Jane the Virgin Season 3 Review

  • Series Title: Jane the Virgin
  • Season: Season 3
  • Episodes: 20
  • Discs: 5 (Blu-Ray)
  • Network: CW
  • Cast: Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Ivonne Coll, Justin Baldoni, Brett Dier, Jaime Camil, Yael Grobglas, Anthony Mendez
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC, R1

Season 3 of Jane the Virgin opens immediately after the cliffhangers from last season. Jane discovers Michael in the hallway of the Mirabella hotel after he’s shot. He’s taken to the hospital. There’s some drama between Jane and Michael’s disapproving mother, but it’s Jane who makes the decision to go through with a dangerous surgery instead of waiting. Michael survives the surgery and recovers slowly. He spends time in the hospital, then at home. After several weeks when he goes in for his physical prior to rejoining the police force, he finds out he’s failed his physical. Michael has some unusual ideas for a new career, before deciding to become a lawyer. He has Jane help him study for the LSAT, but on the day of the test, as he goes to turn it in – he drops dead of a heart attack. Literally. Jane is now a widow.

Three years later, Jane’s son Mateo is in preschool. She’s still working in publishing, but her “dream job” has become a nightmare, as her boss is a real “Devil Wears Prada” stereotype. However, she finally manages to get a book deal for her novel, “Snow Falling”, the story of her and Michael. Yet because of the way the contract pays – she will need a job for day to day expenses. She tries to get her old job back, but her boss is making her miserable. Rafael meanwhile offers her a management job at the Mirabella. Jane doesn’t want to take it, but she does eventually. Slowly throughout the season, with two steps forward and one step back, Jane becomes a successful published author.

Meanwhile, before Michael passes away, Petra, as you’ll remember was locked in a coma by her twin sister, Anezka. Anezka falls for Scott, the slimy hotel manager. Due to Anezka knowing absolutely nothing about things Petra should know – Jane figures out the switch. Rafael at first agrees with her, but then Anezka-Petra gets him to realize it’s “paranoid”. However, they eventually figure it out. Petra wakes up – and Anezka is urged to leave.

Three years later, the body of Scott is found buried on the property line between the Mirabella (now a family/kids hotel) and the hotel next door (a skeezy adults-only hotel). Much of the season involves figuring out this murder (which for part of the time the police think is an accidental death).

Luisa, Rafael’s sister, leaves with Sin Rostro because they are involved. Luisa is afraid of the crime boss, but they also have a strong physical attraction. When it looks like Sin Rostro killed Scott, Rafael, now working with the police, contacts his sister and tells her his cancer is back to get her to return to Miami. Sin Rostro (now disguised as “Eileen”) and Luisa return. Sin Rostro though did not kill Scott, she says – it was the real Eileen.

Last season Xiomara discovered she was pregnant – she realizes it’s from the one-night stand with Rogelio’s rival and has an abortion. There’s some drama between her and her mother, but eventually, Alba accepts Xiomara’s decision.

Rogelio and Xiomara have broken up because he wants kids and she doesn’t. Rogelio goes to an exclusive dating service to find someone new. Xiomara goes back to her old boyfriend, Bruce, whom she’s always getting together with – and who is always dumping her. Rogelio doesn’t do well on the dating scene. However, when he talks to Darci, the woman in charge of the dating service, we discover he doesn’t really want to date – he just wants a child to raise. Darci also, as a professional woman, wants a child – but no strings. This seems like a perfect match, and the two even see a lawyer to draw up a co-parenting agreement and plan on using artificial insemination. However, the two soon end-up working on a reality series together, which results in tension between Rogelio and Xiomara (who’s portrayed as the evil ex in the show). But the TV show also results in tension between Rogelio and Darci – and after three years with no child, they completely break up and decide not to have a child together.

Meanwhile, Xiomara and Bruce break up again. Having been a grandparent for three years, Rogelio realizes he’s OK with not having his own child. When he tells Xiomara, she proposes. The last few episodes of the season are a run-up to the two getting married (and the audience expects something to happen or go wrong). Even though Darci returns – pregnant, and there’s a hurricane on their wedding day, and the wedding had been put off and quickly put back on without the extremely expensive fairy tale elements – Xiomara and Rogelio are successfully and legally married at the Maribella.

However, Luisa and Anezka end-up sharing a cab during the hurricane. We don’t see their conversation – but it’s clear Luisa is angry at her brother, Rafael, and Petra for getting her lover, Sin Rosa captured and jailed. Anezka is angry for being jailed herself, and the death of her lover Scott – and blames Petra. The cliffhanger at the end of the season is Anezka using Rafael’s phone to lure Petra out of the hotel – where she’s held at gunpoint.

I enjoy Jane the Virgin very much. I binge-watched the show in less than a week because with every episode ending in a cliffhanger, it’s incredibly easy to just go to the next episode immediately. But binge-watching does mean the episodes flow together, and I’ve probably forgotten a few details. This show is a soap opera, and by the end of the season, even the narrator is describing it as a telenovela (Spanish soap opera). There’s a scene of Rogelio trying to take his ideas for an American version of Spanish soap operas to the CW network, which is very nod-nod, wink-wink, but it doesn’t go beyond the one episode. Still, the characters are all likable and one is drawn into their stories quickly and wants to know immediately what happens next. The show also has an exaggerated look to it at times (for example a character falling in love is illustrated with their heart literally glowing) but this adds to the show – it doesn’t distract. It is a soap opera, and it has all the exaggerated storytelling features of a soap opera. I am still really enjoying Jane the Virgin and I hope the next season is released on DVD or Blu-Ray soon.

Read my review of Jane the Virgin Season 1.

Read my review of Jane the Virgin Season 2.

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Jane the Virgin Season 2 Review

  • Series Title: Jane the Virgin
  • Season: Season 2
  • Episodes: 22
  • Discs: 5 (Blu-Ray)
  • Network: CW
  • Cast: Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Ivonne Coll, Justin Baldoni, Brett Dier, Jaime Camil, Yael Grobglas, Anthony Mendez
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC, R1

~ Spoilers, obvi! ~

The first episode of Season 2 quickly resolves the cliff-hanger from last season, and baby Mateo is rescued from his kidnappers. Michael turns over some police evidence to get Mateo back. But what Season 2 is really about is going after one’s dreams. Jane has dreams of being a writer – and she’s taking practical steps towards that end – she takes Summer courses to make up some credits and then enrolls in grad school in a very competitive writing program. Xiomara is now actively pursuing her singing career. Jane’s father, Rogelio, has dreams of becoming an actor – and now he’s a successful telenovela star. He suffers some setbacks this season, but that also lets the audience discover how he had to work at being an actor and becoming a success – against his father’s disapproval. Even Alba has dreams of being with an old lover of hers.

But the season also simply follows the ups and downs of Jane’s life. She’s no longer with Rafael romantically, but she and Rafael are successfully co-parenting. And we see them occasionally struggling with their co-parenting, even at times arguing, and finally going to a mediator. But they also both have the ability to be adults and to do the best they can for baby Mateo. Jane, meanwhile, tries dating other people, even the hottie professor, Chavez, before Jane and Michael get back together. The season ends with their wedding and the first night of their honeymoon. However, as has become standard with this show – there is a cliff-hanger!

Season two develops the other characters as well. We find out more about Rogelio’s background and meet his parents. Petra uses Rafael’s sperm sample that she “obtained” last season to inseminate herself, and ends up pregnant with twins. She has a hard time during her pregnancy – with severe morning sickness and nausea and even has a miscarriage scare. But she successfully delivers twin girls – Elsa and Anna. She then develops post-partum depression. Shortly thereafter her long-lost twin sister arrives. Meanwhile, Rafael is still in love with Jane, but he is also determined to not stand in the way of her happiness. Alba, Jane’s grandmother decides to pursue her green card and to also pursue love, or rather, an old love (the romance doesn’t end well).

Overall, I love this show! It’s rare to see a show where the leads are all women, and the three generations of Villanueva women are very strong. They are also capable, and each has their own views on life. The enhanced reality scenes in this season vary from Jane’s hallucinating whole scenes to small hearts – but they always add to the story. The characters are more developed and well-rounded. And the main characters, even Petra, are all likable. I really enjoyed watching Season 2, and yes, I’d sit down to watch one episode and with the cliffhangers, I’d just have to hit the next button, sometimes watching three episodes in a single night.

Highly recommended!

Read my Jane the Virgin Season 1 Review.

Jane the Virgin Season 1 Review

  • Series Title: Jane the Virgin
  • Season: Season 1
  • Episodes: 22
  • Discs: 5 (Blu-Ray)
  • Network: CW
  • Cast: Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Ivonne Coll, Justin Baldoni, Brett Dier, Jaime Camil, Yael Grobglas, Anthony Mendez
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC, R1

Jane the Virgin is a Spanish Soap Opera (or telenovela, as they are called in Spanish). The series is an adaptation of a Venezuelan telenovela, but it also follows (and occasionally break) US soap opera conventions. However, the show is also funny, romantic, heart-breaking, and at times it has a lot of heart. I was expecting humor from this show – I wasn’t expecting it to have heart. The soap format makes it addictive, but the heart – that one truly cares about the characters – makes it work.

I watch a lot of the CW, so I saw trailers and commercials for Jane the Virgin when it premiered. And those trailers did not impress me. It looked like a comedy that poked fun at a girl for her life choices – and I never watched it. Then I started recording on my DVR something that aired just before Jane the Virgin – and the narrated intros drew me in. I then checked Amazon, and even Google to find the first season on DVD. Only to find that it was out of print, but that CBS was planning a Blu-Ray release – eventually. One year later, I finally got my copy. I’m glad I did though because I thoroughly enjoyed this series, and I pretty much binge watched it.

Jane is a young Hispanic woman, living with her single mother and her grandmother. As a young girl, her grandmother pretty much puts the fear of god into her about losing her virginity. So Jane vows to not have sex until she’s married. She’s been with the same guy, Michael, for two years, and the two are now engaged. She’s in college, studying to be a teacher, and almost ready to graduate. And she has a waitressing job at a nearby hotel. One morning, early morning, she has a normal OB/GYN appointment – and she ends up pregnant. The doctor, who was filling in for her regular OB/GYN, is told by her nurse she has a pap in one room – and an insemination in the other. The doctor, who had caught her spouse in bed with someone else the previous night – is a bit of a mess, and mixes things up. Jane gets pregnant.

To the show’s credit, the option of abortion is discussed, even with Jane and her family being both Hispanic and Catholic. Jane’s mother even picks up the prescription for her. Jane learns the sperm specimen belonged to Rafael, who, because of cancer and chemo is now sterile. As Rafael and Petra seem to be a strong couple, Jane decides she will go through the pregnancy, have the baby, and give it to Rafael and Petra.

Meanwhile, Michael at first tells Jane to not have the baby. Then he says he doesn’t want it. He’s also dishonest with Jane about information he learns about Petra. Since the information came to light during an investigation of the hotel, Michael could have said the information – that Petra is having an affair – was protected as part of an investigation, but instead, he lies. All of this and more leads to Jane breaking up with Michael.

Jane also has a connection with Rafael and falls in love with him. Once he is divorced from Petra – Rafael falls in love with Jane. But as in all soaps – love doesn’t run smoothly.

The third man in Jane’s life is Rogelio de la Vega, her father. Jane’s mother, Xiomara, had gotten pregnant at 16. And when Jane, who never knew her father, started asking questions, Xiomara made up a story about a soldier boy. But it turns out Jane’s father is now a famous telenovela star. He returns, and slowly Rogelio and Xiomara start to fall in love. But, again, because: soap opera, their love doesn’t run smoothly either.

The hotel that Rafael’s father owns (later Rafael, Petra, and his sister, Luisa aka the doctor who inseminated Jane) is a hotbed of activity. Michael and his police partner, Nadine, are investigating a big drug lord, whom they think is based in the hotel. And there are three murders in the hotel in the course of the season. And, needless to say – the murders and rumors of crime are having an effect on the finances of the hotel – because they start to lose guests and functions.

Jane, her mother, and her grandmother are all very strong women. The other female characters, Petra, her mother, and Nadine are strong too. Petra is the villain of the show, in grand soap opera style, but at times – she’s sympathetic too.

Rogelio is hilarious. In some ways, he’s the stereotype of an actor – ego-centric, vain, out of touch with reality – but he cares deeply for Jane now that he knows about her, and his feelings for Xiomara seem genuine. Rogelio is also willing to make sacrifices for his family, now that he knows about them.

The series has a narrator to remind viewers what is going on, and to fill in the gaps and comment on the action. I love the narrator – he’s great! There is also pop-up information on the screen, that is almost like a cheeky comment too. Or it provides legitimate help to the viewer. The series also occasionally breaks into showing Jane’s fantasies. There’s, at times, a heightened realism to the show, but also a use of things like on-screen heart emojis to show love.

I really enjoyed the first season of Jane the Virgin and I will be purchasing additional seasons. Highly Recommended.