Review: Did ‘Jane the Virgin’ premiere do right by its kidnapping cliffhanger?

10.12.15 2 years ago 4 Comments

A few thoughts on tonight's “Jane the Virgin” season 2 premiere coming up just as soon as I retweet an amber alert…

As I noted this morning, I spent a lot of “Jane” season 1 waiting for that seemingly inevitable moment when the wheels came off – as they always seem to on this kind of fast-moving comedy/soap hybrid – only it never came. Jennie Urman and company clearly know their cliches and know the pitfalls of this sub-genre, and they know how to sidestep both.

But even with a full season of evidence of that, I couldn't help but feel nervous about the kidnapping of Mateo cliffhanger – not because I felt anything genuinely bad would happen to the kid, but because I felt it would be impossible for “Jane” to be funny at all so long as Jane's baby was missing. Even subplots not directly related to the kidnapping would have that shadow hanging over them.

By now, I should have known better. Hell, the season 2 premiere even opens with a flashback where Alba explains to young Jane that in telenovelas, things always work out okay. And Mateo is returned to Jane within the episode's first 12 minutes, which allows the show to get some melodramatic value out of it without preventing the rest of the premiere from having fun with Rogelio's social media habits, Petra's spunk, Rafael feeling overwhelmed by the three generations of women making decisions about his son, etc., while still deriving more pathos out of Jane's understandable trauma over the whole incident. (And, honestly, if Rose had kept Mateo for much longer, it would have been hard for the show – which tries to keep Jane herself as a relatively sensible, grounded and realistic character surrounded by insanity – to get away with her not being deeply scarred by the whole thing.)

So, once again, the moral is to trust “Jane the Virgin.” It knows what it's doing, and this was a fine start to season 2.

What did everybody else think?

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