So in what looked like it’s attempt to change into a stronger network, The CW released on 2014 a show with a premise so ridiculous that perhaps not many people expected it to become the award winning hit it became.
When I first heard of the concept I thought that it sounded so cheesy, soapy and overall bad that it would’ve ended up being one of the first shows to be die in the Fall 2014 season, but after reading some good pilot reviews, I decided to give the show a chance, and boy was I pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Don’t get me wrong the show can get pretty soapy, but the shows acknowledges it and plays with it.
What I found so refreshing about Jane The Virgin is the representation of the Latino community, which as a Latino myself, I can wholeheartedly say I’ve never been prouder of the representation we get on TV. It’s so refreshing getting a show where Latinos are no longer being represented as criminals or gang members, Latinos are not exclusively portrayed as the pinnacle of what a “Macho” should be or a show in which Latinas are not exclusively represented as sex symbols. Jane the Virgin represent the Latino community just like regular people, while also highlighting 3 aspects that I agree are very important and common in the Latino community.
Just by looking at any poster for the TV Show you’ll know that this show will address religion is some way or another. And the good thing about the show is that it doesn’t treat religion like some untouchable subject, in fact quite a few of the jokes are based on religion, but unlike other shows the show doesn’t mocks and ridicule religion, in a weird way Jane the Virgin makes fun while at the same time being respectful of Catholicism, which is the most prominent religion on Latinamerica, and showing how religion is a big part of the life of two characters: Jane and her grandmother Alba. And just like in real life don’t expect Catholicism to be a big part of a lot of characters lives, because besides some traditions, religion is hardly a big part of some of the other Latino characters.
Family, Tradition and the Latino Cuture
I don’t know how someone outside of the Latino community will feel about the way Jane’s family acts, but at least to me, it is something that feels so true to life, I see many families I know in Jane’s family. I feel the family dynamics, the traditions (religious or not) the struggles and the sacrifices shown by Jane’s family is something very truthful to the Latino community and something that in some way or another most Latino families have lived through. The way religion is such a dominant theme in the children’s upbringing, the sacrifices a parent makes, the over the top reactions, the intensity of the bonds in the family members are things that throughout my life I’ve been seen time and time again in many different families.
And of course the Telenovelas or Latino Soap Operas, I’ll admit I’ve never seen any American Soap Opera, but I’ll be surprised if they’re in any way more ridiculous or over the top than Telenovelas. Because, as any Latino can tell you (let’s be honest, if you’re Latino you’ve watched at least one Telenovela once in your life, don’t deny it) the Telenovelas are the most over the top thing you’ll ever watch, no sane person should act that way in real life. I don’t know if whoever makes the Telenovelas are aware of the ridiculousness they end up making or if they think they’re releasing the most grounded and serious representation of life, but Jane The Virgin (as well as Eva Longoria’s new show Hot and Bothered) knows how ridiculous they are, and they are and constantly make fun of it.
So in conclusion, I’m grateful of Jane The Virgin and the positive and possibly more realistic representation of the Latino community, because unlike what people like Donald Trump may think, most Latinos are actually nice people (and not just Latinos, I think that despite race most people are actually nice, but the douchebag minority ends up tarnishing the image of the groups), and I’m glad that a show is able to represent and highlight some of the strong pillars of the Latino community.
I honestly would like to know how other Latinos and non Latinos feel about the show, and if they feel like any of the things I mentioned here also apply to their lives, so please comment below.