“Jane the Virgin” closed out its freshman season Monday with an episode that served as a perfect bookend to the pilot. Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez), began the series as a young woman determined to maintain her virtue until she met Mr. Right. After being accidentally artificially inseminated, she faces her fears and her family and decides to keep the baby.
Twenty-two episodes later, Jane goes into labor. Interspersed with the usual comic high-jinks that are par for the course when it comes to giving birth on a sitcom, are some touching moments as our heroine struggles to choose between an ex-beau (Brett Dier) and her dream man (Justin Baldoni). Then, in keeping with the spirit of the original Venezuelan telenovela, this CW hit concludes with a cliffhanger sure to have viewers tuning in next fall.
Before we find out what happens to the baby, we will know if Rodriguez can add an Emmy to the Golden Globe she won in January.
The other Comedy Actress contenders are likely to include perennial also-ran Amy Poehler for the final season of “Parks and Recreation” and three women who headline new shows on Netflix — Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt“) and both Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin from “Grace and Frankie.”
Unlike all of them, Rodriguez benefits from headlining an hour-long show. That gives TV academy voters twice as much time to fall in love with her. That strategy proved to be a winning one for a slew of funny ladies who submitted double-length episodes of their 30-minute laffers, including Helen Hunt who picked up four Emmys in a row for “Mad About You” beginning in 1996. The second of those came for the 1997 season finale in which her character, Jamie Buchman, gives birth.
Bracketing the bouncing Buchman baby by five years on either side are two other TV tots who won their mamas Emmys. In 1992, Candice Bergen claimed the third of her eventual five trophies as “Murphy Brown” by becoming a single mother in an episode that incensed then Vice President Dan Quayle. And in 2002, the on-again, off-again romance of Ross and Rachel on “Friends” became even more complicated when she gave birth. This situation, played for both laughs and tears, won Jennifer Aniston her only Emmy.
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