By all accounts, Jane The Virgin, is a bon-a-fide hit. Newly minted Golden Globe winner, Gina Rodriguez, who plays Jane, pretty much said it all during her acceptance speech saying, "This award is so much more than myself. It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes." It also happens to be the first Globe win for the CW. In its unapologetic Telenovela styled approach to entertaining us, Jane the Virgin, serves as a major culture cross-over show and so far, America is LOVING IT.
(Not that it's news to anyone at this point) Jane Gloriana Villanueva, is a 23-year old virgin who is accidentally inseminated while undergoing a routine "lady" check-up. As knowledge of this horrendous mistake is made known, the ripple effect of the various consequences change the course of Jane's otherwise ordinary life and those around her.
I'll be honest, I have no experience with telenovela's, so I may be speaking out of school when I say that I imagine them to be a lot like American soap operas but with possibly even more wild story-lines. JTV certainly has a strong element of over-the-top situations with various characters, but I think what people are responding to is the heart clearly evident in the show's main characters. There are characters who are mentally unstable, murderous, liars, cheats, self-absorbed, sweet, nurturing and I think outrageous could apply to any one character at some point or another. With that said, the writer's have done a really good job of humanizing these often-times ridiculous characters that can border on caricatures. Rogelio de la Vega (played by Jaime Camil) is a perfect example. Funnily enough, he plays a Telenovela star. While he's hilariously self-absorbed his connection with Jane and her mother bring out a chivalrous and deeply sincere aspect of his character, which renders him quite endearing. He's certainly one of my favorite characters!
As much as I'd love to delve into these various characters, to do so would create a whole host of spoilers for anyone reading this. I will say, however, that if you love serial drama's, loaded with comedic twists and turns and each episode ending with big question provoking reveals, this is the show for you. What this show is not, is Revenge with a Latin twist. Oh it's twisted, but not THAT twisted.
Now if I may get on my soap box for a millisecond here: I may not be 100% behind this show as a viewer (just a personal preference), I do hope it has the same longevity as a show like, Revenge. I think it's important for shows starring people that reflect more our society and to Ms. Rodriguez' point, Latin Americans as heroes. It's good business as well as good television. [Stepping down from soap box now]