The wait is nearly over–Jane the Virgin‘s second season returns Monday night, after leaving us with one of the cruelest cliffhangers in television history, as (spoiler alert!) baby Mateo was kidnapped by Sin Rostro hours after Jane gave birth.
We quickly fell in love with the show in its freshman year, thanks to the undeniable charm of its leading lady and the absolutely insane twists we’re treated to each week. What other show can make you cry, laugh, sigh and scream all in one episode?
Before we get our Jane fix in the Season 2 premiere, let’s look back at the reasons why the show stole our hearts in the first place.
Unquestionably, one of the show’s greatest strengths is the utter charm and charisma Gina Rodriguez brings to the screen every single episode as Jane Villaneuva. What first drew viewers to the show may have been the insane “pregnant virgin” twist, but what has kept viewers hooked (besides the crazy storylines) is the magnetic performance Rodriguez consistently brings to the table. She made The CW history by giving the network its first ever Golden Globe win, and stole our hearts with that emotional speech.
The insane plot twists
True to its telenovela roots, Jane the Virgin has enough plot twists and cliffhangers to rival Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder combined, without taking itself too seriously. Sure, they may be dealing with murders, drug lords and deportation scares, but the show never loses its sense of humour, even in the darkest of moments. Of course, one of the most influential reasons for that is…
Jane the Virgin‘s Emmy-nominated narrator, Anthony Mendez, gives as much life to the show as Rodriguez herself. Not only does he keep us on track of all the insanity that goes on in each episode, the narrator keeps us connected through his sharp humour and commentary throughout. While, on paper, a continuous commentator sounds jarring and intrusive, the narrator consistently feels like a welcome co-spectator, moving the story forward with originality and excellent comedic timing. Jane the Virgin just wouldn’t be the same without him.
There’s a lot to love about Jane the Virgin, but one of the factors that sets it apart is its portrayal of the Villanueva family and their culture. Most notable is how bilingual their family is, especially considering that Alba (Ivonne Coll) almost never speaks any English. In a show full of head-spinning cliffhangers and unbelievable plots, the Villaneuvas are one of the most authentic and real aspects of the series. The relationship between Jane, Xiomara (Andrea Navedo) and Alba goes a long way to ground the show while injecting a realistic dose of latin culture that modern television so desperately needs.
Everyone’s a sucker for a good love story and Jane the Virgin is brimming with them. From the ongoing love triangle between Jane, Rafael (Justin Baldoni) and Michael (Brett Dier), to the tragic love affair between Luisa (Yara Martinez) and Rose (Bridget Regan), to the rekindled spark between Xo and Rogelio (Jaime Camil), there is no shortage of romance to keep our hearts racing. Come on, who didn’t feel all warm and fuzzy the moment Jane and Rafael shared their iconic kiss?
Of course, we can’t make this list without including the dastardly villains that make the insane twists on Jane the Virgin oh so juicy. The most obvious is Rose, AKA Sin Rostro, the face-changing, murderous drug lord, who is none other than Rafael and Luisa’s stepmother (and, in Luisa’s case, occasional lover), Rose Solano. If we had to name the biggest OMG moments in Jane the Virgin history, Rose’s reveal as Sin Rostro would be at the very top.
While one villain is more than enough for one hotel, Petra and her mother (Priscilla Barnes) provide no short supply of devious schemes in order to win the Marbella. We could probably forgive Rose for killing Rafael and Luisa’s father (Carlo Rota), but there is no way Magda will ever be redeemed for pushing Alba down the stairs.
Rogelio De La Vega
With a personality too big to ignore, there was no way we couldn’t include Rogelio on the list. The telenovela star quickly grew into one of the show’s funniest and most engaging characters as he tried to find his place in Jane’s life. Yes, he’s a little self-absorbed and dramatic, but what he lacks in social cues and tact, he more than makes up in heart. His devoted attempts to bond with Jane were some of the more touching moments of Season 1.
Can’t get enough Jane the Virgin? Tell us why you’re addicted in the comments below.
Jane the Virgin airs at 9 p.m. ET on The CW and is available to stream on Shomi.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.