By Chrissi DiMartino
Staff Writer ‘18
“I know romance novels are all about fate and destiny, but I don’t think one has ever been written that could come close to our story. If they were ever two people destined to be together, it’s us.”—Rafael Solano, “Jane The Virgin”
Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez) made a promise when she was young to save herself for marriage. Now, at age 23, she’s kept that promise and her life is exactly as she’s always planned it. She’ll be graduating college in a few months, is about to start student teaching, and she’s expecting a proposal any day now from her detective boyfriend, Michael (Brett Dier). However, all of that is derailed when she goes to the gynecologist for a regular checkup and is accidentally artificially inseminated—and that’s not even the most complicated part.
The woman who was supposed to be inseminated was Petra Solano (Yael Grobglas), who planned to use her husband, Rafael’s, (Justin Baldwin) sample to get pregnant. It turns out that Dr. Luisa Alver, the doctor who mixed up Jane and Petra, is actually Rafael’s sister. Rafael was treated for cancer, which left him infertile. Because the sample used on Jane was Rafael’s only chance to have biological children, Jane decides to have the baby and give it to Petra and Rafael to raise themselves. But when they announce their impending divorce, she begins to rethink her options. As time passes and Jane and Rafael lean on each other and begin to grow closer, Michael follows the trail of notorious drug dealer, Sin Rostro, and Petra devises numerous plans to take custody of the baby.
Jane’s family life is complicated as well; she lives with her grandmother, Alba, and her single mother, Xiomara (played by Ivonne Coll and Andrea Navedo, respectively). Alba is resolute in her Catholic faith, which she passed on to her granddaughter. She helped Xiomara raise Jane after Xiomara got pregnant at sixteen. Xo has kept the identity of Jane’s father a secret since she got pregnant, however, after Xiomara finds out that Jane’s father Rogelio (Jaime Camil) is now a huge telenovela star, she contacts him and comes clean to her family. Rogelio is all too happy to get to know Jane, to help prepare for the arrival of his grandchild, and to reconnect with Xo. Though he does have a flair for the melodramatic, his heart is in the right place, and only wants to be a part of the Villanueva’s lives.
The first season is a roller coaster filled with heartbreak, a plastic surgery ring, custody battles, and even murder, but there is so much laughter and love. The Villanueva women face every challenge with a brave face and united front; they lean on each other for advice and support as the nine months go by. Jane herself is loving, practical, funny, and obsessed with planning (she also loves a good grilled cheese). She navigates college graduation, student teaching, and impending motherhood, all with unending optimism. Rogelio’s telenovela, The Passions of Santos, that frequently plays within the show and often mirrors the central action, is the perfect backdrop for the twists and turns of the plot lines of the show itself. There’s also a narrator who helpfully provides flashbacks, backstories, and reminders as the show goes on. This show will charm you from the very first episode. Season two currently airs on The CW.
Fun Fact: “Jane The Virgin” is the first show in the history of the CW to be nominated for a Golden Globe; Gina Rodriguez won the award for Best Actress in a Television Series for the show.
Photo courtesy of Seriestv