For those of who have not watched the first season but plan on doing so, I will be including a quick recap of the first season’s events so you’ll have some context before reviewing it but this will contain SPOILERS.
In the first episode, the show does an excellent job of setting the foundation for the rest of the show, with a scene where Alba (Abuela) is teaching a young Jane the importance in keeping oneself ‘pure’ based on whether they are virgins or not. Coming from a Catholic upbringing, Jane always worked to make sure she was saving herself for marriage, but when Luisa Alver, a doctor who just found out her wife was cheating on her, gets Jane’s appointment mixed up with Petra Solano’s, Jane is artificially inseminated. And thus, the stage is set. Jane, a pregnant virgin. Let’s meet some of the characters;
Michael Cordero; Jane’s boyfriend of two years, the night he proposes to her is the same night she tells him she is pregnant, and upon realizing that it wasn’t due to cheating, he will later ask her to get rid of the baby ‘for them.’ He is a detective, and is working on the Sin Rostro case.
Rafael Solano; the father of Jane’s child, he is married to Petra Solano, a woman who will do anything to keep him. The hotelier of the Marbella, the hotel where Jane works as a waitress. Five years prior they shared a kiss but he never reached out to her afterwards. Finding out they are having a kid together is the first true interaction between them since.
Xiomara Villanueva; Jane’s mother, who had Jane when she was only 16. Despite being raised by Alba, a strict catholic, she ends up being a fantastic mother.
Rogelio De la Vega; Famous Telenovela star that ends up being Jane’s father, was not part of her life before because last he spoke to Xiomara, he told her to get an abortion. Has since become a fixture in his daughter’s life and began dating Xiomara.
Petra Solano; Throughout the season we are given very little reasons to like her, and that only gets worse as the season progresses. We find out her mother is faking her inability to walk and that Petra is actually Natalia, a Czech woman who ran away from her ex-boyfriend Milos.
Luisa Alver; Rafael’s sister, a constant cycle of alcoholism that tend to grow tiresome but it makes it real. This is what addiction can look like, someone who is put together one moment only to fall off the wagon in the next moment.
I started the season not really liking Michael very much. I thought that he made things really hard for Jane, even though she was already going through so much with the unplanned pregnancy. As the season progressed, I learned to dislike him less because once he seemed to accept the fact that a baby was coming, his priorities shifted into making Jane and her wellbeing his priority. He was doing things for the right reasons because he cared about Jane. Rafael really surprised Jane with the way she felt about him, so when she ended her engagement with Michael, you really began to feel pushed to like Rafael because she seemed so happy. But the truth was that they are very different, and he is a selfish character, who cannot be alone. He doesn’t know how to be, he expected Jane to wait for him and that was unfair.
The show despite being a satirical comedy really touches on things that are important and affecting the lives of families throughout the country; immigration and threat of deportation. With the show being based in Miami, it gives a glimpse into the reality of many, where they live in fear on a constant basis of being sent back to a country that they left in hopes of creating better lives for their families. For me, that’s what made this show stand out. It has the power to make really important points while not throwing away the comedy and the romance. It’s shows reality. That life can be simultaneously beautiful and tragic. The scenes where Alba is shown to be very afraid based on the looming threat of deportation, and it makes the entire Villanueva family to be very relatable.
Overall, I think that the show does a great job of walking the line between a satirical telenovela and a suspenseful series. Even if you could see who was the bad guy or what was happening next, it still left enough shock factor for the show to continue to be enjoyable. Something it has in common with telenovelas because the plot twists are never 100% shocking, there are always clues and hints that can lead the audience where the writers want them to go. I look forward to continuing to watch the show.
I’m curious, what was everyone’s opinion on season 1?