Modern telanovela ups the drama


Mary Margaret Stewart

The 2014 TV sensation “Jane the Virgin” is on Netflix as of Oct. 12, and it’s a must-see.

Okay – granted, the series’ name seems akin to one of those cheesy teen shows that streams on “Nick at Nite.” This show’s got me hooked, though, and I know I’m not the only one.

In 2015 alone, “Jane the Virgin” won a Golden Globe for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical,” the People’s Choice Award for “Favorite New TV Comedy” and AFI’s “TV Program of the Year,” to name a few of the biggies.

Jane Villanueva is a young waitress at an upscale Miami hotel living with two generations of Villanueva women (including her very Catholic grandmother), all while finishing up her teaching degree.

Season one kicks off with Jane accidentally becoming artificially inseminated during a gynecologist appointment – with her former crush’s sperm. And the drama only intensifies with time.

The premise is based on telenovela “Juana el Virgen,” and this spoof manages to find the perfect balance between satirizing the dramatic side of telenovelas and emulating the customs of melodramas.
Each episode keeps viewers (and bingers alike) engaged with the witty and typical-to-telenovela male narrator.

He quickly but indepthly recaps previous moments pertaining to the upcoming episode, types notes on the screen to keep people visually engaged and manages to introduce unique themes that last for the duration of the 45-minute segment.

To top it off, Netflix’s one-click “next episode” option paired with the angering “to be continued…” flashing at the end of each segment makes it all too easy to binge watch for hours. Click on the pilot over holiday break and see for yourself.


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons