision to make. Does she keep the baby– her baby? Or does she have an abortion. She knows she doesn’t want to lose this child. Her loving boyfriend, who picked the day she found out she’s pregnant to propose without knowing, begs her not to keep the baby. He wants to be with her, but he doesn’t want to help her raise a child that isn’t his. Makes sense. She goes to meet the father, and is surprised to find out it’s her old crush. Rafael remembers her from the time they spent one day talking at the restaurant, before he kissed her and never called again. He tells her that he and Petra would take the child from her, but Jane isn’t sure she could live knowing her child is out there in the world without her. She tells him that she probably wont keep the baby.
Well, her decision is swayed when Petra blackmails Luisa into telling her about Rafael’s cancer. The fact that this was his only chance to have a kid has a huge impact on her decision. Petra only does this because the child is her last chance at keeping Rafael, who told her he wants a divorce shortly after meeting with Jane.
Jane finally goes to Michaels work, and proposes to him. She feels bad his initial engagement failed because of her heightened emotions after finding out about the accidental pregnancy. It’s a cute twist–to see a woman try, and fail, to get down on one knee and still keep the guy. But before the seal the deal, Michael agrees to let Jane carry this baby for Rafael and Petra, who Jane believes is a happy couple who needs a child really badly. It’s a little different than her being just a carrier because this child is literally hers and Rafael’s. And that’s something that we need to remember. I’m sure it will play a very important part in episodes to come. I bet Jane and Rafael will fall in love. It’ll be super messy for Michael though, which I’m not excited about because I like him. They seem good together. And he waited 2-years to have sex with her, which is so rare in this day and age. Right after the proposal, the narrator said something about Jane being with the man she thought she knew… but would soon realize she didn’t. What is that all about? What is Michael hiding? At the engagement party, his brother crashed and said he’s a ticking bomb that could go off at any second. If he did, he would expose who Michael really is.
Meanwhile, Rafael is caught off-guard when Petra tells him that Jane has agreed to give them the baby, as long as it goes to a loving family. He admitted he’s wanted a child. The question is, will he stay with Petra and sacrifice his happiness for a child?
And in other news, Xiomara, Jane’s mother totally knows who Jane’s father is. Something tells me, she didn’t accidentally have Jane– she tricked Rogelio into a baby, but than didn’t tell him. Now he’s a huge telenovela star, which explains why he’s made such an impact on Jane’s life, even though she doesn’t know its her dad. Will he want to be involved in her life? How will that storyline play out? Will the parents fall in love again?
Overall, a very good season premiere that’s got me hooked. 8/10 for this telenovela inspired, light-hearted drama.
To Be Continued.
Coffee Table News
TV Shows to Binge During Your Self-Quarantine and Social Distancing
In case you haven’t been keeping up with global news, coronavirus, COVID-19, is forcing everyone to practice the 2020 version of”conscious uncoupling” known as “social distancing.”
Many cities/states are on lockdown with bars, restaurants, and other establishments closing their doors to keep the outbreak from spreading even more than it has.
If you’ve found yourself self-quarantined at home on the couch to prevent the spread of germs, you’ll likely be looking for things to keep yourself occupied.
Many shows have shuttered production with daytime and late-night talk shows going sans audiences or completely dark for the remainder of the month.
And this means it’s the perfect time to binge-watch those shows you’ve been putting off.
Here are some shows to watch during your self-quarantine.
What the world needs now is a fixer who could tell us all how to get out of this mess. Since that’s not possible, we have the next best thing in Olivia Pope, DC’s fixer and right-hand to the President, who is also in a torrid love affair with him. It’s political, dramatic, and sexy as hell to this day.
Don’t you wish we could all travel back to a time before the coronavirus? Same. Maybe if we had a time machine like Lucy, Wyatt, and Rufus, we totally could. But alas, we’ll have to settle for watching their journey through key historical moments as they attempt to stop Rittenhouse from destroying the world.
Locke & Key
Think Harry Potter meets Narnia. Netflix’s new fantasy thriller finds a family moving into a mansion following their father’s death where they learn that it’s filled with secret keys that open up portals to other dimensions. You never know where you’ll end up, but it’ll make you forget you’re curled up on your couch amidst a toilet-paper shortage.
Elliot works as a cybersecurity engineer by day and doubles as a vigilante hacker by night. When he’s recruited by a mysterious underground organization, he’s forced to do things that make him question his personal beliefs, his morals, and most importantly, what’s real and what isn’t.
Financial burdens (like the fact that you spent all your money stocking up on canned goods and paper towels) plague three suburban moms who are tired of always playing “catch up.” They decide to take matters into their own hands and rob a grocery store. Soon, they find themselves trying to navigate a world of crime that has absolutely no rules. As they try to survive, their actions will keep you on the edge of your seat.
You’ve already heard of Stranger Things, and if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s high time you do. The series takes place in 1980s Indiana and follows a group of young friends who become privy to supernatural happening within the government.
There’s no better time than during a quarantine to watch all 16 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. Honestly, when else are you going to have the time? All you need to know is that it’s a medical drama, there’s a doctor named McDreamy, and Shonda Rhimes is the boss babe behind it.
The Good Place
The Good Place is a stroke of comedic genius mixed with some of the most insightful and wholesome storytelling of our generation. It’s also the only series that had the perfect series finale (fight me, but after coronavirus cause there’s a no-touching ban). Eleanor Shellstrop is shocked to find herself in the Good Place following her death and immediately realizes she’s there by mistake. No one is prepared for her hilarious afterlife antics as she hides from architect Michael and her new friends while trying to become a better version of herself.
Don’t be deterred by the plot — a young Latina woman learns she’s pregnant after she’s accidentally artificially inseminated. The series weaves together the best parts of a telenovela while adding heart, feshed-out characters, strong female leads, irresistible love interests, and family at the forefront of every storyline.
Love is Blind
In the reality TV vein, Netflix delivered the world’s newest obsession. It’s a social experiment that many claim prepared our generation for dating throughout “social distancing.” Love is Blind forces a handful of contestants to meet people while isolated in pods. Once they find their “soulmate,” they propose to them without meeting face-to-face and a few weeks later, walk down the aisle.
If you’re not familiar with Joe Goldberg, you’re missing out. YOU is a suspenseful thriller that digs into the mind of an obsessed serial killer and follows his romantic relationships.
Game of Thrones
Similarly to Greys Anatomy, when else are you going to find the time to watch all of Game of Thrones? This is the perfect time to dig into a pop culture phenomenon so you know what “winter is coming” means the next time someone mentions it.
The Marvelous Ms. Maisel
If there’s anyone that can cheer you up and put a smile on your face, it’s Ms. Maisel. Set in the late 1950s, Miriam aka “Midge” breaks the rules and pursues a career in stand-up comedy. While it’s unheard of for women of her class to pursue a career, it’s even more unheard of a woman succeeding in such an industry. But leave it to Midge to prove everyone wrong and do it with flair and style!
Jane The Virgin
Jane the Virgin – Chapter One Hundred (5×19)
That’s what Rafael told Jane when he first met her on Jane the Virgin Season 1 Episode 1, and five seasons later, the theme of braveness continued on Jane the Virgin Season 5 Episode 19.
It should be noted that I had to tell myself to be brave while writing this review and wiping away so many happy tears.
As far as series finales go, Jane the Virgin’s hit every mark and was a treat for longtime fans.
One would say it was the inverse of what made Jane the Virgin such a household name; it bypassed the usual telenovela-twists and opted for happy endings all around.
There will always be things that I wish would have happened, but confined to a one-hour window, the finale was pretty perfect.
Jane The Virgin
Jane the Virgin – Chapter Ninety-Eight (5×17)
How do we say goodbye?
Xiomara posed that very question at the end of Jane the Virgin Season 5 Episode 17, and nothing sums up my feelings more succinctly.
We’re almost at the end, and despite this being the weakest season to date, it’s still bittersweet.
Look, nothing against anyone on the Jane the Virgin team.
Putting together a final season is a tall order, and appeasing everyone is nearly impossible.
We’re always going to have a bone to pick with something. That’s just life.
Nevertheless, I’m enjoying this strange ride for what it is and soaking up these last moments with the Gloriana Villaneuva family.
The realistic moments of the episode were really great, but the moments that leaned heavily into telenovela territory fell short.
Rose’s masterplan was revealed and to be honest, it was lame and non-existent.
Everything she’s ever done was motivated by her love for Luisa.
She broke out of jail and created an army of minions in order to be with her one true love.
If Luisa hadn’t betrayed Rose, Rose wouldn’t have had any motive to come after Jane.
Rose has been an elusive and terrifying villain all these years, but she just felt like a run-of-the-mill villain when she ambushed Jane.
Yes, I was a nervous wreck the entire time, but only because I expected Rose to already have people at Mateo’s school waiting for him or something.
Did anyone even know where Mateo was at the time? And why did no one come to check in on Jane?
Then, Rose’s grand plan was to sneak into the This Is Mars party essentially wearing alien costumes from Spirit Halloween.
What happened to the plastic surgery genius who could change her appearance at the snap of her fingers?
The one who befriended Michael as Susanna and faked his whole death?
We needed that Rose to come out and play.
Read the full review at TV Fanatic!
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