For the past two years you’ve heard me yell it from the Gold Derby rooftops: “‘Jane the Virgin’ deserves major Emmy love!” And to some degree Emmy voters have listened. The CW hit series is Emmy-nominated (Best Narrator for Anthony Mendez, 2015 and 2016) and that’s great, but maybe I should have been more specific. So, here goes: “‘Jane the Virgin’ deserves a Best Comedy Series nomination!” And if we look over the past decade of Emmy history, I actually think you might listen to me this time.
Halfway into Season 3, “Jane the Virgin” has taken its viewers on a path that most shows wouldn’t have the cajones to do in an entire run. Its second season cliffhanger found Jane’s (Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez) husband Michael (Brett Dier) clinging to life after being shot near the heart. This season opened with him being spared and Jane and Michael adjusting to life while coping with a near tragedy. Once Michael was given the medical thumbs-up, the show gave a wink to its famous title as Jane became a virgin no more.
A few episodes later, Michael would suffer a heart attack due to complications from the gunshot and instead of lingering on the obvious pain Jane would feel we only got glimpses of that, as the show took its boldest step by fast-forwarding us three years into Jane’s future. And might I remind you again this is all happening in Season 3, just 10 episodes in, during a 22-episode season, and it’s been executed brilliantly — especially by both Rodriguez and Dier, who deserve Emmys of their own.
Of course “Jane the Virgin” has several more characters, story-lines, and Emmy-worthy supporting actors (Yael Grobglas, Andrea Navedo, Jaime Camil, Ivonne Coll, Justin Baldoni) that creator Jennie Snyder Urman and her writers somehow manage to juggle without a hiccup, but I don’t want to get greedy. Well, actually, maybe that’s not being too greedy given what the Emmys have done for comedies in “Jane’s” position in the past.
Over the last decade, “Scrubs” (NBC), “Two and a Half Men” (CBS), “Entourage” (HBO), “Family Guy” (FOX), “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS), “Weeds” (Showtime), “Parks and Recreation” (NBC), “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) and “Louie” (FX) all landed their very first Comedy Series nomination for their third season or later. Back in 1999 Emmy darling “Everybody Loves Raymond” scored its first series bid for its third season, as well as five other nominations, after never having been nominated for a single Emmy in the past. I imagine Emmy was righting the ship here.
“Jane the Virgin” has already made CW series history by prevailing at the People’s Choice, AFI and Peabody Awards, and having contended at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice and Television Critics Association awards. A series nomination for ‘Jane’ would not only be historical in a network sense, but in a diversity sense as well.
Just take a look at all the shows listed above, and then throughout Emmy history. “Jane the Virgin” would be the very first series nominee led by a predominately Latino cast. That’s a stat Emmy should want to erase as quick as possible. This is two-for-one here, voters. So as you fill out your ballots this June remember it’s time to right the ship with “Jane” and give her all she’s due.