Friday, April 14, 2017

The future is female (7 reasons why you should watch Jane the Virgin)

Jane,her grandmother and her mother.

To the future of this project and to the fearless women in film who are dying to have their voices heard, so our new series shies away from stereotypes, we make it a point that the women are portrayed as strong, smart and three dimensional characters-Gina Rodriguez aka Jane the Virgin

It’s by sheer coincidence that I stumbled upon Jane the virgin, I was watching Anita Nkatha's sister tag and one of the shows they said they enjoyed watching was Jane the virgin amongst others and I made a mental note to watch it and boy am I glad that I did begin watching it, such an excellent telenovella, if you do not believe me then the awards that this show has won should convince you of how epic it is. Not only has the lead actress won many awards, the show’s writers have also won awards,the show's narrator has won awards..................... see only awesomeness in this show.

The show in summary; Jane Villanueva (who, you guessed it, is a virgin) is accidentally artificially inseminated with the sperm of a (very handsome) hotel owner, Rafael Solano, during a routine checkup.The show revolves around this story line and the families of Jane and Rafael. Usually, TV shows are quick to glamorize motherhood in a way that doesn't feel too familiar or authentic to the women who are actually living these scenarios. But as someone with so many friends/family who are new/first time mums I will say the characters in this show feel like they could be your friend/someone you know — or hell, even you.

If my small pitch hasn’t convinced you yet, then read on and I hope the two minutes it takes you to read this will have you convinced that it is simply something you must(notice the use of the word must) get on with.

Easy to relate to.

Xiomara(Jane's mum),Jane,her son Mateo and Abuela(Jane's grandmother)

Michael: 'Get a book and read it, so you know what you are talking about and wait for the right moment, when she doesn’t know and her mum doesn’t know, even Abuela is stumped that’s when you come in with the save.'

Rafael: Is everything ok?

Xiomara: We don’t know he is nursing every thirty minutes.

Rafael: Maybe he is cluster feeding, cluster feeding is when a baby feeds close together at certain times of the day and it’s a sign the mother's milk is coming in.

Jane: My milk is coming in!!!!!!…….oh my God! my milk is coming in.

When Jane finally gets her baby, the show becomes real, yes it’s a telenovella so it’s bound to have its exaggerations but so much of it is what a first time mother will go through.

Case in point with all the campaigns going on about breast milk and colostrum being pure gold does it come as any surprise that all new mums will want to exclusively breast feed their kids and sometimes ( a lot of times) most new mums do not produce enough milk and the babies do not have enough and are always crying.Yet these same mums will literally fight you if you suggest they give their child infant's formula,what do you know, same thing happens in the show :-) :-).

If you want to see people who are just like you and have conversations and worries you would totally have or normally have then JTV will bring you loads of entertainment.

Not letting motherhood hijack your goals
Jane gets her letter of acceptance into graduate school-3 weeks after she gets her baby and she has to start immediately
Jane: I have enough to worry about, with all this going back to school stuff.

Xiomara: Lots of people have to leave this early.

Jane: But that’s just it, I don’t have to, it’s an option.

Xiomara: Right, and an option you are lucky to have, right ma?

Abuela: I didn’t have the opportunities that you have,  that is why I am so proud of all you are doing with your life.

Jane the virgin explores the challenges of mother-hood and especially for the mothers who do not want to miss any of their child milestones like their first blink (ha ha ha), their first steps, their first words and so on. Yet these mothers have to work or in the case of Jane go back to school to take her graduate course on creative writing.The support her mother and grandmother show her is out of this world,they take turns to baby-sit her son and I know it's not that much but her grandmother always brings her snacks/food as she is writing for school and is always asking how her story/thesis is going and sometimes makes contributions to the story's plot.

JTV's message on mother-hood and goals; motherhood is the greatest job any woman will ever have because you have been entrusted with lives/a life and tasked to nurture and mold them into responsible adults.The choice each mother makes should be based on what is right for her and not societal expectations.


Viola Davis and Gina Rodriguez.
'I made a decision and I chose art,so my parents,my father, God bless him,he said to me when I told him about my decision,well you want to be an actress, you have to go to acting school,me I am a chemical engineer am I self-taught and so I went to acting school'-Nana Mensah

See the way we all think that anyone who is a creative, just has the talent and never went to school to learn how to become an artist,well I have come to learn there is no way you can be great at anything based on talent alone, you have to go to school to learn for example Warsan Shire has a degree in creative writing,Viola Davis went to Julliard(the world's leading performing arts school) and Gina Rodriguez went to NYU and earned a degree in performing arts.

In JTV they show Jane pursue her dream of becoming a writer by attending writing school,going for writer's retreats and workshops.The message here I think is you cannot be a self-taught creative in whatever field,talent is important but training in your chosen field is what will make you stand out.

Hemingway’s lost suitcase

Mateo crawling(obviously)

Jane is a writer right? and she spends time, a lot of time writing from home and this has it's hazards because she has a small child and so one day as she is writing Mateo crawls and pulls the cord of her laptop which inturn pulls her computer leading to a lot of orange juice pouring on her computer and as expected her computer dies!!!! but will JTV be a telenovella if this didn't happen when she had a very important deadline the next day and there is no way for her to recover her documents,it wouldn't be trust me because telenovella= drama.

So Jane after going through all the phases of panic and stress, goes to school the next day and tells her professor the orange juice drama and he tells her this story; Ernest Hemingway was in Switzerland, on assignment and he met an editor who was very impressed with his work and wanted to see more of it and he therefore calls his wife to bring all his work.The wife packs all of his writing in a suitcase to take to him as per his request. While waiting for the train to travel to Switzerland, she went to buy a bottle of water, she left the suitcase unattended on the train while she did so, when she came back, it was gone!!! and all of Hemingway's work was lost.It's after this that he wrote all his stories and even won a Nobel prize in literature.

The reason he told her this story is so that she does not waste time trying to re-create her old stories but that she should instead write a new one for the assignment, which she did and her new story was far much better than all her old ones.

Detective Michael Cordero Junior

If all the serious side of the show does not interest you, then Detective Michael Cordero Junior should,I know I am such a sentimental person but if any Michaels' exist out there the girls/women who have them are very very lucky,why you ask? he risks his job (and his life) to protect Jane, her son, her mother, her grandmother, and her father without blinking an eye, he takes an interest in what Jane likes,cheers her on and is basically just perfect :-) :-)

Marriage and it not being an achievement per-se.

Jane on her wedding day :-)

Professor Marlene Donaldson(Jane's super-feminist advisor): These are tiny, I feel like I am locking you into the patriarchy by doing this ,Ok,go and hey congratulations!!!!

Jane: Smiling(thinking she is talking about her wedding)

Professor Marlene Donaldson(Jane's super-feminist advisor): On your new thesis being approved.

Jane has this super-feminist advisor in school and they are constantly fighting because she 'hates' Jane's writing as Jane is a romance writer(ha ha ha) and the proffesor thinks it's a waste of time to write about romance/love. She introduces Jane to the bechdel test which her writing did not always pass and therefore she had to do many many re-writes of each of the stories she submitted.

Jane had to do her final presentation on her wedding day, 79 minutes before the start time of her wedding ceremony to be exact,so she carried her dress to school and changed in the bathroom and guess who walks in and helps her tie the buttons on her dress ! your guess is right people,her professor who thinks marriage and men in general are over-rated.

One of the strongest messages that the show passes across is that women are kick-ass at raising their own kids,pursuing their goals,being there for their friends and family and generally just as capable if not more than men.

Family traditions.

Mateo's baptism
Each family has it's tradition and the Villanueva family is no different.For example Jane's grandmother has a baptism outfit that she made for Jane's mum,then Jane wore it on her baptism day,Mateo wore it on his baptism day and I am thinking his kids will also wear the same outfit in the future.

The outfit has nothing on this small speech that Abuela wrote for her peoples to read on the baptism's of their children.

Abuela's speech which is also the Villanueva clan baptism speech for their children; 'My precious child, there are things I hope for you and your life, May you be bold, may you be brave, may you be loving and joyful and kind, may you carry with you the vitality and spirit of the generations before you, whatever you dream for your life, may you summon the strength to follow that dream, may you always let you faith be stronger than your fear, may you never forget, through all of life’s adventures, every moment of every day, that I walk beside you, cheering you on, hoping for you, praying for you, loving you and may you one day, love your own child as deeply as I love you'.

I don't watch much TV so I wouldn't say I have a list of shows I can recommend that are not already really popular but just in case, shows I love; Empire,How to get away with murder,Suits and the Originals.What shows are you loving and why?