Last night, The CW, took a shot by straining away from its usual hit supernatural shows and premiered their new dramedy Jane the Virgin. Jane the Virgin is a lose American adaptation of the hit Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, created by Perla Farías. The CW’s take on the telenovela does stick to the Spanish-speaking roots by incorporating a character named Alba, who is Jane’s Spanish-only speaking grandmother. While some think the show won’t last against The CW’s hits The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, Jane the Virgin is easily relatable to everyone. Personally, I can relate to the fact that Jane grew up with a grandmother who only understands Spanish. The creators and writers of the show do a fantastic job at grasping the culture gaps in today’s age by the way Jane and Alba interact with each other. Alba will speak to Jane in Spanish and Jane will reply to her in English. This is something I do and many other third and later generations of immigrants will do. Whether or not you can relate to the language and culture aspect of the show, Jane the Virgin is the type of show that indulges everyone. It will even have your dad asking to watch it with you.
The premiere episode of Jane the Virgin wasn’t like most premieres where it takes a while for the show to pick up the pace of the plot. However, they do go back in time to about 13 and a half years ago when Jane was 10 years old. This is essential to the show because this is when Jane’s abuela Alba taught her the lesson of purity. She had Jane hold a pure white flower in her hand to see how beautiful and innocent it looked. After observing this, Jane was instructed to smash the flower and then try to put it back to its original form. Jane told Alba she simply couldn’t return the flower to its pure form anymore. This symbolism of the flower was Alba’s way of teaching Jane that the same thing happens when one loses their virginity. From that day on, Jane has kept the crumpled flower in a box on her wall as a reminder to stay abstinent.
We get introduced to a young couple named Rafael and Petra who seem to have it all. Rafael is the new owner of a luxurious hotel and he’s a new survivor of cancer. They have all the money in the world but the only thing missing is actual love. Rafael confides in his sister hoping she’ll be able to give him some advice on whether or not he should divorce Petra. He feels bad that he’d be leaving her while she stood by his side during his cancer. Rafael’s sister Luisa could care less by offering her input of kicking Petra to the curb. He’s not Petra’s father, so he shouldn’t feel bad if he doesn’t truly love her anymore.
The night of celebration for Rafael’s return continues at the hotel and he has one more surprise guest. Turns out Jane knows Rafael from a previous fling they had while she was working at a yacht club. She let him in the café after close and made him a killer grilled cheese sandwich. This is Jane’s favorite meal so she has the perfect recipe to challenge Bobby Flay with. Jane and Rafael got to talking at the café and shared a kiss. Unfortunately, Rafael was a typical rich jerk and didn’t call Jane. Imagine how heartbreaking it is for Jane when he remembers her from somewhere and thinks it’s from a strip joint. Ouch!
Someone else who has a rough night in the love department is Rafael’s sister, Luisa. She comes home to find her wife in bed with her assistant. Looks like Rafael and his sister have something to bond with over drinks. Instead, Luisa goes into work the next day a hot mess. She’s behind on her work since she’s also covering her co-worker’s patients for the day.
Not paying attention to what the nurses are telling her, Luisa switches up the next two patients. She goes into Jane’s room to do an insemination and Jane is so tired that she’s asleep. Now Jane hasn’t heard Luisa ask if she’s ready for her insemination and Jane agrees that she’s ready for what she thinks is a regular checkup appointment. Luisa is so proud of Jane for coming into this insemination appointment on her own and Jane is confused at this point. It’s a quick second procedure and Jane’s told to wait a few weeks for her results. It’s not until Luisa walks into her next patient’s room that she realizes what she has just done. When she opens the door Petra is sitting in the chair waiting to be inseminated with Rafael’s unfrozen sperm. Surprise! Looks like that’s not going to happen anymore. Quickly panicking, Luisa uses saline to help Petra think she had the procedure.
Even though Jane doesn’t know it yet, her life is becoming a real-life telenovela like the ones she’s hooked on watching with her mom and abuela. Unfortunately for Luisa, she’ll have to explain all of this to her brother eventually. There’s only a 20 percent chance Jane will get pregnant, but even if she doesn’t, this was his last chance. Since his cancer, he won’t be able to have any more kids in the future. Thinking she’s been inseminated, Petra tells Rafael that he might be a father and explains what she all did. Looks like he’s not too thrilled about her sneaking around with his frozen sperm like a creeper to get pregnant.
A few weeks later while on the bus with her mother Xiomara, Jane gets up to offer her seat to nuns boarding the full bus. She’s truly pure in her heart but sadly she faints and falls to the ground upon standing. The doctor comes back with some test results and finds an easy answer for Jane’s dizzy spells. Pink means pregnant, and after a second test, it looks like Jane really is pregnant. Of course Jane doesn’t believe this because she’s a virgin. Then the doctor doesn’t believe her because he has two test results saying she’s pregnant. Xiomara’s explanation is that she’s the next Virgin Mary.
Jane is so confused with the results that she makes an appointment with Luisa. That’s when she comes clean and tells Jane and her mother about what she did. Xiomara is furious and wants Luisa in jail but Jane can’t handle the thought of being a mother. She’s had her whole life set up with goals and times of when she was going to achieve certain things in her life. Having a baby was number one on the not-to-do list since she was the result of an accidental teen pregnancy. Luisa tells them that the father knows everything and is willing to talk. Jane loses it at this point because she now has to think about the father of this child.
I think what gets to Jane about the whole father situation is that she hasn’t had a father around for her while growing up. She doesn’t even know who her father is because her mother has kept him a secret from everyone. Xiomara hasn’t seen Jane’s father herself since the day she told him she was pregnant and he told her to get an abortion. That is until 16 months ago when she was shopping in a local store and saw him in broad daylight. It’s not what you’re thinking, where they’d have an awkward encounter: She saw him on the television in the store on the popular telenovela that she now watches with her mother and daughter. Yikes!
Jane has a boyfriend named Michael and it looks like this baby daddy drama is only going to get worse. She goes over to Michael’s house to tell him about what happened and it looks like Michael has other plans. He gets down on one knee and starts to propose to Jane even though it’s against their whole plan they have set. Right before he can ask Jane the most important question of her life, she blurts out that she’s pregnant. Oops, this might look a little awkward.
Rafael really wants to keep the baby but he doesn’t think his wife Petra will want to. Surprisingly, when he goes to tell her about his decision she also wants to keep the baby. That’s when Luisa calls to let them know that Jane works at the hotel. Jane is requested to meet with Rafael and she thinks it’s because of her rude yet respected remarks she made towards Rafael the other night at the party. He then tells her that he’s the father and she shuts down completely. She’s having a hard time processing all this and that’s when she tells him how they know each other. He seems to remember and apologizes for the way he acted before.
Jane tells him that she’s not ready to be a mother and that’s when Rafael mentions that he and Petra will take the baby. Jane doesn’t exactly like this option either because she can’t just go on with her life knowing her baby is out there in the world. She tells him how her mother had her at 16 and how Jane ruined her mother’s chance at achieving her dreams. Jane was also a result of a careless accident and doesn’t want her child to feel the way Jane does, knowing Jane had to give up her life to raise the child.
Rafael respects Jane’s wishes and he calls Petra to let her know what happened. She’s trying to push him to get the baby because she wants to seem like a concerned wife. In her mind and calculations, five years of marriage equals $10 million for her when it comes time for divorce. That’s why Petra calls Luisa and threatens her to make a call to Jane and let her know about Rafael’s cancer. That way she’ll feel worse about not having the baby or letting them keep it because this is his only chance at having one.
As Jane is trying to make a decision on what she should do, Michael comes over to tell her how he feels. He tells her that he can’t support her while she’s having some other man’s baby. I understand the way he must feel and he has every right to feel this way. It’s unfortunate he feels this way because he had just wanted to marry her and it wasn’t her fault that she got pregnant. They have a true love unlike Petra and Rafael. Looks like Rafael wants a divorce and it’s bad timing because Jane finally made her decision to let them keep the baby because it’d be in a happy and loving home. Yeah right, Petra is a gold digger!
While Rafael tries to deal with his wife, she’s onto another guy. It’s Rafael’s good friend and fellow employee Zazo. Looks like Zazo is up to something with the law and Jane’s boyfriend Michael is on the investigation staking him out. The team also mentions that Zazo’s been with a girl and they need to identify her because she’s working with him. Things don’t look to good for Jane’s baby’s future home.
One night after work, Xiomara is told that someone is looking for her. When she turns around, she never imagined that it’d be this person standing there. It’s Jane’s father, who is also a mega telenovela star. He asks her why she’s never told him about Jane and in her defense, she did. It’ll be interesting to see where this relationship will be headed.
A relationship that’s hopefully onto a good start is between Jane and Michael. She goes to his work and decides she’s going to reverse the gender roles and propose to him. She first tells him that she is going to have this baby but not keep it for herself. This relieves Michael’s stress and once she proposes (standing up) he agrees to marry her. Let’s hope it won’t end up like Rafael and Petra’s marriage.
What did you think of the new show? Do you think it will last against all the vampires and superheroes? I think this show is on the perfect network and will stay on air for many more seasons. Who is your favorite and least favorite character? Getting to the big question, what do you think Jane should do? I watched this with my family and they even said they wouldn’t have a clue as to what they’d do. They wouldn’t even know what to do if I were Jane and they were Xiomara and Alba, as the parental figures. I certainly don’t know what I’d do because it’s scary to think about having a child other than my two hairy yorkies at home. What do you think is this scandal that Zazo and Petra are associated with? Do you think Michael will tell Jane if he finds out that Petra is going to be the mother? Comment your thoughts below.
Watch Jane the Virgin Mondays at 9/8c on The CW
Photos: Credit: The CW/© 2014 THE CW NETWORK, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Credit: Greg Gayne