By now, you’ve heard the big news: In a surprising upset Sunday, Jane The Virgin star Gina Rodriguez earned the Golden Globes for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy, beating Hollywood vets Julia Louis Dreyfuss (Veep), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) and millennial favorites Taylor Schilling (Orange Is The New Black) and Lena Dunham (Girls).
It’s a well-deserved win. As Jane, a smart student who is saving herself for marriage when she’s mistakenly inseminated with the sperm of a sexy playboy during an ob/gyn-visit, Rodriguez is terrifically funny and fiercely self-aware. She stays grounded while finding her way through a sensational series colored with telenovela references and primetime soap-driven storylines. And don’t let the word telenovela scare you off: in the hands of executive producer Jenni Snyder Urman, the show is surprisingly savvy as it tackles issues ranging from religion, immigration, parenting, adult relationships, career goals and identity. The good news is it’s not too late to jump into the Latin-flavored comedy: With the midseason premiere coming Jan. 19th, there’s no better time to binge-watch all nine hour-long episodes. Here’s how.
Premise: Set in Miami, the show stars Rodriguez as a 20-something religious Latina who gets thrown for a loop when she’s accidentally inseminated by a loopy OB/GYN during a gynecological exam.
Key Players: Jane (Gina Rodriguez) who is studying education, has a penchant for grilled cheese and harbors secret dreams of becoming a romance novelist; her mother Xo (Andrea Acevedo), an aspiring singer who had Jane as a teen and who has kept the father’s identity a secret ever since; abuela Alba, Jane’s religious grandmother (Ivonne Coll); Michael Cordero (Brett Dier), Jane’s detective boyfriend; Rafael Solano (Justin Baldoni) a bad boy who owns the hotel where Jane works, Petra (Yael Groblas), his scheming, adulterous wife; Dr. Luisa Alver (Yara Martinez), the decidedly loopy OB/GYN who inseminates Jane, and Sin Rostro, a mysterious drug lord.
Jan. 12: Watch Episode 1
Jane finds herself unexpectedly pregnant after an OB/GYN mix-up of epic proportions, thanks to Dr. Alver, who’s admittedly just a wee bit shaken up after learning that her girlfriend has cheated her. Though Jane tries to tell Michael the news, he preempts her announcement by proposing. To make things even more complicated, Jane’s baby daddy is Rafael Solano, whom Jane was seriously crushing on (and even kissed!) a few years ago. And oh, that mermaid getup? That’s a costume Jane has to wear for her work as a cocktail waitress.
Jan. 13: Watch Episode 2
The episode kicks off with a Jane trademark—a sweet flashback, which usually explains the title character’s rationale or motivation for what ensues later in the hour. In this installment, Jane decides what to do about her pregnancy, while the identity of her father is revealed (spoiler: he’s a big-time telenovela actor played by real-life Latin soap star Jaime Camil) and the audience learns the emotional background for Xo’s unconventional parenting style. There’s also a murder, committed in the most deliciously over-the-top soap opera style. If there’s one episode that proves why Rodriguez deserved the Globe, this is it, as she shows off her convincing comedic chops and displays her grounded dramatic training in the same hour.
Jan. 14: Watch Episode 3
OMG! Jane decides to lose her virginity, finally meets her birth dad, and sets a wedding date—though none of these major milestones go exactly as planned. Also, the real—and unexpected reason—why Jane has been so determined to remain a virgin for so long is revealed.
Jan. 15: Watch Episode 4
Jane tells Michael that she’s been having sex dreams starring Rafael. Nevertheless, their wedding is still on, though Michael is a wee bit distracted as he makes some surprising discoveries about episode 2’s murder. This is the point where Jane starts to give primetime epics like Dynasty and Dallas a run for their money. And oh, Jane meets her dad, and Petra’s ex-fiancé Lachlan is introduced as a guy who definitely has it in for Rafael.
Jan. 16: Watch Episode 5
Suddenly, each of Jane’s relationships with the men in her life becomes terribly complicated. Jane’s relationship with her mom Xo isn’t faring too much better since Jane is angry with her for keeping her dad’s identity a secret, while Rafael and Petra experience marital problems. While the episode treads a bit heavy on the emotional side, stick it out—it cumulates in the jaw-dropping, unexpected death of a hotel employee.
Jan. 17: Watch Episodes 6-7
Jane meets a pair of wicked teen stepsisters who remind her of her high school days, when she was bullied by the cool kids (which helps explains why Jane is so passionate about becoming a teacher). Petra tries to throw Rafael under the bus with domestic abuse charges, while he and Jane test the romantic waters.
Meanwhile, in episode 7, Jane isn’t convinced that she and Rafael are right together, so she tries to avoid him—with unexpected consequences. And she’s not the only one wrestling with her feelings, as her mom Xo decides to change her approach towards dating, life and love. You’ve been warned: This episode is particularly steamy. Because as Jane likes to say, she’s a virgin, not a saint.
Jan. 18: Watch Episodes 8-9
In the first hour, Jane tells Rafael her big secret (she’s still a virgin!), which doesn’t go over so well with him. So much for being Mr. Right! Xo isn’t faring much better, as her short-live foray into dating seems to end as swiftly as it began. But wait: Things look up for her when she meets a popular music producer (guest star Juanes), who just might help her get her big break.
In the second, Jane and Rafael discover that Petra has been keeping her real identity a secret. It’s just one of the many discoveries made during the hour, which include Michael’s theory that Rafael might be the man behind Sin Rostro’s criminal activities. Xo meets her pop star idol (guest star Paulina Rubio), and poor Abuelita becomes a victim of foul play.
And there you have it: you’re all caught up with Jane The Virgin!