Fall TV First Impression: Jane the Virgin

Jane the Virgin PreviewThe broadcast networks have more than two dozen shows debuting this fall, including Katherine Heigl‘s TV comeback, a trip to Gotham, a third NCIS and a Flash-y Arrow offshoot. To help you prep for it all, TVLine is offering First Impressions of the not-for-review pilots.

Next up on our list….

PHOTOS Fall TV Preview: Your Guide to What’s New!

THE SHOW | The CW’s Jane the Virgin (Mondays at 9/8c, premiering Oct. 13)

THE COMPETITION | NBC’s The Voice, ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, CBS’ Scorpion (new), Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and ESPN’s Monday Night Football

THE CAST | Gina Rodriguez (The Bold and the Beautiful), Andrea Navedo (Law & Order), Justin Baldoni (Everwood), Yael Grobglas (Reign), Brett Dier (Ravenswood), Jaime Camil (Qué pobres tan ricos) and Ivonne Coll (Switched at Birth)

THE SET-UP | Hotel hostess/wannabe teacher Jane was raised from a young age to safeguard her virginity, since, as her abuela bluntly puts it, there is no going back. So imagine the surprise of everyone — Jane’s uber-patient longtime beau Mike included — when she learns that she is pregnant, by way of a rather incredible* doctor’s office mix-up.

RELATED The CW’s Fall Schedule Opens in Early October, Gives The Flash Big Boost

THE FIRST IMPRESSION | *Your willingness to sample, let alone embrace, Jane the Virgin largely depends on your relationship with the word incredible. No real-world scenario supports the premise by which she gets accidentally inseminated (with the thawed sperm of, coincidentally, onetime crush-turned-hotel magnate Rafael, played by Baldoni), so if you hold The CW to the same standards as Science Channel, this isn’t your cup of sangria.

But if you are willing to suspend belief for that pivotal (and hilariously played) examination room sequence — and you have mad ninja skills when it comes to programming your DVR during this highly competitive hour — you’re in for a treat. Because even upon a second viewing (which Jane’s medically unsound conceit demanded), this telenovela-tinged dramedy still charmed my socks off. (I mean, if the closing scene doesn’t make you misty, you’re made of stone.) As the bearer of this “Immaculata,” Rodriguez is a real find and has you rooting for Jane from the moment she suffers an early workplace mortification. Other standouts include Navedo as Jane’s mildly flaky mom, Grobglas as Rafael’s scheming wife and Dier as the understandably gobsmacked Mike.

The why of Jane’s pregnancy is almost incidental, as it serves largely to set in motion myriad juicy plots, including the arrival of the dad Jane never knew, an investigation policeman Mike is involved in that threatens to expose a key character’s secret and, I am guessing, the eventual someday-maybe rekindling of Jane’s aforementioned crush on Rafael. In other words, there are enough dishes spinning to drive story for all of Season 1, but not so many — or any so outlandish — to steer this series off its decidedly soapy rails.

MORE FIRST IMPRESSIONS ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder, Fox’s Red Band Society, CBS’ Madam Secretary, NBC’s State of Affairs, ABC’s black-ish, CBS’ Stalker, The CW’s The Flash, Fox’s Gotham

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE | We wish Jane the very best — life has thrown her a real curveball — but the true miracle here might be for her to deliver… any sizable audience. The Voice and DWTS still sing, Sleepy Hollow has fervent fans and no CBS procedural, old or new, can ever be dismissed. Also, the pairing with The Originals lacks flow… unless you count Hayley’s own “miracle” baby?

Watch a preview for Jane the Virgin, then vote in our poll below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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36 Comments
  1. Dean says:

    Years ago this sort of thing would have been boycotted from tv. The fact a series was made with such subject matter shows how far the television industry has come along.

    • ... says:

      You say this without having seen the pilot. Why not wait until you can watch the first episode before forming an opinion on the show itself? And do you have the same self-righteousness about violent content as you do sexual content?

      • Angela says:

        Dude. Chill. I think the post was meant in a positive way, as in talking about how good it was to see how open-minded television is nowadays. Settle down.

        • Jana says:

          This isn’t an open minded TV show. I watched the original show. It was nonsensical. You do know that fertility treatments are not done where the insemination are done right? Also the original was done with a teen age girl who never went in for an exam before. What 20 year old woman doesnt know what a check up at the ob/gyn should entail? And why wasn’t she asked questions before being inseminated?

          • Angela says:

            My post wasn’t intended as an opinion on this show’s premise. I was just merely pointing out and clarifying to another poster what I think the comment above theirs was intending to say, is all.
            Though, I will say this, in regards to your question about 20 year old women not knowing about what ob/gyn check ups entail…well, considering we DO (or did, don’t know if it’s still airing) have a show on TV called, “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”, and considering there are some women out there who, due to lack of proper sex education, are actually woefully uninformed on basic stuff like this, I don’t think that’s too far-fetched a scenario, sadly.
            Plus, you know, it is just a TV show. From the synopsis here it sounds like they’re pretty well aware of the ludicrousness of the premise, so I wouldn’t take it too seriously if I were you.

    • b says:

      I can’t see why this would have been boycotted…at least not the concept.

    • Alex says:

      Yeah… it’s come along, in a truly terrible way.

  2. Rose says:

    The telenovela this show is based on was actually quite good. This is like Ugly Betty so I hope many tune in.

  3. 80s says:

    Sadly, shows can’t survive on sheer charm. I still weep for the Carrie Diaries. Wishing this show the best though!

  4. ... says:

    I’ve seen this. It’s pretty cute – kind of an Ugly Betty/Pushing Daisies hybrid. Also, Gina Rodriguez is a strong lead and someone I could definitely see a series being built around. However, airing after The Originals and on a night where The CW has typically struggled with this type of programming is going to be rough. Hart of Dixie, Carrie Diaries (RIP), or ANTM are the only shows that would pair well with Jane and I think that the polarizing premise and incongruous lead-in might leave the show vulnerable.

  5. David says:

    When I read about the premise I was wondering what they were thinking. But after seeing the trailer it looks promising.

  6. Tran says:

    Two words about Jane the Virgin: SKIP IT :-(

    • James says:

      Two words about Jane the Virgin: LOVE IT!

    • Raina says:

      Have you seen the pilot? When I read the concept I thought it was a joke shows like Star-Crossed and The Tomorrow People were cancelled for Jane the Virgin to get a slot. Then I watched the pilot. It falls in the category of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. I’ve watched it twice now and loved it both times!

  7. By the look of the poll results Jane won’t get to full-term.

  8. powerturtle90sdudemon says:

    Wouldn’t the doctor get sued for some sort of malpractice?

  9. Wendy says:

    I saw this pilot and I was pretty surprised by how delightful it was!

    I’ll definitely be checking this out (though Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives were my cup of over the top tea too)

  10. Babybop says:

    I’ll watch it. I’m desperate for a show where the entire plot revolves around everyone having sex with everyone. As long as they don’t portray her being a virgin as equivalent to her being a freak of nature (as every high school show seems to do), I’ll be happy.

  11. Ally Oop says:

    Jane the Virgin is, truthfully, one of the new series I am most looking forward to. I love romantic comedies and there’s not a whole hell of a lot of them around when it comes to current hour-long tv series–only Hart of Dixie and Chasing Life come to mind, both of which I love. I just wish the show had gotten a better timeslot. Mondays at that timeslot are killer–Sleepy Hollow, Scorpion, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice and Strange Empire–so I’m not sure there’s enPugh audience left for this sh

    • Ally Oop says:

      I wanted to add I’m not sure there’s enough audience leftover for Jane to succeed. I guess we shall see how much it retains from The Originals, a show which could also crash and burn on Mondays, and how it compares to ratings of past Monday shows on the CW. I still think Supernatural would have been a better choice for Mondays as it has a loyal audience who would follow it anywhere.

      • SMcMary says:

        I agree that Supernatural would have been a better fit with the Originals but that isn’t why I’m replying to your post. I was just thinking that if they had switched it to Mondays than I think it would hold the distinction of airing on nearly every weeknight during their decade run. That must be some sort of record LOL. As for Jane, I might check it out because another critic I respect (and a former colleague of the TV Line gentleman) recommended it as well.

  12. GTS says:

    This show seems a bit slut-shamey- or at least setting negative examples about sex. The grandmother saying she still feels shame for thinking that her 16 year old daughter wasn’t going to be a fit parent, the flower exercise, then keeping the flower to always look at… Most people don’t wait until they are married to have sex, and sex certainly isn’t a part of your worth, something I don’t think the show is going to portray. Still, I’ll give it a chance and see, I can’t tell everything from a four minute trailer.

  13. Asia says:

    I love that executive producer of Ugly Betty is going to be part of this show, so I’m in. Just from watching the trailer I’m getting Ugly Betty vibes.

  14. Jenna says:

    This actually looks cute, so I’ll check it out…somehow. This time slot is brutal, and I won’t miss Sleepy Hollow, but I hope this one succeeds.

  15. joefromwb says:

    Are we sure the doctor is the one at fault here? Was Jane perhaps on a solo space mission recently?

  16. Alex says:

    This show includes the VIOLATION OF A WOMAN’S BODY PLAYED FOR LAUGHS. That is SICK and in no way amusing or “hilarious.”

  17. Suhail says:

    I was expecting the worst when I watched the pilot, but it really wasn’t that bad.

  18. Diz says:

    I don’t know how anyone can get past the fact that this would never actually happen! Just too beyond stupid for me.

  19. grandmal006 says:

    There are two shows on at that time, that I already like. I watch one and program the other.

  20. grandmal006 says:

    Not my cup of tea. I have my DVR programmed already for 1 show, while I watch another.

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