‘Jane the Virgin’ knocks it out of the park

Posted at 5:51 PM, Oct 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-14 17:54:19-04
(CNN) — Where are two of the fall season’s best new shows? It turns out, they’re on The CW.

Between last week’s debut of “The Flash” and Monday’s arrival of “Jane the Virgin,” the younger-skewing network is batting 1.000.

Critics have reacted positively to “The Flash,” a spinoff of “Arrow” and an origin story of the lightning fast superhero, as well as to “Jane the Virgin,” an adaptation of a Venezuelan program.

“Jane” stars Gina Rodriguez as 23-year-old Jane Villanueva, the daughter of a young single mother who has taken her grandmother’s advice to preserve her virginity to heart.

But when Jane accidentally gets pregnant during a doctor’s visit — it was accidental artificial insemination, to be exact — Jane’s life starts to look something like the telenovelas she watches with her mother and grandmother.

The plot hinges on a twist that’s soapy even by The CW’s standards, but critics say “Jane the Virgin” works, and primarily because of star Rodriguez.

The Los Angeles Times’ Robert Lloyd has praised “Jane” as “one of the best things to come out of the fall season,” and “The Wrap” agreed that the freshman series is one of this fall’s “best new offerings.”

“(T)hanks to star Gina Rodriguez, who makes the lead character believable and likable, the journey to Jane’s choice (about the pregnancy) and the inevitable consequences that follow make ‘Jane the Virgin’ highly entertaining and compelling television,” The Wrap says in its review.

The plot may seem overwhelming, “but ‘Jane’ approaches the melodrama with a sly wink, and Rodriguez grounds it with a warmly genuine performance as Jane, whose relationship with her mother (Andrea Navedo) is already primed to be one of the show’s best features,” Entertainment Weekly said. “Where the series could get preachy, it’s tempered, and above all, the whole thing’s just a lot of fun.”

Ratings for The CW’s two new shows have been strong, too, as “The Flash” became The CW’s highest-rated and most-watched premiere in five years when it bowed on October 7.

“Jane” didn’t come close to “The Flash’s” 4.8 million watching when it premiered Monday, but it also held its own against its competitors at 9 p.m. ET with an audience of 1.6 million and a rating of 0.6 in the adult demo of 18-49. That gives “Jane” the bragging rights of drawing The CW’s biggest audience at 9 p.m. on Mondays in more than two years.


Laila Muhammad goes behind-the-scenes of Jane the Virgin