Greetings and Good #Mondaymorning!
I hope that you're doing well this morning, and that your family is too! It's the start of a new day and another day means, a another day to have a great day! It begins with you and your attitude, and how you view the world. So, if you're going to have a great day let's begin it with a little inspiration. For me this morning, I'm in good spirits! This past weekend, I've gotten a little closer to completing the series "Jane the Virgin" on Netflix. As I complete the series, I'm realizing how much Jane has been a positive influence on me, not to mention she ALWAYS wore the cutest sundresses that I completely loved. This week, I thought that I would share the impact that this fantastic television show had on me personally.
What made me start watching, "Jane the Virgin"?
To be quite honest, I'd scrolled past "Jane the Virgin" numerous times on Netflix, before I actually began watching the show. I recall hearing from folks about how "good" it was, and I was told, "Myra you need to watch Jane the Virigin. It's a good show." But, it wasn't until I met a woman that stopped by my table at the Baltimore Book Festival in November 2019, and she recommended that I check it out because, the main character was a romance author. That's when I decided to give it a shot. As soon as I turned it on, I was hooked. I immediately connected with "Jane" played by the incredibly talented, Gina Rodriguez. The woman that recommended that I check it out was right, I absolutely connected to her because she was writer, and it was amazing to see life through her colorful lens. I enjoyed the play on telenovelas, and how they weren't cheesy but fun, magical and whimsical. I fell in love with the characters and the stories.
"Jane the Virgin" was relatable, thought-provoking, fun, and interesting!
This series opened my eyes to a world (a latin world) that I was not a part of, but I was completely interested in knowing more about. I loved this show because, it had themes that were important to me, such as, having strong family support and bonds, the importance of my strength as a woman, motherhood, passion for my career and writing, and love and romance. I remember growing up and my mom "preaching" to me about the importance of not having sex before marriage. So, the themes around premarital sex in the initial episodes and how Alba described a woman's virginity as a flower, I completely related to that. I felt like a teenager dealing with my own emotions and feelings about sex, in those first couple of episodes, but I loved it. It made me realize that one is not a bad person for having premarital sex, but being responsible about it was most important.
Andrea Navedo played, "Xiomara" (I love that name by the way), made a comment in episode ninety-nine as the cast reflected back on five years of the show, she stated something that stuck with me. She spoke about growing up there times when she felt "invisible" because, there weren't many times when she saw herself reflected in tv and movies. She stated that it (and I'm paraphrasing) made her proud to do this show, so that a little girl growing up today, that look like her could see themselves in her. That was a powerful statement because, we all want to be able to find representations of ourselves in everything! As a African-American woman, I was able to relate to that comment. I'm lucky that for me growing up, I was able to see myself in tv shows, like The Cosby Show, A Different World, Family Matters, The Parkers, Moesha, Thea, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, 227, Good Times, Thea, and so many other shows. Lack of self-reflection (or seeing ourselves in tv and movies) is something that the Black community speaks of all of the time, and we're constantly fighting for our representation. With that said, I never really thought of what it was like for other people of color where there is probably less representation, and/or opportunities for them to see themselves reflected in television and movies. I know it exists, but it makes it real when I was able to see the lack of diversity first hand through the eyes of the latin community and culture. I was even more inspired by this show because, it pushed and challenged me to really think of other groups of people, particularly the latin community, and their struggles and journey as a people in a ways that I hadn't considered before. It confirmed for me the notion that we are more alike, as a people, than we are different.
I especially, loved the immigration episode. I think that people, like me, need to see the hardship the immigration issue in America has on a family of immigrants, particularly illegal immigrants. In addition to seeing news reports, I think from a social perspective, Orange is the New Black was the first show that I watched that specifically incorporated the immigration issue in America, and the piss poor way in which the U.S. government was handling this situation into their storyline. It opened my eyes to the legal process for detainees, and how evil this process is. It gave their plight a human element for me. "JTV" brought it home for me. I remember crying when Alba received her citizenship, I was praying and hoping that she'd be able to become a citizen. I don't know what or how I'd feel if I had a member of my family going through that, but there are many people dealing with it EVERY SINGLE DAY! My heart breaks and goes out to these families because, I believe that it's unfair how they are being treated, but in order to help, we have to understand, sympathize and empathize with their struggles. I'm thankful for this show's impact on me.
Finally, this show also gave me a renewed faith in romance because, I was all in for the emotional rollercoaster that this show took me on with "Jane and Michael", "Jane and Rafael", "Xiomara and Rogelio", and "Alba and Jorge". I was rooting, hooting and hollering, for each of the match ups because, I believed in them and their commitments to each other. I was even happy for Jane when she was with both Michael and Rafael. I just wanted her to get to a point when she knew the man that she wanted with confidence and conviction. Eventually, she ended up where she needed to be and with whom she was meant to be with. I loved every character on this show. I will say that Rogelio was probably my favorite! He was hilarious and fun. I think that it's one of those shows what will be a classic that people will watch over and over again in the future. I know that I will.
I'm bummed that the CW decided to end this show, much like, Girlfriends, and so many other great shows by people of color. I think shows like this need to be out there because, it gives people a different perspective that isn't out there. I appreciated this perspective, and now I want to go watch telenovelas and learn more about the latin culture. "JTV" tackled some very serious topics in such a way that wasn't downgrading or disrespectful to the characters or the latin culture, but with a humorous flare that was unique and smart. This show always felt like a breath of fresh air for me, and I'm going to enjoy watching these episodes again into the future. I've laughed, I've cried, I've been mad, and I've been sad watching "JTV", and it is one show that I will never forget.
Jane reminded me as a romance writer that I can be "mushy" and "believe in the inevitable or unbelievable", and that my romance can be magical and whimsical too. I know love can come in all forms, and is completely blind. I want to keep writing the kinds of stories that people become invested in, and fall in love with the entire story not just the characters. We can find so much inspiration if we just look around, and I've found yet, more inspiration for myself as a writer. I'm motivated to also tackle real issues that people are facing through my writing, to bring awareness to less talked about issues to spark discussions, and use my writing to be a voice to the marginalized and underrepresented in best possible way. I'm chuckling right now because, I'm thinking about all of the drama that I wrote in my second book "3AC", and after seeing all of the plot twists and turns, and drama in "JTV", and how much I loved that show, I think my books deserve more plot twists and drama, LOL!
Get ready world...I'm inspired to write!
Thank you for reading my blog this morning. Hey, do me a favor, if you like or love this post, comment on it. I’d love to hear your feedback. Also, please feel free to share it with your family and friends in the social media universe. I greatly appreciate the support.