Did You Lose It Over Jane the Virgin?

Jane the Virgin Premiere Recap

The CW on Monday night introduced us to its extremely likable new heroine, Jane the Virgin. But did the telenovela-inspired dramedy fill the Ugly Betty-shaped hole in your heart?

RELATED  Jane the Virgin EPs Justify Edgy Title, Promise a Comedy About ‘Morality’

Before you chime in with your thoughts, here’s a recap of the pilot and the players.

Jane Villanueva (played with warmth and relatable charm by The Bold and the Beautiful‘s Gina Rodriguez) has been raised by a single mother, Xiomara (How to Make It in America‘s Andrea Navedo), and her grandmother, Alba (Switched at Birth‘s Ivonne Coll), who used a crushed flower to demonstrate to a young Jane what happens when you don’t protect your virtue.

Now, Jane is a 23-year-old virgin with a steady – not to mention, patient – detective boyfriend, Michael (Ravenswood‘s Brett Dier), who might soon propose. When she protests that it’s way too soon in their timeline to get engaged, her friend counters, “You’ve been dating for two years, and you haven’t boned. He might move up your timeline.”

Then there’s playboy trapped husband – love the cheeky onscreen graphics – Rafael (Everwood‘s Justin Baldoni), who’s the new owner of the hotel where Jane works. She instantly recognizes him when he approaches, comically swimming away in her mermaid tail costume, but it takes him a while to catch on to how they know each other. (More on that in a moment.) Raf is married to man-eater Petra (Blake Lively doppelganger/Reign‘s Yael Grobglas), who stood by his side through cancer and wants to hold on to her wealthy husband by using his only sperm sample to have their baby (even though she’s having an affair with his friend).

RELATED Jane the Virgin Hooks Michael Rady

Jane the Virgin Premiere RecapHowever, there’s a hiccup at the doctor’s office when Petra comes in for the procedure. Jane is just there for a pap smear but ends up getting artificially inseminated by Rafael’s distraught sister, Louisa (who caught her wife in bed with someone else); Petra, meanwhile, just gets a saline spritz, as Louisa tries to cover up her mistake. Louisa’s lawyer ex-lover/college roommate advises her to keep her mouth shut, especially since she’s still under probation. Hmm…

When Jane faints on the bus two weeks later, the ER doc tells her she’s pregnant, sending Jane and her mother into fits of hysterical laughter because, hello, impossible! But every pregnancy test keeps coming back positive. “You are immaculata!” Xiomara exclaims.

Louisa is forced to ‘fess up to all parties about her mistake. Jane spills the pregnancy news to Michael, mid-proposal. He, understandably, doesn’t want to start their lives together by raising another man’s baby. Meanwhile, Xiomara just wants her daughter to know she has a choice about whether or not to have the child. Then Jane’s grandmother reveals that she originally told Xiomara to have an abortion. “But now, you have become the best part of my life, and this will be the best part of your life too,” she says.

RELATED Jane the Virgin Taps White Collar‘s Bridget Regan for Recurring Role

There’s also Rafael and Petra to consider, of course. Turns out Raf and Jane met when she was working at his country club. They bonded, shared a grilled cheese and then a kiss, but he never called. He admits he was kind of a jerk back then. But the reformed playboy now wants to have a child, an unexpected byproduct of cancer. So Jane decides to have the baby and give it to the couple. Michael is cool with this situation, so Jane proposes to him this time. Little does she know, her new fiancé may be a little shady, if his brother (Ryan Devlin, Veronica Mars) is any indicator. Another potential can-of-worms sideplot: Michael and his colleagues have surveillance on Raf’s friend, which means they’ve also got photos of him in bed with Petra.

P.S. – Jane’s father, whom she’s never met, is a huge telenovela star! (P.P.S. — He’s played by actual telenovela star Jaime Camil, Que Pobres Tan Ricos.)

Once you get past the noisy title and the justifiably crazy premise — the legal ramifications of which will be dealt with in a future episode — Jane is extremely well-executed. The show’s clear and clever voice is evident within the first few seconds of the episode, which is no easy task to accomplish during a pilot, let alone before the first act break. And while the many soapy telenovela plots could go sideways, for now, color us intrigued and seduced by the affable cast.

What did you think of Jane the Virgin‘s unusual tale? Grade the premiere via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick!

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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  1. Jenna says:

    Cute and quirky and thoroughly entertaining! I’m in.

    • Guest says:

      I’m in. It’s going to get better. Critics wouldn’t just go off the pilot. They’ve seen a few more episodes and know what’s coming up.

  2. Jady says:

    BORING LIKE HELL! I want my 42 minutes back! Those who said this is “the best show” needs to get shot !I feel cheated

  3. Charlie says:

    I tuned in because the reviews were so good but I think it was overrated. Disappointing.

  4. Tran says:

    I give Jane the Virgin a C. TV critics pick this crappy series as one of the best new shows of the season but who cares. Final word: try not to get mad at me about Jane the Virgin.

  5. Robert says:

    I think it was ok and it has potential but I probably will not watch because of my irrational dislike for tv series and movies that take place in Florida.

  6. Wow that sucked. Your mileage will probably vary based on how cute you think it is, but that’s pretty much all its got going for it.

  7. Guest says:

    I loved it. My mom would have loved it. We’re Puerto Rican and she would have loved the telenovela style. It’s pretty smart like Ugly Betty. I like that things moved fast. No cover up of what happened with the artificial insemination. All parties found our right away. No dragging that for episodes. Everyone that needed to know knew in the first episode.

    • Lizzie says:

      Yes it is like a telenovela, I think non-novela watchers think that all latin american novelas are serious with overacting and slaps. But the best ones are the funny ones and they got the best guy to do the novela actor. Seriously I didn’t care if it was good or bad I am supporting it to get Jamie Camill off those ridiculous novelas he did. But it is awesome. Besides the premise everything is relatable, teen pregnancy, marriage, and family. And the best part the whole being hispanic was not in your face obvious. Like look at me I’m hispanic. It just is! So please let this show survive.

  8. Leo says:

    Cute show, People let their agendas get in the way of giving this show a fair show.

  9. Sean says:

    Critics are weird,this is a crappy formulatic show. Did CW paid them for reviews. Overrated. Those promotions lied.

  10. Jhene says:

    I watched the original. That was a ridiculous novela and this is a ridiculous remake. The only thing the novela had going for it was that Jane was a teen living in another country. The plot is implausible for a 23 yr old in Miami.

  11. Alex says:

    What you refer to as “a hiccup at the doctor’s office” is the violation of a woman’s body.

  12. Candice says:

    I enjoyed it. There is nothing I’m watching right now that is like it. I’ll keep watching.

  13. mania says:

    there was a show in india with exactly the same concept…but it was a drama…i liked it..so now hopefully i will enjoy the english version of the show….

    • Anja says:

      Oh! Yeah, I saw that too. The girl was named Ananya, I think. I’ll give this version a chance and see if its good or not!

  14. Mika02 says:

    The commercials do not do the show justice I actually really really loved it it’s definitely a modern-day telenovela.

  15. Jess says:

    I’m in too. I loved it. It was funny and charming. The only gripe I had was her mother didn’t really look like her mother. She looks like she is only maybe 5 years older than Jane. But definitely digging the style and I have nothing else I really want to watch at 9pm anyways.

  16. Jamie says:

    If you love Reign, boycott this show. Reign needs a season 3.

    • James says:

      I like both. It has Olivia who somehow ended up shipwrecked in Miami and not in Trinidad.

    • Rocky says:

      I might be missing something here, but what does on show have to do with the other ?

      • dude says:

        Nothing. Just that some people think if a show is doing poorly and a show comes along that does worse, that will somehow save the poorly rated show. Reign isn’t even doing THAT bad and considering BATB was picked up, it’s not out of the question Reign will too.

      • Jamie says:

        Read the Nielsen Article TVLINE just did about how shows on each network compete against each other for renewal. With Reign’s Demo number really low, It needs other shows to do badly. i.e. last year when the tomorrow people was cancelled instead of Beauty and the Beast.

    • Lanie says:

      Yes yes yes!!!!! REIGN deserves a better time slot. It didn’t get to be seen during the summer. That was so unfair. I’m sick to death of vampires, NCIS crap, doctors, etc. REIGN is unique and deserves better treatment. GIVE IT A BETTER NIGHT!

  17. MattySi says:

    I liked it. It was cute. Mostly predictable but a there were a couple surprises. Um, Jane’s father anyone?!?
    I’ll continue to tune in mostly to see if my predictions are correct. (They usually are.)

    • Briggs says:

      I loved Jane’s father! His reaction to not being told about Jane was a surprise, but it made me happy. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  18. Ginger says:

    It’s the most promoted CW show since TVD launched IMO, they haven’t pulled out the talk show circuit, billboards, buses etc. like that in the last 6 years. Based on the critical praise it should be getting 1.0s. But it’s the CW and it’s Monday and The Originals will most likely get a 0.6 so I’m going with 0.6 for Jane too. Would be surprised if it’s lower and won’t be surprised if it’s higher due to the promotional buzz.

  19. Karla says:

    I was surprisingly charmed by it! I walked in not expecting a lot and walked out really excited!

    Also, very cool to see a show with such a diverse cast of characters. I’m always so surprised by how nice it feels to actually be represented on tv. I usually don’t think about it since it’s just not the life I have the luxury to lead as a Latina. Then I see characters that look like me and it’s crazy how much it feels like it matters.

  20. It’s very telenovela, but that is neither good nor bad — it just is what it is. I can see why a LOT of people would not be interested as a result.

    I think the comparison to Ugly Betty is unfair — Betty was a ‘fish out of water’ fairy tale story where you’re supposed to love the heroine and watch how she makes better all the unlikable people around her with no visible redeeming qualities.

    Jane seems like a real-life young woman, with a real-life way-too-young mother. I hope people noticed she doesn’t drive the latest car, inexplicably live in a $1 million house, or never have to work to afford her place a la “Friends”.

    In other words: Jane the Virgin seems to take place in the real world — or at least the real world as a starting point, with whimsy thereafter. That’s what made it interesting and likable to me. Ugly Betty was largely unrealistic and fantastic from the start, which I was on board with … but that’s just one of the things that sets the two apart for me.

    Not every show starring a Latina is an Ugly Betty clone. Tsk, tsk, Ms. Gelman. Kinda disappointed you can’t see past the race of the heroine.

    (By the way, I actually enjoyed the show … I’m gonna be watching this season.)

  21. Lauren says:

    I liked it, I didn’t love it. It was enjoyable and fun, but I wasn’t hooked or anything. The best thing about it was the lead actress, she was great. I’m going to keep watching.

  22. fiona says:

    I liked it! thought it was gonna be bad but it surprised me. the heroine is likeable. will continue on watching!

  23. Shannika says:

    If you don’t like it don’t watch it. Personally I love it.

  24. Abby says:

    I liked it! And with Heart of Dixie on life support, it’s nice to have one other show on the CW that is a little bit lighter on the mood. There’s so much dark and twisty on that network.

    Also, I love how people keep saying that they can’t accept the unrealistic premise on network of vampires and superheroes.

    • Boiler says:

      Totally agree. I am pulling for Hart of Dixie and hopefully Jane will cut it or CW may become the network of cartoons, vampires, etc.

  25. Jane says:

    The actress paying Jane was good but al of the other female characters were just stereotypes and annoying. The two main male characters were also pretty bad a rich guy and a cop with a mysterious past. It was ok but not sure Gina can carry the whole show. I’ll give it a couple of more tries to see if the writing gets better

  26. mom2busyboys says:

    It was darling! I will keep watching.

  27. Egarimzo says:

    I really wanted to like the show, but by scene two, I bailed.
    It just annoyed me. That’s not a good place to start.
    Perhaps the bilingual spanitch and inglitch intro was too grating.
    Can’t be certain, but I don’t think I am a fan of telenovelas… at least not this one.

    Good luck, and best wishes.

  28. Gilded Lady says:

    This kind of thing normally isn’t my cuppa, but I think it struck just the righf cord with me. Great cast, fun story and it’s a nice piece of levity to balance the almost always dark Originals.

  29. KC says:

    Awesome? Above Average?
    What show did you watch?
    Total Fail!!!

  30. powerturtle90sdudemon says:

    So how does the doctor avoid a lawsuit?

  31. dude says:

    LOVED IT! The main girl is fantastic and the show as a whole just really gelled. They know what they want to be and how to accomplish it which is more than most pilots offer. Thought it was really cute and really enjoyed it.

  32. Ashley says:

    I’m so excited for this show! Its pure joy to watch Gina she is so great, I remember her from Filly Brown (this is the film with the late Jenni Rivera). Jaime Camil was great too, I haven’t laughed so much in a long time!!

  33. Briggs says:

    I missed the first half, but I’m tuning back on on Friday to see the whole thing, because I absolutely loved it. And it looks like I’m in the majority. Though, this being TVLine, it’s an unspoken rule that there have to be some negative comments. I’m not worried, though. This looks like a great show. When I enjoy the people we’re supposed to hate as much as those we are supposed to love, that’s a great show.
    I’m going to be glued to my TV (or computer, if I decide to Hulu it due to scheduling conflicts) to see if that blonde wife finally gets hers. Can anyone tell me why she or her lover is under surveillance?

  34. emw says:

    I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the future episodes.. i dont normally watch the CW but for this i will set my Dvr… if they can give Beauty and the beast 3 seasons this one is a no brainer… im really interested in what the brother has over her boyfriend. .. call me a fan..

  35. KP says:

    Very cute in an Ugly Betty sort of way. However,if they’re gonna use that many subtitles they need to be larger.

  36. Stephanie says:

    i was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it!! the commercials really do not do it justice. do yourself a favor and don’t listen to the negative comments; try out the pilot for yourself. I think you’ll be surprised by the quality of the acting and the writing. Definitely not your standard CW show.

  37. Lanie says:

    Jane was just ok. Telanovela or whatever its called can move to an all Spanish station. I don’t care about any show but REIGN. I’m not wishing bad luck on any show, but Reign is truly a good series. It has great actors, fabulous scenery, and is refreshingly different. Give it a chance.

  38. Briggs says:

    To those complaining about Jane somehow pulling viewers from Reign: They are on *two different nights*. Yes, an actress from Reign is now on Jane. Unless she was a fan fave, I don’t see what her going to another show is going to do to Reign’s ratings. You want Reign to get a better slot? Write the CW, start a campaign. Posting about the unfairness in a comments section for another show does *nothing* to help your cause.

  39. Camille says:

    I watched the first episode. This show hurt’s women everywhere and it is hateful. Like ugly betty. That was an awful show, I wish I could get back the time it stole from me. Curse you ugly betty and jane the stupid virgin.

  40. Mr Borden says:

    One of the worst shows I have ever seen. All of the characters are lying to each other and cheating on each other, nobody has a good heart in the entire show. I will not be wasting any more time with this.