Arts & Entertainment

Do You Know Jane?

It’s possible that you haven’t heard of Jane the Virgin, the comedy-drama television show airing on the CW, but the award shows have. It snared two Golden Globe nominations before even making it halfway through its first season, winning its star Gina Ro­driguez a best actress prize, a first for the CW. It also won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy as well as a Peabody Award.

So, what is it about Jane that’s got everybody raving?

For one, the concept. Loosely based on the Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, the show follows Jane Villan­ueva, the titular virgin, who ends up getting accidentally artificially insem­inated. To make things more compli­cated, it’s with her boss’s sperm, a boss which she once had a crush on, which doesn’t make her boyfriend happy. Jane has to make the best of a difficult situ­ation, made more so by the appearance of the father she’s never met, who just happens to be a telenovela star.

Intrigued? You should be. That’s barely the tip of the plot iceberg. With each new episode there’s a stunning new twist, something to make you either gasp or giggle. Although the comedy in the series is a strong point, so also is its heart. And no one embod­ies the heart of the show more than its star, Gina Rodriguez.

Gina Rodriguez shines in the role of Jane, making her impossible situa­tion feel believable and even relatable. She plays Jane as a smart, determined young woman who believes in herself and her family, and is willing to fight for her dreams. No matter what Jane is up against, she’ll make it through without losing her wit or her kind heart.

The rest of the cast also deliver stel­lar performances, with Andrea Na­vedo playing Xo, Jane’s fiery mother and Ivonne Coll as Jane’s devout grandmother. Justin Baldoni plays Rafael, Jane’s heartthrob boss and ac­cidental baby daddy and Brett Dier plays Jane’s longtime police officer boyfriend.

The cast, like many other new shows this year, embraces diversity. The majority of the main cast is Latino and Jane’s family is proud of their heritage, from their language to their religion. While there are plenty of funny moments, the situation is the butt of the jokes, not the religion, lan­guage, or culture.

With all that Jane has to offer, it’s no surprise that the critics love it. Rot­ten Tomatoes certifies Jane the Virgin as fresh, and 85 percent of audiences agree. So, if any of this sounds appeal­ing to you, give Jane a chance!

You can watch it Mondays at 9 p.m. on the CW, or watch recaps and the last five episodes online at jane-the-virgin