Okay, it’s true. I haven’t written in a while. And that’s super bad. Especially now that I have checked, and the last time I posted on this blog was in October of 2017.
So, I’m here to apologise. And to start writing again. Because, if I’m honest, I’ve missed it. Very, very much.
Now, I’m going to start this rebirth of my blog in a rather unconventional way – usually, as my ride-or-die readers would know, I write about novels. Poetry and novels. Don’t get me wrong, I still adore literature. I mean, I have to – I am an English Literature student! In fact, I was updating my literary listography just yesterday, but that’s for another day, another post.
Today I want to talk about a not-so-little show named Jane the Virgin (spoiler free, I promise!). It’s easy to judge it by the name – surely it’s a teen comedy, you cry! Yes, that’s what it sounds like. But Jane the Virgin is so, so much more than a show on the CW network. It is iconic.
A satire of the telenovela television genre, the show taps into the beauty, the intricacy of Hispanic culture, worldwide. Although the family of the protagonist, Jane Gloriana Villanueva, comes from Venezuela, almost everyone with a similar background is able to identify with the Villanueva women – their laughter, their sadness, their addiction to mindblowingly complicated TV. In fact, as I explained to a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, I am often overcome with emotion when watching Jane the Virgin because I see my own family – our strength, our closeness and our undying love for each other, as well as our investment in certain aspects of Spanish television (shoutout to Spain’s period dramas!).
The Villanueva family, as a nucleus, is made up of three women: Alba (or Abuela, grandmother in Spanish), Xiomara and her daughter Jane. All three women are distinctly different from each other – in religion, in clothing styles, in philosophy. Where Jane is responsible and sensible, Xiomara parties until the dawn. Where Alba is more conservative, particularly in her religion, Xiomara is more relaxed, Jane a mixture of the two. The bottom line is, to an outsider, these three women should be fighting more. A lot more.
Yet, the show presents a family bond which, on television anyway, is almost unheard of. Every time there is a fateful turn in any of their lives, starting with Jane’s immaculate conception, these three women are there for each other. They cry on the front porch, they argue over what is the right decision. There is no silence, for silence means the conversation, the relationship is over. As in the tradition of the telenovela, these women are loud, dramatic, tearful and joyous because their conversation is never over. It endures, regardless of the insanity that is thrown at them.
When I watch Jane the Virgin, I am reminded of my relationship with my grandmothers and with my mother. As I watch these three women, who speak the same languages we do and have ventured from the same areas of the world as us to reach their present destination, I am reminded that, whatever happens, they will always be there with a glass of Ovaltine, or sangria, a plate of tortitas or makrotes. With the DVD of El Tiempo Entre Costuras or whichever TV show we are in adoration of ready and waiting. Whatever happens, through the anger and the tears and the laughter and the love, there is an undying bond that will never be eradicated. Whether I’m looking for a playful argument, laughter or advice, there are three women I know I can turn to, whatever the day.
There is one quote from Jane the Virgin which really describes this best. Because, let’s be honest – there are truly no words on God’s Earth that could ever describe the love that has passed between my grandmothers, my mother and I. The love that passes between millions around the world.
Tú eres mi sangre. No hay nada que tú hagas que yo no pueda perdonar.
You are my flesh and blood. Nothing you do is unforgivable to me.
Alba Gloriana Villanueva
I’ll probably be writing a lot more about Jane the Virgin, and much else besides, so stay tuned. But for now, here’s to mi familia. I love you all more and more with every beat of my heart.
And please watch this show. It’s ridiculously unbelievable!