Jane the Virgin: Better Than its Title

Helen Burdier, Entertainment Writer

When thinking about what would make an interesting show, the people over at The CW thought: a stern catholic grandmother who tells her granddaughter to not lose her virginity, a flustered nurse who mistakes a check-up for an insemination, a crumbling marriage, and a voice over. Somehow, it worked.

The premiere episode of Jane the Virgin introduces the protagonist, Jane Villanueva, whose studying to be a teacher and made a vow at age 10 that she’d remain a virgin until marriage after her grandmother demonstrated that after a flower is crumpled, it can never get it’s shape back. Despite her virginity pact, Jane doesn’t come across as naive, instead she’s an ambitious 23 year-old with a plan of focusing on getting her teaching license before even considering marriage.

In order to pay her way through teaching school, Jane works at a hotel owned by Rafael, who happens to be a former flame from when she worked at a yacht club years ago- but she’s the only one who remembers it. The drama between the two doesn’t end there. Rafael’s sister, Luisa, is the Gynecologist that inseminates Jane with -wait for it- Rafael’s frozen specimen.

Rafael’s villainous wife, Petra, was the patient intended to receive Rafael’s sperm, in hopes that the baby would stop him from divorcing her. Making matters worse, the frozen sperm was Rafael’s only chance at having a baby after he suffered from testicular cancer.

As for Jane, things get worse. Her boyfriend of two years, Michael, proposes to her on their anniversary only to discover that she’s pregnant. He doesn’t respond in a fit of rage and jealousy, and instead takes the news with a stoic face before suggesting they act happy about their engagement because both their families are coming to celebrate. Later on, it’s suggested that Michael isn’t as clean cut as he comes off as- which will lead to more problems for Jane, but entertainment for viewers.

All the pieces are adding up for Jane, and there’s a moment when she considers getting rid of the baby. She was an unplanned baby herself, after her mom got pregnant at age 16, and throughout her life followed a strict timeline so that she wouldn’t make the same mistakes as her mother. Plus, there’s Michael, who admits that he doesn’t like the idea of Jane having a baby for another man.

Ultimately, Jane’s conscience gets the better of her. She realizes that it would be selfish to get rid of the baby so that she could continue her studies and carry out her  timeline, because she’d be ruining Rafael’s only chance at having a child.

Jane the Virgin was unexpectedly good. It’s ridiculous title promised a tale about a self-righteous virgin living her life in the big world of non-virgins, but instead the show was actually heartfelt, funny, and with just enough complication to be addicting.

Jane the Virgin airs Mondays on CW at 9/8c.