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

This Latina Disney Star Is All Grown Up And Plays A Major Role In ‘You’—Can You Guess Where Else You Might’ve Spotted Her?

Entertainment

This Latina Disney Star Is All Grown Up And Plays A Major Role In ‘You’—Can You Guess Where Else You Might’ve Spotted Her?

Netflix

The second season of you came out just a few weeks ago, and people can’t get enough of the creepy psychological drama. The new season features a mostly new cast, as the homicidal leading man Joe moves to Los Angeles for a fresh start to unleash his cycle of obsession and murder on a new group of people. One of the new main characters is Ellie, played by former Disney star Jenna Ortega —and although the teenager is only 17 years of age, she’s landed some major roles.

In the new series, Joe (played by Penn Badgley) tries to turn his life around by moving to Los Angeles.

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joe’s got new rules, he counts them

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There, he becomes close to the Quinn family and the Alves family —and things take a dark turn for Joe’s neighbors Delilah and Ellie Alvez —who is played by Jenna.

Ortega is Ellie, a teenager who grew up fast in the big city.

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Handbook to Being Dope in a Sea of Basic Losers

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Ellie likes to act and appear older than her years. Secretly living with minimal supervision or nurturing in her life, she must take care of herself and isn’t afraid to get into murky waters to make a little cash. This includes working cons on the adults around her, including Joe Goldberg.

Joe and Ellie’s older sister Delilah become friends and Joe starts to feel very protective over Ellie.  

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A reminder to protect @jennaortega at all costs

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When things take a turn for the worst, Joe looks after Ellie, who’s left orphaned with Child Protection Services close behind her. Seeing his younger self in Ellie, Joe helps her escape and promises to protect her.

This Latina rising star has been working since a young age. 

Although Jenna Ortega is only 17, she’s been acting since she was 9, with plenty of guest spots on TV and, eventually, some major roles. Maybe you recognize her as the young Jane from Jane the Virgin, or you might recognize her voice from one of Disney’s most popular current animated shows. Keep reading to see all of Ortega’s major roles to date.

Jane the Virgin

Jenna Ortega’s breakout role was her five-season recurring role as the young version of Jane Villanueva on CW’s beloved comedy Jane the Virgin. She played Jane in flashbacks throughout all five seasons of the show.

Richie Rich

You isn’t Jenna Ortega’s first major role on a Netflix show. Back in 2015, she was one of the main characters on the reboot of Richie Rich, playing Richie’s luxury-loving best friend Darcy. The show wasn’t successful and ended after just one season.

Stuck in the Middle

Jenna Ortega landed her first full-fledged leading role on the Disney Channel sitcom Stuck in the Middle, where she played Harley Diaz, the middle child of seven siblings. The show ran from 2016 to 2018, earning Ortega three Imagen Award nominations, one of which she won.

Elena of Avalor

Beginning in 2016 and continuing to the present day, Jenna Ortega has voiced the character of Princess Isabel on the Disney animated series Elena of Avalor. She plays the clever younger sister of the teenage princess Elena, Disney’s first Latina princesses.

Saving Flora

The little-seen drama Saving Flora features Jenna Ortega as the teenage daughter of a circus owner who rescues an aging elephant from being euthanized. The two run away into the forest, where they encounter dangers on their way to an elephant preserve.

‘You’ is just the latest major role for Ortega, and there are more on the horizon

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Our little Yes Day familia💛

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She’s signed on for another go-round with Netflix, this time in the upcoming horror comedy The Babysitter 2. After that, she’s set to appear in the family comedy Yes Day, co-starring with Jennifer Garner and Édgar Ramírez.

“Real Housewives of Dallas” Cast Members Expressed ‘Shame’ At the Reunion Over LeeAnne Locken’s Anti-Latino Tirades

Entertainment

“Real Housewives of Dallas” Cast Members Expressed ‘Shame’ At the Reunion Over LeeAnne Locken’s Anti-Latino Tirades

Bravo TV

In the spellbinding finale to the most recent season of Real Housewives of Dallas, the entiriy of the cast condemned the show’s villain, LeeAnn Locken, for her racist and xenophobic behavior throughout the season. 

As we reported before, earlier in the season, Locken had a total meltdown when fellow castmates D’Andra Simmons and Kary Brittingham (who is Mexican) poked fun at the entrepreneur venture she spent so much time and money on: the L’Infinity dress. At a group dinner, Simmons and Brittingham publicly criticized the dress, insinuating that it was shoddily made and too complicated to wear. While Locken originally tried to brush off the teasing, she eventually snapped, leaving the table in tears.

Later, when she was being comforted by housewife Stephanie Hollman, is when she began to insult Brittingham based off her heritage.

Locken began her insults by accusing Brittingham of thinking she was “all Mexican and strong,” while really, she “ain’t survived s—”. As the season progressed, Locken continued to harp on Brittingham’s heritage, calling her everything from a “chirpy Mexican” to saying that she should “quit using my English words against me” and “find your own Mexican words.”

Locken’s racist and xenophobic behavior made waves on social media, with people Tweeting out their outrage at Locken’s offensive words. Some fans even created a petition on MoveOn.org demanding that Locken be terminated from the show. “I will not watch Bravo moving forward because they are supporting racism by not terminating her,” said a viewer by the name of Lisa A. “Bravo is perpetuating racism by not dealing with her.”

And while Locken apologized for her behavior this past season via a public statement, fans and viewers were still not having it.

Even Locken’s castmates were visibly put-off, expressing their “shame”, “disgust”, and “disappointment” at her behavior at the reunion.

Cast-member Brandi Redmond was one of the most vocal detractors of Locken’s behavior. “I don’t want to be associated. I feel ashamed,” she said. “And it’s not OK, LeeAnne. It’s not OK.” 

Locken, for her part, vacillated between defending her actions and apologizing for them. When being interviewed by host Andy Cohen about her choice of words, Locken explained that she didn’t know what she was saying was offensive. 

“In Texas, I mean, we use that word all the time, like, for everything,” she said. “Chirpy Mexican?” Cohen further prodded, to which Locken conceded wasn’t true. “No, not that,” she said. “Okay, I apologize…I didn’t use my words well and I didn’t like it when I watched it, I can tell you that. Mentally, I was not present and I was not putting my words together well”.

Locken went on to insist that, despite her actions, she was not, in any way, racist. 

“I’ve spent a lot of hours crying over this and realizing how horrible this was,” she told Cohen. “I know every bone in my body, and I know I don’t have a single bone that believes in discrimination. I believe in inclusion. I believe in acceptance,” she said.

Previously, she had tried to explain her “free love” mindset by illustrating that she couldn’t be racist due to her sexual history. “I’ve slept with plenty of Mexicans, by the way. Hot, f—— lovers, okay? I’ve sat in Julio Iglesias’ lap,” she said in a problematic confessional interview during the course of the season. 

To make matters worse, Cohen revealed that most of the cast members assumed Locken’s behavior would never make it to air.

According to Cohen. most of the cast-members assumed that Bravo would edit out Locken’s racist tirades in order to protect not only Locken, but the larger Bravo brand. Because of that, the RHOD cast avoided talking to Brittingham about what was going on behind her back.

 Obviously, the entire situation left Brittingham feeling hurt and isolated. According to her, the experience was “very sad” and “disappointing” for her. We doubt these women will ever be able to mend their friendship. 

Like every Real Housewives reunion, Twitter was on fire with reactions to the explosive season finale. 

One thing’s for sure: The Real Housewives of Dallas has found a way to combine the intoxicating pull of reality television with the more serious issues of the day (namely, American discrimination against Latinos).

This person had no time for Locken’s labeling her behavior as a “mistake”

She has a good point here. Locken’s continuous behavior is proof of deeper discriminatory beliefs.

This person explained why continuously bringing up someone’s country of origin is, indeed, problematic.

It’s one thing not to get along with someone. It’s another to use their ethnicity as an insult. 

This person applauded Andy Cohen for refusing to let Locken’s behavior slide. 

Although Bravo could’ve handled the entire situation better, at least they’re holding Locken responsible for her words and actions.