Recently I have been binge-watching ‘Jane the Virgin’ on Netflix. My whole family absolutely loves this show. For those unfamiliar with the series, it is essentially a running parody of “telenovelas”. I think that one of my favorite things about this series is its subtle humor poking fun at the Hispanic culture. It is easy to understand the humor as a non-Hispanic/Latino individual, but when you share the culture it takes the humor of the show to a whole new level.
As a young woman of Cuban and Spanish descent, I personally can relate to the common usage of “Spanglish” in the show, as it is commonly used in my household. In addition, my Abuela exhibits a lot of the same characteristics as Jane’s. The initial pressure on Jane to save herself for marriage is very representative of a typical Hispanic Christian family in our society today.
The representation of Hispanic culture in the show is not so much “in your face” as other Latin television shows, and it refuses to conform to casting Latino women in the degrading roles of servitude they are usually cast in. Instead, it portrays a young Latino woman earning her higher education and working towards a career in teaching.
I also thought the series has done a great job tackling sensitive issues like pro-choice vs. pro-life, and our country’s immigration system. In the series, Jane’s abuela is undocumented. When she is sent to the hospital after being pushed down a flight of stairs, the issue arises when the doctors do not have sufficient paperwork. Later in the series, Jane’s abuela applies for citizenship and receives it. However, not all undocumented immigrants are this lucky. The show called attention to how significant this problem is for so many immigrants.
The NY times article below discusses ‘Jane the Virgin’ and its success in the Hispanic-American community:
Kelsey Sierra- 9/20/16