TV Review: Jane the Virgin

Let me start by saying that this is not the sort of thing I normally watch. I do enjoy romance in books, but rarely in TV or movies, and my impression when I saw this recommended by TV Guide was that I’d watch the first episode, dismiss it as crap, and move on with my life. Why bother watching that first episode? I don’t know … probably something about the ludicrous idea of a virgin getting accidentally artificially inseminated. I mean, it sounded so awful I almost couldn’t help but look — like a sex scandal on the news. Wow, almost *exactly* like that!

So I just finished the second episode. It’s great!

All right, so it’s got a corny setup, but to give credit where it’s due, they’ve owned the setup. The most likely thing to go wrong with a setup like this is that the show writers and producers treat it like the joke it sort of is. But a strange thing happens when you embrace it and make it a real thing … you can’t stop watching!

The best thing about this show, oddly enough, is the narrator. When he first started talking I thought this was going to be terrible, but it’s not. The story is being “told” by a Hispanic man with a warm, sexy voice who introduces the characters to you and who sometimes tells you what’s going on inside their heads. This adds a bit more depth to the story than you usually get, and as you get used to the concept, it’s kind of fun too. A lot of the comedy is in the narration.

This show is a comedy — not the laugh-until-your-sides-hurt variety, but it is definitely amusing. The convoluted cast of characters all add something to the mix, and Jane herself is very likable. I even get why she was a 22-year-old virgin (which was something I wasn’t sure I would buy).

Give the pilot episode a chance. Seriously. It’s corny in the right places, serious in the right places, well acted, amusing, and utterly bizarre.

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