Entertainment

13 Reasons Why Latinos Will Miss Seeing Their Stories In ‘Jane The Virgin’

WARNING, SOME VERY CHIQUITO SPOILERS AHEAD! 

The end of one of our favorite shows, Jane the Virgin, is near. For almost five years (it was first aired in 2014) we have followed the adventures of Jane Gloriana Villanueva, our heroine who was wrongly inseminated. Jane’s journey was also related to her career as a writer, a vocation that she tries to follow even though life sometimes gets in the way. The narrative accomplishes something almost impossible to pull off: it makes outrageous telenovela situations feel close to us. The 100th and last ever episode will be aired on July 31st, and fans are getting their tissue box ready for what promises to be a tearful finale. Because we don’t like goodbyes we will start our farewell now. These are some of the reasons why we consider Jane the Virgin to be a watershed moment in the history of Latino representation in mainstream television, and why we will miss Jane, her lovers, her family, and her amazingly quirky son. A llorar se ha dicho

1. Jane the Virgin was finally a show that represented the many complexities of Latino communities in the U.S.: it made us laugh and cry in equal measures.

Credit: cwjanethevirgin / Instagram

There have been some shows about Latinos in the United States, and titles such as Netflix’s Mr. Iglesias seem to be gaining more traction. However, Jane the Virgin could break into the mainstream, escaping the niche denominator of “Latino”. It was wonderful to see the very specific Florida Latinidad represented on the screen. 

2. The show discussed the uncomfortable issue of migration and the perilous path to citizenship. Te queremos, Alba!

Credit: cwjanethevirgin / Instagram

The show touched in one of the main issues that define the Latino experience in the United States: migration. Alba’s citizenship journey was equally stressful and hard to watch, and we are sure it resonated with millions of Latino families in how vulnerable migrants can be before attaining citizenship. A call to action that was also told in a tender, extremely human way. 

3. Jane proudly wore her Latina identity, in her life and literary work.

Credit: cwjanethevirgin / Instagram

Instead of trying to “fit in” with Anglo culture to blend, Jane Gloriana Villanueva embraces and celebrates her Latina identity. From her clothes to her cultural references (Chilean novelist Isabel Allende makes a cameo!) and her literary work, she tries to uncover what Latina identity means today in matters of love, family, sex and professional life. 

4. It showed us that true friendship with your exes and your exes’ exes is possible (you know this is a telenovela, right?)

Credit: cwjanethevirgin / Instagram

Well, maybe this is not that in tune with reality, pero se vale soñar. We love how Petra, Jane, and Rafael find a way to co-parent three cheeky monkeys. 

5. It gave us a strong, independent, queer woman.

Credit: cwjanethevirgin / Instagram

Petra is perhaps the character that developed the most. She went from being a terrible telenovela villana to being a member of the Villanueva clan. Her backstory is fascinating and through the seasons she found a way to discover herself: she is a survivor, and the ultimate way to survive is accepting who she is a powerful queer businesswoman, and a loving mother who allows herself to be vulnerable and ask for help. 

6. It serves us some old-world Latino charm.

Credit: cwjanethevirgin / Instagram

When Jane imagines her romantic epics, and also when Alba tells her life story, we get to see some of the old world Latino charms that have made the romantic narrative a staple of the region. This is also a way to deal with 

7. It provided us with one of the most truthful representations of the joys, frustrations, and awesomeness of parenthood.

Credit: cwjanethevirgin / Instagram

Right from her pregnancy, Jane embodied the shock and delights of motherhood. The show does not give us a vanilla version of how pregnancy sorta wrecks the female body and how hard it is to raise a child. Mateo is Jane’s world, and it is amazing to witness Jane embrace her power, but also her cluelessness as to how to be a mother. Nadie nace sabiendo

8. Four words: Rogelio De La Vega.

Credit: cwjanethevirgin / Instagram

Mexican actor Jaime Camil, a former telenovela heartthrob, found his ideal character in Rogelio De La Vega. He is funny and charming, vulnerable and the best father ever. We would totally watch a spin-off featuring only him! 

9. The genuine chemistry and friendship shared by the cast.

Credit: janethevirginlove / Instagram

Gina Rodriguez and Jaime Camil really do look like father and daughter in this photo. Judging by interviews and their social media accounts (including photos of Gina’s recent wedding), cast members have formed a true family offscreen, which translates into the amazing chemistry we see in the show. 

10. The show is a true picture of the multicultural United States.

Credit: janethevirginlove / Instagram

Yes, the cast is primarily Latino or plays Latino characters (even the blonde Michael has a Latino last name: Cordero), but the show has Eastern European, Anglo, Black and even Indian characters. Rather than being insular and only focus on Latinos, it is a mosaic of the cultural diversity of Florida, where the narrative takes place. 

11. Primero la familia: a message that resonated with Latino audiences worldwide.

Credit: janethevirginlove / Instagram

Through the show, we are witness to the perpetuation of family rituals. The Villanuevas have dinner together, come rain or come shine, and they spend time together even if they are upset at each other. Later in the show, Petra and Jane find a way to create new traditions for Mateo and the twins, unlikely half-siblings who are growing up together. 

12. Simply put, Jane the Virgin is funny as hell.

Credit: janethevirginlove / Instagram

Jane the Virgin is a cleverly written comedy that blends huge amounts of drama, very tender and human moments, and gags that are anything but cheap. Every joke or unusual situation in the show reveals something about the characters rather than looking for cheap laughs. For example, when Jane’s life spins out of control she usually becomes very clumsy: the physical comedy reveals characters’ inner state. We can also think of Rogelio’s hilarious gift baskets! (we wouldn’t mind getting one by the way). Or how Petra’s twins often make reference to the creepy duo from the horror film The Shining.

13. But above all, the show gives full agency to female characters, something rare in any TV show.

Credit: cwjanethevirgin / Instagram

In today’s media industry, it is extremely rare for a female-led television show or film to be approved, even more so if the character is a Latina played by a relatively unknown actress. Jane the Virgin was a rarity and a novelty: a sitcom that got pretty dark at times, which offered dialogue in Spanish and was unashamedly influenced by telenovelas. The Villanueva queens and Petra drove the narrative, un matriarcado televisivo like no other. Jane did not make her decisions solely based on what her romantic counterparts demanded: she was in control of her feelings, her sexuality and her experience as a mother. We will miss you, Jane hermosa.

READ: ‘Jane The Virgin’ Actress Opens Up About How Anxiety Kept Her From Showing Up To Set

Dominican-American Model With Muscular Dystrophy, Jillian Mercado Reveals Acting Debut On ‘L Word’ Sequel Series

Entertainment

Dominican-American Model With Muscular Dystrophy, Jillian Mercado Reveals Acting Debut On ‘L Word’ Sequel Series

jillianmercado / Instagram

Dominican-American fashion model Jillian Mercado has made quite a name for herself in the world of fashion. The disabled model has worked to challenge traditional beauty ideals in the fashion industry while also pushing back against the misrepresentation and stigmas of people with disabilities in the world of fashion as well. In 2014, she shot to prominence when she first appeared as a model for the designer jean brand Diesel and then once again when she landed a modeling contracting with IMG in 2015. Since then she’s appeared in various campaigns for clothing stores like Nordstrom, Target and modeled for photographers like Michael Avedon and Beyonce. 

The Dominicana’s latest move appears to be one as an actor shaking up the world of the upcoming drama series “The L Word: Generation Q” the sequel series to Showtime’s iconic hit “The L Word.”

For her television debut, Mercado is set to play an immigration attorney on the series.

In the continuing series of “The L Word: Generation Q,” the familiar faces of the original early 2000s series return alongside new ones who navigate love and relationships in Los Angeles. For her part, Mercado will play Maribel Suarez, an immigration attorney who is very close to her older sister Sophie, played by Rosanny Zayas. Sophie is a TV producer and Mercado’s part as Maribel will be recurring. 

The L Word: Generation Q”  will pick up 10 years from where the series left off in.

In a post to her Instagram, Mercado celebrated the announcement of her role describing what an important moment it is for the disabled community.

“I can’t even begin to explain how I feel like right now. Honestly where do I even begin?!?!? That’s right I’m making my first debut as an actor on the hit television show @sho_thelword which is making a come back next Sunday, December 8th!!!” Mercado wrote on her Instagram page. “I am absolutely crying right now so just give me a second to compose myself and I’ll be back to explain why this is so important and why the world needs to understand that representation is the key to our survival. AHHH!!!!!!!!!!”

Weeks ago, Mercado shared news with her fans that she had auditioned for the L Word. 

In a video posted to her Instagram, Mercado can be seen nervous and excited saying “I just did my first ever audition! …look how nervous I am like breaking out…for THE L WORD!! Ahhh!!…”⁣

Then in a follow up video, Mercado told fans that she received the most incredible news today and she cried at least five times throughout the day when she received it.  “f I just wanna burst in the air and fly because of the energy or how much energy you have just for a simple news but this specific news is really so life-changing and historic and today I was just told that I got a roll on a TV show and I don’t even know how to react right now because I really never thought that I was going to be a public figure for any in any capacity and here I am being a model in doing that as you know is amazing and it means more than just being a model to me and now I get to expand that message of representation and how people with disabilities deserve to be heard and we can’t tell our stories without us in the conversation and that always been important to me and today I found out that I’m going to elevate the conversation on television and I am Maribel on The L word word!!” Mercado explained. “I am going to be in your TV screens very very soon and I’m very excited and I’m very thankful and I am thankful for everyone who has joined me on this fight to be represented in the right way and I am so thankful to everybody that is currently in my life or just push me to be the best person and you know allowing me to be myself and authenticity is so important to me and is vital to my life and I love you all!!”

Mercado’s role on the series is a definite win for the Latinx and disabled community. 

The model and now actress was born with muscular dystrophy, a condition that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.

Mercado’s role on the series is a definite win for the Latinx and disabled community. 

The model and now actress was born with muscular dystrophy, a condition that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.

Mercado’s role on the series is a definite win for the Latinx and disabled community. 

The model and now actress was born with muscular dystrophy, a condition that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.

The Stars of “Real Housewives of Dallas” Have Split The Internet Into Two Camps Following a Drama-Filled Episode That Ended in a Xenophobic Rant

Entertainment

The Stars of “Real Housewives of Dallas” Have Split The Internet Into Two Camps Following a Drama-Filled Episode That Ended in a Xenophobic Rant

Dallas

We’d be lying to ourselves if we didn’t admit that we love to indulge in some good, old-fashioned reality TV drama just as much as the next person. Luckily for us, Wednesday’s episode of Real Housewives of Dallas offered us just that. And this time, the drama centered around RHOD’s primadonna LeeAnne Locken and RHOD’s first cast member of Mexican descent, Kary Brittingham. 

For those of you who don’t know, Brittingham is a wealthy Dallas socialite who moved to Dallas from Guadalajara at the age of 16. She is married to Eduardo Brittingham, a Mexican-American millionaire, and entrepreneur who founded a company called Tu Familia, a “social media engagement app platform which connects and empowers Latino communities globally”. 

Episode 12 of Season Four saw the ladies taking an impromptu trip to Thailand. The trip was meant to be a relaxing learning experience for everyone, but of course, nothing can ever be relaxing in the Real Housewives world. Locken and Brittingham immediately began to butt heads over arbitrary tourism “rules” of Thailand–specifically, the expectation that visitors take off their hats when entering a Buddhist temple. 

The drama reached another level, however when Brittingham and fellow cast member D’Andra Simmons went out of their way to publicly mock Locken’s business venture, her L’Infinity dress.

For those of you who aren’t aware, last season, Locken debuted a dress she designed that she was incredibly proud of, the L’Infinity dress, which, according to her, could be worn in 175 different ways. Sensing a potentially hilarious opportunity, Simmons brought the dress with her to Thailand in order to wear to dinner. When Brittingham and Simmons arrived at dinner, they claimed that their tardiness was due to how much they struggled with putting the dress on. 

“We had a little wardrobe malfunction. This is all coming apart,” Simmons said while sitting down. While at first, her ensemble was met with exclamations of “How cute!” and “That dress looks gorgeous on you!” from the rest of the cast members, the mood quickly changed as the women began to realize that Simmons wasn’t wearing it from a place of support. Brittingham piled on with the criticism, adding selling the dress with “an instruction booklet…with pictures” would be “super helpful”.

While Locken first tried to brush off the teasing, she soon snapped, leaving the dinner table in tears. 

While being privately interviewed, later on, Locken explained the origins of her frustration: “If it’s a ‘joke’, you come down, you make it, you move on,” she said. “If you keep going because you haven’t gotten a reaction from me, it’s because you did it to get a reaction from me”. Indeed, it wasn’t only Locken who were a bit turned off by the ladies’ incessant teasing. “There’s a difference between a joke and a joke at someone’s expense”, Stephanie Hollman said later. “What they’re doing is, it’s a joke and LeeAnne’s a punchline, and that’s not cool.”

To make matters worse, the entire fiasco culminated in LeeAnne totally losing it and verbally attacking Brittingham due to her Mexican heritage. As part of the episode’s conclusion, as well as the preview for the next episode, we see Locken venting her frustration to Hollman, saying that Brittingham doesn’t “have the balls to be courageous” and admit that wearing the dress was coming from a place of malice. Talking about it, Locken becomes visibly more and more enraged, hitting herself in the face and saying, “C’mon Mexican, I thought you were all Mexican and strong. F*** that b****. You ain’t survive s***. And I’m tired of it”.

After Wednesday’s episode fans of RHOD were firmly divided into two camps: those of Locken’s side and those on Brittingham and Simmons’ side.

Others believed that Locken couldn’t justify why came off as a pretty racist rant at the end of the episode.

Some people couldn’t get past what they saw as Locken’s pretty racist rant at the end of the episode.

Others truly believed Brittingham and Simmons went too far and crossed the line into “bullying” territory. 

It’s interesting how starkly different people feel about the same situation.

This person called out Locken for her, frankly, xenophobic behavior:

Making fun of Brittingham’s perfectly understandable English is icky.

And this person seemed personally aggrieved at Brittingham and Simmons’ “prank”.

As for us, we believe all of the women involved could benefit from an intense session or two of therapy.