Jane the Virgin, the latest hit show to come out of the US, follows Jane Villanueva, a young woman who is studying to be a teacher, but dreams of being a writer. Oh, and she happens to be a virgin because she doesn’t want to repeat her mum’s mistake of getting pregnant at sixteen.
Jane is accidentally artificially inseminated (try saying that five times and really fast) and becomes pregnant with a baby that isn’t her long term boyfriend, Michael’s. Sounds implausible and highly complicated? Well, yeah – it kind of is, but it’s the excellent execution of this premise that makes you overlook just how implausible it is, and I guarantee that you will fall in love with this show.
It’s all about Jane
The star of the show is undoubtably Gina Rodriguez, who plays Jane. Gina demonstrates her acting chops on multiple occasions throughout the show’s first season. She plays Jane with such emotional honesty, and it is her performance that really grounds Jane the Virgin. Jane is unique among lead characters in recent TV dramas; she is fully fleshed out, and the show explores her flaws and failures and well as her attributes and successes. It’s also important to note that Jane the Virgin focuses on a Latina woman and her family – it’s great to see this culture been represented on TV.
I’ve started watching Jane the Virgin again, which has been great, because, you know, Jane.
— zira (@unfinishedidea) September 11, 2015
Keeping up? Wait until you meet the rest
A strong cast of supporting characters really fleshes out this show. There is Rafael (Justin Baldoni), a reformed playboy and millionaire who is the father of Jane’s baby, his estranged wife Petra, played to villainous perfection (whilst also humanising her) by Yael Grobglas. and Brett Dier as Jane’s long term boyfriend Michael who’s jealously and scheming from the first episode is clear. That’s not to mention Jane’s family; her sexually-liberated mother Xo and her devoutly religious grandmother, Alba, who both inspired Jane’s decision to wait until she is married to have sex.
If you loved Ugly Betty, you’ll love this
The writing in Jane the Virgin is strong, the plot clever, entertaining and dramatic and the acting is lovely. Jane the Virgin is fun – it’s fun to watch, easy to become invested in and missed when you accidentally binge watch all twenty-two episodes in one day. If you loved (and miss) Ugly Betty, then Jane the Virgin is definitely the show for you. It is uplifting, positive and heartwarming and Gina Rodriguez is going to be a star. Jane the Virgin is loosely based on a telenovela, and so there are dramatic moments a plenty, and the omnipresent narrator is just hilarious.
So, if you are after a new guilty pleasure that combines humour, engrossing characters and a very cute romance, Jane the Virgin is the show for you.
Jane the Virgin airs on E4, Wednesdays at 9pm. Catch up on All 4.