At the end of the second season of Jane the Virgin, Jane Villanueva finally marries her longterm sweetheart, Michael Cordero. While this would be, for obvious reasons, a very significant moment in Jane’s life, it would also be a very significant moment in my life. Finally, I would see how this show that has rooted itself so deeply into my heart addresses the big, complicated thing that is Jane’s sexuality.
Before I get into a totally acceptable amount of detail about this episode’s plot and my personal thoughts and feelings about it, let me explain some of the things I was hoping the writers would do with this very important moment. First, I wanted Jane to continue to think of the first time she has sex as a monumental thing—that’s pretty integral to her character at this point. However, I also wanted the first time Jane has sex to be rather less than monumental. I wanted them to continue writing Michael as very thoughtful and considerate and just generally not caught up in his own masculinity. And last, but definitely not least, I wanted them to cautiously and realistically address how Jane’s personal decisions about sex and marriage, while valid in a vacuum, do perpetuate harmful notions about purity and women’s sexuality in general.
To be fair, I will concede that The Episode, Chapter 47, ultimately addressed (if not to the extent I would have liked) most of my concerns. Unfortunately, it also called into question a pretty dangerous idea about the nature of intimacy and communication.
I have a pretty established preference for the serious when it comes to T.V. drama. (TGIT, anyone?) However, one night, about a year ago, in a room-cleaning daze, I happened upon the silliest, most light-hearted, and most romance-novel romantic series I know of: Jane the Virgin. It’s the opposite of everything I’ve come to expect from a binge-worthy dramatic T.V. series and yet, I love it.
Jane the Virgin is about a woman, Jane, who, in the midst of finishing school, getting engaged, and suddenly reuniting with her long-lost superstar father, is accidentally artificially inseminated. The premise is loosely based on a Venezuelan telenovela, Juana la Virgen, and is a jarring but captivating juxtaposition of telenovela tropes and real characters and problems. The drama is decadent, the writing is masterful, and the characters are hilarious, but that’s not the reason I will recommend the show to anyone and everyone. That’s not what has caused me to write not one but two academic papers analyzing the story’s development. I love Jane the Virgin because I love Jane.
I’m already picking out my cosplay for GeekGirlCon ’15: Jane the Virgin. The new show, currently airing its first season on The CW, certainly has all the elements to spark a new fandom that would fit right in with the Lumpy Space Princesses and Daleks that typically make up the crowd: multiple sets of ill-fated lovers, a cast of dynamic characters (some absurd, some devious), a relatable protagonist at its center, and just enough magic to set it apart from other televised worlds.