About a year ago, Jane the Virgin pilot copies started going out to the media. Almost every TV critic and reporter had some sort of love affair with the pilot episode.
The show was perfectly fine-tuned – it was bold and over-dramatic, but was effective in mixing honest and warm family drama into a soap opera-like framework. It was so effective, in fact, the season finale left audiences with a cliffhanger so audiences will have to wait until the show returns in the Fall on the CW to see what happens next. In the series, the title character Jane is accidentally artificially inseminated, and becomes pregnant. The show is based on Juana la Virgen, the Venezuelan telenovela and stars Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Ivonne Coll, Justin Baldoni, Brett Dier, Jaime Camil and Yael Grobglas, with Jennie Snyder Urman and Ben Silverman as the executive producers.
However, when critics were asked if they believed Jane the Virgin would be able to sustain the dramatic dexterity for a whole season, they seemed worried about that possibility. The critics wanted to believe in Jane Gloriana Villanueva and that the show could survive an entire season, but television networks have canceled many great shows that were not worthy of the chopping block, and only made it a few months (or less) on the air.
Jane the Virgin had a strong and captivating first season. Every week, there were unexpected turns and twists that kept the audience interested and the show moving forward. Being able to get to know the characters so well made the finale even more fun. Old business was wrapped up, allowing room for more soap opera-esque turns on Jane the Virgin; these included tear-inducing moments, as well as getting ready for Jane, her baby son Mateo, and all the other entertaining, over-the-top characters to return to the CW in the Fall for its second season.
Some of the greatest moments of Jane the Virgin’s season finale included the Villanueva women together, and Xio cheering on Jane through her labor, reminding her what Alba told her during Jane’s birth. There was a precious, moving moment when Jane was holding her beautiful tiny son Mateo in her arms for the first time.
The men in Jane’s life have been creating a lot of strife for Jane; however, the core strength of the show returned when the scene changed its focus to the strong women in the family. Their love for each other and the new baby in the family could be felt internally. When Jane decided to name the baby Mateo, it makes Alba cry, which was a very moving and emotional scene.
The scene when Jane goes into labor was unique. Normally, if a show has a group of working-class characters, it is more serious or bleak. Jane the Virgin does take the finances of the Villanuevas seriously, but it also rejoices in the hard work and goals they each have put into place. The bus scene showed how hard-working people look out for each other and help each other out, while still being funny.
Jane the Virgin’s “Latin Lover” narrator, the voice of Anthony Mendez, keeps the show moving. The narrator fills in the gaps, and keeps the laughs coming. He alternates narration modes, such as cheering on Jane, and then immediately commenting on the action happening in other scenes; most importantly, the narrator reminds the audience of previous events and antics throughout Season 1 that led up to the finale.
Some important little things that happened in Jane the Virgin’s season’s finale included Xio and Ro’s drunken Vegas wedding, and the always-entertaining fighting between Raphael and Michael over Jane that audiences will get to see who Jane ends up with when the show returns to the CW in its second season. However, Mateo gets abducted by Sin Rostro in the last second of the show, leaving a cliffhanger for audiences who now have to wait until the Fall to see what happens next. Executive producers assure audiences that Rostro took the baby for a reason, which will be revealed at the beginning of season two, when she reveals what she really wants and how Jane can get her baby back.
Hearing Rogelio’s alarm as it is plays a song with the lyrics “It’s another beautiful day to be Rogelio!” is fantastically full of Rogelio’s character. Also, Rafael’s estranged wife, Petra, has found another of Raphael’s sperm samples. Leaving the show with more than one cliffhanger to start, season two starts off strong and compelling. This next installment will be about three strong women raising a baby boy.
The producers know how each season on Jane the Virgin will play out. Each will be its own telenovela. The producers have planned three seasons and know how the show will end, even if it is picked up for more than the three seasons already planned.
Jane the Virgin’s first season had 15 directors. Nine of those directors were women, and four of those were women of color. The show won the CW’s first Golden Globe, its first Peabody Award and other acclaim. The CW will be welcoming Jane the Virgin back for the second season.
Opinion By Jeanette Smith
Photo courtesy of Dominick D – Creativecommons Flickr License