*Warning: This article will contain minor spoilers through some of the images and descriptions.
If you haven’t seen Jane The Virgin yet, I cannot recommend it enough. Though it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, this show does so much more than simply provide surface-level entertainment and should be appreciated for its wonderful performances and subplots by all. Season one first aired late 2014, and as I write this, season 5 – episode 4 just became available to watch on Netflix in the UK. That’s almost four and a half years with these characters in my life! I honestly can’t believe it.
Season 5 is the final season of Jane The Virgin and boy, it’s been a wild journey. The show is a loose adaption of the Venezuelan telenovela, Juana la Virgen, and is heavily influenced by telenovela tropes. One of the main characters within Jane The Virgin, Rogelio De La Vega, played by Jaime Camil, works as a telenovela actor on the show, combining the created drama of his telenovela with the ‘real’ drama experienced by all of the characters. And let me tell you, there’s a never-ending supply of drama on this show.
One key aspect of a telenovela drama is passion; no matter what’s happening, passion is always present. In Jane The Virgin, we see passionate deaths, passionate loves, passionate heart breaks, passionate speeches and declarations, passionate crimes. Beginning with the accidental artificial insemination of the protagonist, Jane Villanueva, a rollercoaster of actions and emotions begin, causing you to laugh, cry, gasp and basically marvel at the talent and fantastic creation that is Jane The Virgin in every episode.
While I could go on to gush about how much I love this show forever, I want to tell you a bit about exactly why I love it. Jane The Virgin has been my ultimate feel-good show for the past four years, and though I appreciate the simplicity of the drama and feel-good factor that it provides, it’s really shaped my perspective on life in a much more profound way.
Without giving away too many spoilers, the families within Jane The Virgin are, in Jane’s words, ‘big, and messy, and unconventional, and also the most important thing’ (s2: Ep.16). Though not all families within the show value each other as much as the Villanueva family do, they each experience ups and downs that ultimately make the viewer appreciate how important it is to have well functioning familial support and an abundance of love.
Through watching the families in Jane The Virgin my perspective on familial relationships has changed for the better. I adore how close the Villanueva family are, the support all three women give to each other and the way they help each other grow and learn. Three generations of women have created a beautiful system where they are each able to provide something different to help promote confidence, happiness, and comfort in the lives of one another. They call each other on their bullshit, hold each other when their hearts are breaking, and watch telenovelas together religiously.
The Villanuevas are a feminist powerhouse and the matriarchy is strong with these three. Watching their interactions has made me feel more open, more willing to connect, and more appreciative of my own family and the women in my life.
Focusing particularly on the character of Jane, the show has taught me, above all, the importance of following my heart and owning my feelings. Jane loves fiercely and magically. As a romance writer, she desires romance in her life, perhaps at times having unrealistic expectations, though ultimately remaining unashamed of her romantic hopes and dreams. That’s not to say that she doesn’t remain open to the unexpected, in fact, for someone who starts off with such a set plan for their life, her character goes through the most unexpected romantic ups and downs that you can imagine!
As you know the show is called Vane the Virgin – this is because Jane does remain a virgin for the first two and a half seasons despite having a child. Much of her romantic relationships focus upon this fact, both the presence of it and the desire to lose it. While Jane does eventually choose to remain a virgin until she’s married, this does not detract from a thorough exploration of every side of her relationships.
In the five seasons of Jane The Virgin we see Jane taken through 50 shades of love; everything from being torn between two great loves, to embarking on a casual sex adventure. She experiences great love and loss, and we are right there with her, learning to give our all and speak our truth no matter the outcome.
This is perhaps geared more towards people like me who wish to pursue a writing career, however, the bravery and tenacity Jane learns to harness in order to achieve her goals is something we can all appreciate and take notes from. Like anyone, having a dream doesn’t mean that it can become a reality without a lot of hard work and dedication, and learning to not give up in the face of difficulties is something I’ve learnt from watching this show.
It’s not like I haven’t had to, or even wanted to pursue something when it’s become tricky. However, I’ve not been inspired to do so, I’ve not really wanted to. Jane The Virgin has reminded me how important dreams are, and that to not have a passion would be a disastrous thing.
As a creative person, my mind is extremely stimulated by watching such a creative show. The twists and turns in Jane The Virgin always stir the colorful paint pot of imagination inside my mind and after watching each episode I’m almost desperate to take to my laptop, using it as a canvas to put my creative thoughts into words and create a weird and wonderful word of my own. The show reminds me to work hard and to keep working when times get tough because I do love my dream, and a love like that should never be given up.
I wouldn’t be doing this show justice without mentioning a few of the other inspirational things that they’ve added into their plot in order to make a statement, be bold, and inspire. Jane The Virgin explores attitudes, ideas, and preconceptions towards and about gender, sexuality, diversity, mental health, grief, success, equality, sexual harassment, politics, raising children, alcohol and drug abuse, policing and the law, crime, religion, physical illness, sex and so much more, all the while creating a coherent and addictive storyline to follow. Some of these aspects of the show are more disguised than others, however, the incredible presence of all of this and more is, in my opinion, the reason that we should consider Jane The Virgin to be one of the best shows on Netflix right now.