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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

As of recently, I’ve been in a rut when it comes to picking new TV shows to watch. I stopped watching TV for the most part when TikTok became the main source of entertainment for people in their late teens and early 20s. Besides the casual movie night with my family and friends, I rarely found myself sitting down on a couch watching a show. Mainly because I had exhausted all of my choices of TV shows to pick from. I had already watched all seasons of “The Walking Dead,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Black Mirror,” “American Horror Story,” “Game of Thrones,” and basically every mainstream show, by the age of 15. Ironically enough I’m not the type of gal to take show or movie recommendations because it comes with bias, and said show or movie usually caters to a specific niche that’s not universal to most people. I also enjoy trying new things much more when I have a personal reason to be excited to watch a show or movie, and not just based on a recommendation. 

However, I recently rewatched the show “Jane the Virgin” and fell in love with it all over again. If you, unlike me, are more open to receiving recommendations and are in need of watching a good show, keep reading. I first watched “Jane the Virgin” when I was far too young to be watching a show like that. I must have been eight years old when my cousins let me watch the show with them behind my parents’ back during Christmas break. I was immediately hooked on the humor, plotline, and characters.

Jane the Virgin has five seasons with around 22 episodes per season. Each episode lasted around 45 minutes. Personally I think that’s the perfect length for an episode. The show tells the story of Jane Villanueva who is a devoted catholic and virgin. However, she is accidentally artificially inseminated and falls pregnant with a child that she did not plan for. Jane’s Hispanic family dynamic in relation to what one would see as “taboo” in traditional and cultural norms, such as premarital sex, divorce, social media, and more modern ways of life are portrayed in an impeccable way in my opinion.

The show is hilarious, in a way that is cliche and heartwarming but not cringey or insufferable. There are moments of mystery and crime, as well as moments of laughter, romance, sadness, and reality. This show manages to touch on all the deeper aspects of life, not only for a woman of a similar age to Jane who was 23 during the first season. But also for elderly women, middle-aged women, single men, single fathers, and more. The show focuses on all different types of characters that are different ages who are all experiencing different things in a unique way. This makes it easier for a larger audience to appeal to the show especially since the sometimes serious underlying themes are portrayed in an entertaining manner.

It is a romantic, comedic, thrilling, story told through a narrator who is voiced by Anthony Mendez who worked as a voice actor in “Puss in Boots.” I’ve never seen a show formatted in such a way, “Jane the Virgin” is somewhat of a spinoff of a telenovela-styled show because of the unrealistic aspects of the plotline. However, I like that the characters and scenery are all realistic, it creates a deeper connection for them which makes watching a show so much more enjoyable. A different aspect of the show that I truly enjoy is that there are several cliffhangers sprinkled throughout the seasons. “Grey’s Anatomy” in my opinion is a decent show, however, it should have ended after ten seasons at most. The episodes in my opinion were very predictable which personally made me stop watching it. However, “Jane the Virgin” has incredibly unexpected cliffhangers and plot twists that you’ll be clicking “watch next episode” all night long, and it can turn into a real nail-biter. 

When I was a young girl staying over at my grandmother’s house or watching TV with my mother, I’d always join them to watch telenovelas. There was one called “La Madrastra” (The Stepmother) that I vividly remember watching with my mother. Some young girls made up an image of their ideal love life from Disney movies and I did as well, but with telenovelas. “Jane the Virgin” was relatable to me in the sense that exploring and experiencing inevitable life moments that are taboo is hard, especially when growing up in contrasting cultures. In my case American and Mexican. “Jane the Virgin” explores family illness, religion, guilt, birth, relationships, careers, womanhood, fatherhood, and so much more. Watching the show for me felt like a validation of my experience and a way for me to relate. Even if these topics seem foreign to you or unrelatable, I think that there is something that caters to everyone in this show. 

“Jane the Virgin” is streamed on Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV, and CW Network. Happy watching!

My name is Sara and I am finishing up my Freshman year at Michigan State University. I am pursuing a Bachelors degree in Social Relations and Public Policy through James Madison college. I am passionate about philanthropy work and am interested in working in International Law or possibly land a job at UNICEF. When I’m not in class or doing homework I’m usually at the dining hall or eating snacks I’m a huge foodie. I love to try new foods and I especially love Mexican food because I am Mexican and lived there for several years. I also love music, Lana, Sza, Kali and so many other artists. I love going on walks and listening to podcast and I am currently trying to learn French.