The Golden Globes honored new television series this year over veteran efforts, representing the first time in 10 years that a new show has won Best Series in both the Drama and Comedy categories, according to Deadline. As a part of all this honoring of new talent and ideas, the typically guilty pleasure-filled network the CW took home its first award for the new, critically acclaimed show Jane the Virgin. The show’s star, Gina Rodriguez, won for Best Actress on the same day that Jane was picked up for a second season.
Jane the Virgin has been praised by critics for presenting a heartfelt and realistic look at the female Latina experience. The show is about a young Latina woman named Jane who has chosen to remain a virgin until marriage due to her religious beliefs and to avoid repeating the mistakes of her mother, who had Jane when she was a teenager. Jane is raised by a close-knit, all-female family consisting of her mother and her very traditional grandmother, who instilled in Jane the belief that her virginity is something to be taken seriously.
When Jane accidentally becomes artificially inseminated by her gynecologist, she must deal with her immaculate conception and reveal it to her family and fiancée. Jane frames her experiences using the telenovelas that she’s obsessed with, thus highly dramatizing and romanticizing all of her experiences. Jane is one of those shows with such a ridiculous premise it seems like it could never work, but it has been warmly reviewed by critics, with an 80 Metascore on review aggregator Metacritic.
“Rodriguez is fantastic in the lead role, making Jane funny and relatable. It’s refreshing to see an unabashedly good person at the center of an hour-long series. … This should be a star-making turn for Rodriguez, who handles Jane’s broadly comedic moments as confidently as she does her quietly dramatic ones, and her performance in the role is enough of a reason to tune in by itself,” said a review of the series by The A.V. Club, praising Rodriguez’s performance.
Ratings watchers, though, were a bit worried about the future of the series. After all, Jane the Virgin is very different from the CW’s typical fare and didn’t bring in the kind of ratings the network is used to with its guilty pleasures and superhero shows. Apparently the attention from critics was enough for the network to put another season’s worth of faith into the show before Rodriguez won her award.
Deadline pointed out that when Calista Flockhart won for her starring role as the title character on Ally McBeal in that show’s first season, the little-watched legal romantic dramedy’s ratings proceeded to skyrocket. It’s possible that the Globe win could do the same for Jane. Fans, critics, and those generally hoping to see a wider variety of human experiences portrayed on television will hope that Rodriguez’s win will mean the CW will keep Jane around past the second season, as well.
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