With the second half of its fourth season out, Jane the Virgin’s fans, such as myself, are stressfully waiting to know if the show will be renewed for a fifth season or if it’ll be cancelled. Although there’s not much to be done about that, the least I can do is tell you some of the reasons I think the show should get renewed.
Jane the Virgin is an American satirical romantic comedy-drama telenovela developed by Jennie Snyder Urman, which debuted on The CW on October 13, 2014. It is a loose adaptation of the Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen created by Perla Farías.
The show sets in Miami and follows Jane Gloriana Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez), a Venezuelan American woman who made a vow to her family to save herself from having sex until she was married. Jane is in a long-term relationship with Michael Cordero Jr (Brett Dier) — a detective— of two years. Our main character gets accidentally artificially inseminated during a checkup by Dr Luísa Alver, an alcoholic, who showed to work drunk after finding out her wife was cheating on her. To make matters worse, the biological donor is a married man, a former playboy and cancer survivor who is not only the new owner of the hotel where Jane works but was also her former teenage crush and someone with whom she shared a “magical kiss”. In addition to adjusting to pregnancy and then motherhood, in the initial episodes, Jane is faced with questions about her professional future and the daunting prospect of choosing between the father of her baby or her boyfriend. As the series evolves, in predictably unpredictable telenovela fashion, the issues shift as her child grows into a toddler, her writing career moves forward, and her family members likewise develop independent plotlines. Besides dealing with religion, career and motherhood, the show also focuses on important topics such as immigration, sexuality, mental health, addiction and death.
As you might know by now, Alba (Ivonne Coll), Jane’s grandmother, wasn’t a legal citizen in America until the eighth episode of season 2. Alba always struggled with being at court and even when it came to the police because she was afraid of something bad happening to her, like being deported. In the beginning of their relationship, Jane explained to Michael that her abuela wasn’t too comfortable when he was around because he was a cop and she wasn’t comfortable around police. Even after she got her green card, Alba got scared of marching for immigrants, still because she didn’t want her green card to get taken away. We even have Jane explaining that to Mateo, her 4-year-old son, when he asked: “Why don’t some people want Bisa (a Spanish word for great grandmother) in this country?” This theme is explored in very unique and educational ways, and it’s, of course, so important that it’s talked about because, again, it’s not something we see very often in the show.
+ Mental Health:
Petra Solano (Yael Grobglas), a mother of twins, suffers from post-partum depression and thinks about leaving her daughters behind not long after having them. Later she goes to therapy and starts taking medication for her illness, although this is not a main focus of the show, it’s so important that the writers decided to incorporate it since it’s not something related on media frequently. Jane also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. Her panic attacks are shown only on the second half of season 3 after her husband dies. We also get a tiny glimpse of trauma, after Rogelio De La Vega (Jaime Camil) gets kidnapped by his assistant, Paola.
Well, addiction is exactly where our story gains its birth. Luísa Alver (Yara Martinez) is an alcoholic. After finding out her wife was cheating on her, Luísa drank too much and that led to her switching rooms and inseminating Jane instead of Petra. Throughout the series, Luísa keeps struggling with her addiction and has an on-off relationship with groups such as AA and with rehab.
Now, a lot of people die (or rather, appear dead) in this show. In fact, the show has two crime lords as the main focus for the first three seasons of the show. But we get to see how people deal with death and with grief and how it affects people. In the end of the first half of season 3 one of the main character, Michael, dies— consequence from being shot at the end of season 2. Even though it doesn’t become a big focus of the show, we do get glimpses of how Jane deals with her husband’s death, same as we did with Alba in season 1.
+ POC and Women in Power.
By now, we know this show’s cast is very diverse. We have people from all over, from Puerto Rico and Israel to Mexico and Los Angeles. The show focuses on a Latinx cast with a really strong influence from women. And, of course, we can’t forget our Latino lover narrator. As we all know by now, there are not many shows that have a cast composed by Latinx, and it’s so important that we have few shows such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, One Day at a Time and our very own Jane the Virgin, where we see Latinx women in power in every episode. It’s important to have these shows so that people have their own representation and they have something to look up to. In the sho, we have the Villanuevas, all seen as independent, strong women who are in charge of their own lives and have proved us more than once that they don’t need a man to have control. In the show’s first season, Jane struggled when it came to be a single mom, at first. She wasn’t alone, of course, but she wanted to prove to herself that she could handle the job by herself. The same happened with Petra Solano, — who now, owns the Marbella Hotel — who handled her twin daughters perfectly in the absence of the father, Rafael, who was in prison for nine months. Xiomara opened a dance school by herself and was not once afraid to do so. We also, of course, have Alba who has proven to be strong and kind over and over throughout the whole series.
+ Religion/Sexuality contrast
As mentioned before, the premise of the show focuses on a promise Jane made to her abuela when she was 10, in which she vowed to remain celibate. Of course, this proved to be challenging at times, but besides everything, Jane kept her promise. In the series, we can perfectly see a contrast between Jane and Xiomara. While Jane chooses not to have sex, Xiomara has sex and she rather enjoys it. This is constantly discussed in the show; either by Jane who refers to her own birth and herself as an accident or by Alba who makes Xiomara feel guilty about it.
These are some of the many important themes debated on the show, but of course, there’s always the splash of drama and comedy to add to this combination. Between crime lords and family dramas, we also have telenovela stars, love triangles and evil twins (we all know, it’s always the twin). It’s certainly something you don’t want to miss. Jane the Virgin is available to stream on Netflix, the CW app and of course, it’s back every week at Fridays at 9/8c on The Cw.