Cultura/ Culture

One-of-a-kind American telenovela, Jane the Virgin, ends after five seasons

The CW show “Jane the Virgin” focused on the life of Jane Villanueva, an aspiring novelist, and primarily took place at the Marbella Hotel in Miami, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Margarita Martinez)

By MIA ARANDA

Warning: the following article contains spoilers from the show, “Jane the Virgin”

American telenovela series, “Jane the Virgin,” came to an end on July 31 after five seasons. The series is known for its iconic love triangle involving the main protagonist, Jane, and her two love interests, Rafael and Michael. 

“Jane the Virgin” begins when Jane Villanueva, played by Gina Rodriguez, is accidentally inseminated, when the sample was actually meant for the patient next door, causing her to become pregnant while still remaining a virgin. Her grandmother, a very religious woman, always told Jane to remain a virgin until marriage, so Jane was very troubled to be accidentally put into this situation. Unfortunately, Jane was dating Michael and pregnant with Rafael’s child, creating much conflict for her. 

Photo courtesy of Mike Steele via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/21022123@N04/15536948327

The show first piloted on Oct. 13, 2014 producing a large fan base quickly. Fans were heaping over the uniqueness of the show, including the compelling storylines, the lovable Latin lover narrator, team Michael or Rafael, and all of the special effects shown.

Redlands East Valley sophomore, Devian Santiago, said, “I hear it’s really great! And that’s really how I got into it. The most unique component to me would be the love that the family has shown and improved because before it used to be Jane, Xiomara, and Alba, and now it’s Jane, Rafael, Alba, Xiomora, Mateo, and etc.” 

Each episode is narrated by Anthony Mendez, otherwise known as the “Latin Lover Narrator.” Not only does he give the recap in the beginning and what is happening during the episode, but he also provides witty remarks and hints throughout the episode, making him lovable to the show’s fans. “I see myself as a friend to the audience, like your couch potato buddy sitting there and excited to get started,” said Mendez in Chapter Ninety-Nine of “Jane the Virgin,” an episode dedicated for interviews from cast members. 

Another element that is specific to Jane the Virgin is the unique visual style and magical realism. “Jane the Virgin” uses modern day technology in a way that most shows do not, such as the display of text messages, emails and social media profiles and posts, making the audience feel included in the storyline. The show also uses magical realism by taking the world around them and making it real in non-traditional ways. For instance, when a character feels in love on the show, they will make their hearts glow in order to highlight their romantic feelings for the special someone.

“Jane the Virgin” also puts much emphasis on the representation of women. “In TV, you rarely see three females Latinas leading charge of their lives,” said Ivonne Coll, who plays Jane’s grandmother, Alba, on the show. Fans see the struggles and challenges that the women had to overcome, such as Jane’s mother, Xiomara, conquering her cancer, or Jane striving to finish her college education while focusing on her new-born son, Mateo. This representation, especially of Latina women, is definitely deserved and respected by the fans. 

REV sophomore, Miriam Yordanos, said, “I think the show represents them in a positive light as they mentioned a few times in the show about women empowerment and involving Hispanic culture without being stereotypical.” 

On the show, Jane has plenty of support from her close-knit family, especially from her mother and grandmother by whom she was raised. “Jane the Virgin” places the rightful importance of family as one of its many major themes. Jane would not have been able to accomplish all that she did, such as getting through her accidental pregnancy and becoming a published author and mother, without the support of her family. Her mother and grandmother specifically were always there to provide advice and encouragement when she needed it the most. Many of the emotional scenes where Jane seeks advice and reveals her feelings to her mother and grandmother take place on a porch bench outside of their house. The porch bench symbolizes the many poignant conversations between Jane, her mom, and her grandmother. 

Immigration is also a leading storyline on “Jane the Virgin.” Jane’s grandmother, Alba immigrated with her husband, Mateo, from Venezuela for a better life in the United States. However, Mateo died while Xiomara was still a teenager explaining why Alba had to take on the role of working and running her household by herself. She becomes used to having to be concerned and responsible for everyone’s health, education, and well-being. Alba was fearful that she could get deported at any moment because she was in the country illegally. 

One of the most emotional scenes on the show occured when Alba applied for residency and her green card came in the mail. Later on in the show, Alba marries a man named Jorge, played by Alfonso DiLuca, in order for him to gain his citizenship and to visit his ill mother in Mexico. This was truly an important issue to include in the show because it overall deserves more attention and helps people to recognize what challenges immigrants currently have to experience in the United States.

Last, but not least, “Jane the Virgin” has divided their fanbase into two teams, team Michael and Rafael. Jane is conflicted with which person to choose; her exceedingly handsome baby-daddy or beloved detective whom she has been together for two years? 

REV sophomore, Zoe Armida, began watching in seventh grade and became a Team Rafael fan because “Michael was shady and always up to something.” 

Santiago said, “At first I was on Team Rafael but now that I have seen season three, turned into Michael for some reason. Having to know that Rafael being really petty was too much for Jane, and with Michael, he always seemed to make her bad days into good old ones, which was a stress relief.”

Yordanos said, “I am Team Rafael because I know when I see true love and Jane and Rafael are made to be together.” 

Although the show is in English, and a few characters speaking Spanish with English subtitles, “Jane the Virgin” still embraces the traditional roots of a telenovela: love, lies, and the unpredictable twists and turns. Fans have their emotions toyed with all the time as they experience this five year long emotional rollercoaster. 

To find out who Jane ends up with, all five seasons of “Jane the Virgin” are available to stream on Netflix with a subscription.

Read this article in Spanish https://laplaza.press/2019/09/05/unica-telenovela-americana-jane-la-virgin-termina-despues-de-cinco-temporadas/

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