The CW Network telenovela “Jane the Virgin” has come to an end after five glorious years.
This American telenovela which currently has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.8 on IMDb was famed for touching on serious family issues in a lighthearted yet impactful manner.
In the first season of “Jane the Virgin,” the eponymous Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez) is a 23-year old virgin. Jane is engaged to police detective, Michael Cordero (Brett Dier). On the fated day, she went for a routine check-up but got accidentally inseminated by a specimen meant for a patient in the next room called Petra Solano (Yael Grobglas). Coincidentally, Petra is married to Jane’s boss, Rafael Solano (Justin Baldoni).
With the help of her grandmother Alba (Ivonne Coll), Jane had fought all her life not to be like her mother Xiomara (Andrea Navedo) who had her at the age of 16. Alba impressed on Jane strong Catholic values – most especially chastity. Xiomara on the other hand, is extremely flirty. She has no qualms with pre-marital sex. Not even a teenage pregnancy made her change her views. She and her daughter were opposite sides of a coin. But interestingly, the three women had a strong friendship and bond. They put their differences aside when it was telenovela time. They all believed in and craved love.
But fate does have a way of playing tricks on us. Like a deja vu, at 23 year, Jane is pregnant out of wedlock. And so “Jane the Virgin’s” test of love begins. What happens? Will Michael believe her? Does she have the baby and co-parent with Rafael? How would Petra react to losing the specimen to Jane?
Thankfully the bond between Jane and her mother will stand the test of time. Xiomara and Alba are supportive when they learn of the pregnancy. Our hearts were particularly warmed by Xiomara for believing that Jane did not know how she got pregnant. She is not judgmental. But insists on an investigation by the gynecologist.
Amid it all, Jane’s dad Rogelio de la Vega (Jaime Camil) emerges. Rogelio is now a big telenovela star with shenanigans. So, with Rogelio came more drama.
We have seen lots of drama and plot twists. Laughed and cried. We have felt pity for Petra at times. And most of all, witnessed some really pleasing character transformation in Rafael and Rogelio. And the result has been four captivating seasons.
Everyone loves the Jane character. How could you not? She is kind, sweet, down to earth and considerate. Rodriguez embodied her so much that despite her breakout success in the film, “Someone’s Great,” she will forever be Jane in our hearts. However, “Jane the Virgin,” would be less successful without Jane’s antagonist, Petra and the show’s narrator Anthony Mendez complemented by the onscreen title-cards.
Mendez enlivened the show in a way only comparable to Dave Lamb in the show “Come Dine with Me.” His voice over is particularly effective when danger looms or after a shocking twist. Because he has privileged information, after a plot twist, his tone is braggish but in a pleasing way. As if to say, ‘what were you expecting?’
On Grobglas’s part, she was nothing short of phenomenal. Her portrayal of Petra’s sarcasm and indifference was every bit enjoyable. Like Grobglas – an Isreali actress who emigrated to the United States after she got the role – Petra is an immigrant but from the Czech Republic. She is pretty and fashionable – Grobglas’s stylist, deserves a gold. But more importantly, Petra is diehard. Petra will stop at nothing to sustain her status in high society. She is pretty and conniving. Petra would scheme to stay in charge of the Marbella – the Solano family hotel. When her schemes are almost revealed, she would plot even more to cover them up.
Yet some of the painful moments in the show thus have been the most memorable and lovable. As “Jane the Virgin’s,” test of love comes to an end, one cannot decide which season was most appealing. Was it season two with Jane’s pain or season four with Xiomara’s?
In true telenovela style, every season climaxed with a cliffhanger. And season four was certainly not an exception. The plot twist in the season four finale got our hearts palpitating. Just as much as we were confused. So, while we hate to say goodbye to “Jane the Virgin,” we cannot wait to see how the plot twist will unravel.
The finale episode of “Jane the Virgin” aired in the US on 31 July. We look forward to when it will become available on Netflix locally. You can also catch-up on seasons one to four on Netflix.