Gina Rodriguez's Golden Globe For 'Jane The Virgin' Was Earned In These 4 Moments Alone
On Sunday, Jan. 11, when Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for Best Actress In A Comedy or Musical she snagged the first Globe for The CW, and for a show that just a few months ago, no one would've expected to have that honor. Jane The Virgin wasn't a show anyone predicted to be good, let alone great. The premise sounded absurd at best and offensive at worst. A young woman, a virgin no less, is accidentally artificially inseminated and decides to keep the child she never asked for. Why? Why would anyone want to make that show? Why would anyone want to watch it?
The answer is simple: Rodriguez, an awesome supporting cast, and great writers. Much like network television's other telenovela adaptation, Ugly Betty, Jane The Virgin is a series infused with as much greatness as it is wackiness. The farcical plot is completely balanced by the steady and consistent character development. Like America Ferrera, who won the same award eight years ago for Ugly Betty, Rodriguez's performance as the central character, Jane, is what anchors the series.
As Jane struggles to adapt to her new life as a woman whose plans are curtailed due to an unwanted pregnancy, Rodriguez handles the ever-changing tides with ease. Rodriguez isn't always given the easiest material. Is there an accurate, an appropriate, even a precedent for an expression or emotion that sums up how you feel when you find out the father you never knew is really a telenovela star?
No matter how bonkers the circumstance, Rodriguez's Jane is perhaps one of the most grounded and realistic young women on television. Here's why she seriously earned that Golden Globe.
When She Gave Herself Permission To Be Indecisive
Because of her situation, Jane couldn't be quick on the trigger. Will she have the baby or not? How will this affect her relationship with her fiancé? How will having a baby affect her future? Will she give it up? Will she play a role in this child's life? How is this all going to play out? Jane doesn't know and Rodriguez is an absolute delight to watch as the pendulum swings in every direction. The more information Jane receives, like the fact that the baby's father, Rafael, had little hope of producing a child after his battle with cancer, the more Jane tweaks her view on what this baby could mean. Rodriguez is able to perform every high, low, fear, and anxiety without skipping a beat. Rodriguez allows us to watch Jane reconcile her situation, move by move, until she finally settles on one that feels right.
When She Made Her Commitment To Her Virginity Realistic
A modern woman committed to her virginity on television would make many squirm. It's a plot that could come across as preachy and conservative to some, while simply outdated to others. Not here. Jane made a promise to her grandmother but most importantly, one to herself. She wants her first sexual experience to be special and there is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps what's even more significant is that Rodriguez's Jane isn't uptight, she isn't pressured by society, nor is she acting out of fear. Jane is sexual, fun, and doesn't judge any women that have made other choices.
When She Didn't Let Her Fiancé Push Her Around
Making the decision to keep a baby that she had never planned for was complicated not only by the fact that Jane is the girl who always has a plan, but that she was engaged too. Her fiancé tried to react supportively, but was very much resentful in secret. When it became clear to Jane that this guy was only interested in what his future looked like — he had no plans to raise anybody else's son — and not what their future looked like together, she ditched him. It would've been easy for Jane the Virgin to write Jane, a character in such a complicated, stressful situation, as a pushover, but when she's pushed, she tends to push back. It infuses Jane with so much more life and complexity. There is no pigeonholing Jane, and Rodriguez's expressive, dynamic, and heartfelt responses are what makes that possible.
When She Confronted Her Family Drama Head-On
Jane is raised by two women. Her grandmother and mother are incredibly supportive of Jane, yet they are completely different from her and one another. Her abuela is very traditional and conservative, while her mother is very impulsive and passionate. Jane is a fusion of both; she is bold and practical. Jane's virginity is her connection to her grandmother, yet her practicality is a response to her mother's recklessness. This creates a ton of tension between the three women. They'll probably never agree on anything, but oddly their family is one of the closest presented on television. When Jane is with her family, Rodriguez shines the brightest. Like with any real family, there is a ton of love, a little resentment, and a whole lot of confusion. How can three generations inhabit the same household? How can they reconcile their familial history and secrets? How can they love each other without hurting each other when they don't always agree?
Rodriguez gives all of this complexity in her performance as Jane. She is able to confront her family and present her own without it ever feeling combative, malicious, or rebellious. Rodriguez's Jane is able to care for others without ever losing herself. Rodriguez is never overshadowed in scenes — she steals each one.
Images: Greg Gayne (2), Danny Feld (2), Patrick Wymore/The CW