I’m less than two hours away from getting emotionally wrecked. And it’s all Jennie Snyder-Urman’s fault. She is the showrunner of Jane the Virgin, which is officially coming to an end tonight. I’ve loved a lot of shows. But very few have anchored me the way Jane the Virgin has for these past five seasons.
I remember how I stumbled across Jane the Virgin — or, more accurately, how we stumbled across it. Because Jane has connected me and my best friend since before we were even besties, just pals who lived in the same residence hall. But I digress. We were in her dorm room, I was sitting on her floor with this very laptop and likely had a Pepsi in hand. She was sitting with me and we were scrolling through Netflix, looking for something to be the background to paper-writing.
We picked Jane the Virgin because the title card was pink and the inciting event (a virgin getting artificially inseminated) seemed silly. We were in no way prepared for a plot-twisting English-language telenovela with warm, empathetic characters that would make us laugh and cry in the same scene. But that’s what we got. By the end of the first episode, we loved the narrator, loved Jane and were shook by a murder. Only season 1 was on Netflix, but we binged it. Hard. And a quick Google search let us know that season 2 was on the way.
We watched nearly every episode of seasons 2,3, and 4 together, first in her dorm room, then in her apartment. For an hour each week the world stopped for Jane. Sure, she would occasionally write a paper during and episode and I would be scrolling Twitter, but that weekly hour was always booked for the two of us and Jane. Even season 4 when CW had the audacity to move Jane to Friday nights.
I ate dinners with Jane, did puzzles with her, laughed, cried, gasped, and cried some more. Me and that pal who happened to live in the same res hall became best friends and our time with Jane surely has something to do with that.
In college, Jane Night brought us together even when we were overscheduled and under-slept. It didn’t matter that my professor said a shitty thing that made me cry, or that she had a month to learn a brand new skill. Once a week, we just sat and commented on the crazy life of Jane Villanueva.
It would’ve been poetic if Jane had ended with season 4, which was our senior year. But that’s not how life works. Funnily enough, I’m happy it didn’t. Because this was the hardest year of my life. And I’m happy Jane has still been a constant for me. I don’t have cable, but by lucky chance I found a friend who has cable and a love for Jane the Virgin. So now, every Wednesday, I roll into her condo in my sweatpants to sit on her floor and tune in. It’s not the same story of friends-turned-besties. But it’s sappy nonetheless.
Even at my shittiest, when a disastrous combo of unemployment, anxiety and depression had me holed up in my apartment convinced everyone hated me, Jane gave me somewhere to go. I might only talk to the dog all week, but on Wednesday night, there was a social event. I needed that. I like to arrive a little early so there’s time to rehash the week before the narrator welcomes us into the Jane the Virgin world. It was at a Jane Night where I shared the news of my new job and got to share that with someone. It was where I met that friend’s parents and sister. It’s where she shared that she bought her first house. Big moments. Even as my mental health improves, I still revel in my Wednesday night routine. For months, Jane has helped anchor me to this Vegas life.
I’m sad to see Jane go. In fact, I’m literally crying right now. This show has meant more to me than I could have ever imagined when I was sitting in Jewett Hall looking for some easy watching. So I might be a little fussy at Jennie, but more than anything, I’m grateful for the show and how it’s affected me. Now I gotta sign off so I can throw on my sweats and prepare to get wrecked.