It’s no secret that the Emmys loves moms. Eleven of the most recent 15 Comedy Supporting Actress awards have gone to actresses who play some type of mother on their show – from the overbearing Doris Roberts in “Everybody Loves Raymond” to stepmom Megan Mullally in “Will & Grace.” This year, another TV mom should be considered among those ranks: Andrea Navedo, of the CW’s Golden Globe-nominated series “Jane the Virgin.”
Navedo portrays single mother Xiomara Villanueva (“Xo” for short), whose daughter, Jane (Globe-winner Gina Rodriguez), is accidentally inseminated and is now pregnant even though she is in fact still a virgin. Xo helps Jane cope with the pregnancy news; the pregnancy itself; Jane’s love life; and Jane’s biological father, telenovela star Rogelio De La Vega (Jaime Camil), who has come back into the picture.
All the while, Xo must navigate her own life, including a potential newfound relationship with Rogelio, her morally righteous mother Alba (Ivonne Coll), who faced deportation after a fall put her in a coma, and her singing career. Even after all that, the recent episode “Chapter 15” included yet another troublesome scenario for Xo: a pregnancy scare that brought out her fear of taking the next step in her relationship with Rogelio.
What more can this poor woman possibly handle? Quite a bit you’ll notice when you watch Navedo juggle a staggering amount of complex and sometimes just plain silly situations with quick emotional and comedic reactions. Xo isn’t loud or overbearing, nor does she jump in with a zinger then leave to have a cocktail like some previous Emmy champs. Nevertheless, she makes an impression, allowing Xo to shine amongst a group of even more colorful characters.
In a lesser actress’s hands, this role could simply be a crutch or sounding board for Jane, but instead, Navedo’s Xo not only holds Jane together, but everyone else as well. For this, Emmy should be taking a close look at this mom.
Can Andrea Navedo break into the Comedy Supporting Actress race? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons:
“Jane the Virgin” is one of the most buzzed about shows of the season with the pedigree of a Golden Globe nomination for Best Comedy and victory for its star Rodriguez.
Again, Emmy loves moms and Navedo gets a lot to work with. She holds her own against the title character and her scene-stealing boyfriend.
If the TV academy allows “Jane” to compete in the comedy races despite a recent rule-change about hour-long shows (as I predict it will), the buzz for the show will mount even more.
The series could break through like “Ugly Betty” did in its first season, when it picked up Emmy bids for Comedy Series, Comedy Actress, and Comedy Supporting Actress.
After the backlash against this year’s all-white Oscar acting nominees and the success of new TV shows with diverse casts like as “Jane,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” and the ratings-blockbuster “Empire,” Hollywood may be looking for opportunities to showcase diversity.
If we’re being perfectly frank, there’s one big one that will be hard to overcome: CW. Those call-letters for some reason do not exist on the Emmys’ radar, but if there was ever a show to change that it would have to be “Jane the Virgin,” and for Navedo’s sake let’s hope it is.
Xo isn’t loud, overbearing, or drunk. Of those 11 aforementioned Emmy-winners, only Cynthia Nixon‘s victory back in 2004 for “Sex and the City” was for a relatively subdued mother, but even then motherhood wasn’t the focal point of her character.
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