Every television production involves a lot of people and hard work, and yet sometimes they are labeled only as bad or good, when there’s more to be considered. That’s why once in a while, I like to highlight TV shows that are really making a difference, especially for women. That being said, (in case you haven’t already) I would like to invite you to check out the CW’s comedy-drama, Jane the Virgin. Warning: Don’t judge the show by its name and don’t expect less than a great performance from Gina Rodriguez, who won the Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, the very first Golden Globe award for The CW.
Right in the first episode, the show presents the question: Are you pro-life or pro-choice? Personally, I find it hard to make a statement on that matter, because honestly how can you say that you’re pro-life or pro-choice if you never had to make that call? I think it’s important for us as women and as human beings, to see these kinds of controversial issues as individual situations, not just generalizing all of them as right or all of them as wrong. That’s what this show does flawlessly; it integrates many social issues and encourages people to look for knowledge instead of judgment.
That’s also what got Gina into the story– she refuses to play characters that won’t serve as role models for young Latinos, “I’m defined by my character, and my character is a strong woman that’s independent, that’s following her dreams, that wants love, that wants a family, that wants to succeed just like anybody else in this world. I found it limiting to see women of my skin color only playing very specific roles as though Latino stories are different”, Gina told THR last year when the first season premiered.
And when THR asked what message she hoped to send to young women who are tuning in to Jane? She replied: “This is not specific to one ethnicity. We’re going to represent the human story with a new face that hasn’t been seen before. I want little girls to be able to see that their uniqueness is what makes them special; they’re imperfectly perfect like everybody else. What’s so beautiful about Jane is that she’s the every-girl. Jane is not specifically Latina; she’s a very specific girl who is a type-A who wants her dreams to come true. I want to change beauty norms. I eat cookies and brownies but nobody’s talking about what I look like on this show. Nobody’s talking about beauty on the show. It’s not a conversation because it doesn’t need to be one. Because the only person I’m worried about that likes what she looks like in the mirror is me.”
I have been a big fan of telenovelas since I was a child, actually I don’t know why I let too much drama into my life at such a young age, but anyways. As I grew older I became more critic regarding to what I was going to watch, so unconsciously I quit watching telenovelas (except when SBT reprized La Usurpadora –because Paola Bracho is an icon!), that was until a few weeks ago when my older sister, Jessica, invited me to watch Corazón Indomable, a Mexican telenovela produced by Nathalie Lartilleux for Televisa. It is a remake of the 1994 Mexican telenovela, Marimar and a new version of La Indomable created by the legendary writer Inés Rodena.
In short, Corazón Indomable could be described as a typical “melodrama Mexicano”, but after watching 50 episodes in a row, I can tell you that this story can teach you a couple of life lessons, too. Although the whole story has 162 episodes, 50 are enough for you to see how the story develops itself, and possibly how it’s going to end (or at least, how you expect it to end).
Maricruz Olivares lives with Ramiro, her maternal grandfather, and Solita, who is deaf-mute and whom they found abandoned when she was a little baby. She lives in a shack located in the middle of nature, near the Narvaez´s ranch property line. Miguel and Octavio are siblings and they both own the Narvaez´s ranch, which is mortgaged because of the bad administration Miguel, the older brother, has made. Octavio is a pilot and arrives in the ranch in need of money since he has lost his job and wants the lands to be sold. He doesn´t imagine that soon he will forget this purpose and will discover that the earth, the sowing and sharing with the workmen become a source of passion for him.
Octavio meets Maricruz while he is traveling around the lands and catches his foreman mistreating her. Regardless of her humble origins, he defends her as a gentleman. Immediately, he is trapped by her sympathy and beauty. When Octavio discovers the malice with which Lucia, his sister-in-law, treats Maricruz, he gets really angry and decides to marry Maricruz in order to teach his brother and Lucia a lesson.
However, when he receives a tempting job offer as a pilot, Octavio leaves the ranch and asks his brother to give Maricruz his part of the land. Lucia and her cousin Esther set a trap to Maricruz who is accused unjustly of being a thief and ends up in jail. Fortunately, a lawyer believes in her and achieves her freedom; but when she returns, she is shocked to discover that her grandparent died during a fire.