Where Does ‘Jane The Virgin’ Rank Among The Best First Seasons Ever?

Senior Pop Culture Editor
05.12.15 17 Comments

Jane the Virgin is about a young woman who’s never had sex, obviously, but she gets accidentally artificially inseminated with her boss’ semen by his sister, and her long-lost dad is also a telenovela star. Her boss’ ex-wife’s mother, who pretends to be handicapped, pushes Jane’s grandmother down the stairs. Jane’s ex-boyfriend is a cop who’s investigating whether her boss was the drug kingpin Sin Rostro, but it’s actually her boss’ step-mother wearing a wig, and I’ll stop there. Jane the Virgin packed more plot in its first season than most shows do in five. That’s usually a sign of desperation, with the writers knowing they’re living on borrowed time. So, what the hell. Why not do the story about one brother pretending to be his identical twin?

Yet, Jane just completed one of the best first seasons in recent TV history.

Most new series struggle out of the gate. Too much exposition, too little known about the cast. But Jane the Virgin came out swinging, and kept Giancarlo Stanton-ing all season (the show’s set in Miami). The “worst” episode of the season, according to the A.V. Club? It’s a five-way B+ tie. Meanwhile, 10 episodes received a straight-up A, including last night’s finale.

Despite the wacky premise and bright colors, Jane the Virgin succeeded because of confidence, yes, but also due to its understanding that you can get away with goofy murder mysteries so long as there are characters worth caring about, and our emotionally-grounded interest in Jane — played by the remarkable and Golden Globe-winning Gina Rodriguez — never faltered.

Also, Rogelio is the best:

For anyone here who did watch, where do you think Jane, which didn’t have a single dud episode, ranks among the best debut seasons? If I only include network shows (it’s more difficult to keep up the quality for 22 episodes than 12), I think it’s way up there, below Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, Community, and Lost. Screw #TeamMichael. I’m #TeamJane.

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