In the eighteenth and penultimate episode of the fifth season of Jane the Virgin, the cast reflects on their journey. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Jane the Virgin.
So, first of all, I’m deeply appreciative of all those who warned me (especially the person who emailed me about this episode at the beginning of the year) not to watch this before the series finale. I think there was one quick glimpse of a scene from it early in the episode, but more importantly? All that talk about what the finale would offer and the intention of the narrator would have possibly clued me in to what was going to happen. (Especially the narrator thing. That wasn’t even on my radar, and this absolutely would have made me think about his identity. I’m thankful for that surprise.) On an emotional level, though, this simply fit so well after the finale, particularly since it provided me with a chance to reflect on the journey this show has been on over five seasons. Well, it was a refresher, too, despite that it didn’t go over EVERY major plot twist. It went over enough of them to give me a reminder of everything that’s happened since that fateful mistake that Luisa made. (Which does make me wonder where Yara Martinez was… why wasn’t she in this look back on the series?)
I’m a sucker for behind-the-scenes stuff, and I’m definitely one of those people for whom seeing how something is made can improve my perception of said work. Now, this isn’t that in-depth of a special, mind you, but it was still deeply rewarding to see the main cast (including Anthony Mendez!!!!) and Jennie Snyder Urman speak about what this experience was like for each of them. It was neat on my end to see that I did pick up on intentional elements of the show, such as the centering of three generations of Latina women. Or the combination of realism and fantasy. Or the reasons why certain decisions were made! Or how meaningful much of the representation was! Y’all, I loved all the discussion about how few Latinx folks were on television, and even those who were often were not given the kind of storylines we saw here. As a whole, I hope that my reviews have spoken to how seen I’ve felt, even though my life doesn’t match up with this show in direct ways very often. Still, it was a healing thing to experience. And holy shit, it was really queer a lot of the time, particularly with THE BEST ROMANCE POSSIBLE, JR AND PETRA. Will I ever recover from that? NO! NEVER!
And this representation was casual: It was just part of the world. Even if I’ve had issues with Dr. Alver’s growth and storylines, I still appreciate that she’s so upfront about her queerness, that it’s presented as matter-of-fact from the very beginning of the show, and there’s also a huge part of me that loves how messy, flawed, and challenging her arc was. It’s more that I feel like I wanted more time with her, to explore her character’s internal growth more than what appeared on screen.
I also can’t ignore that this show landed in my life at a time when I’ve been thinking about things like family, community, grief, and love more than perhaps ever before. In that sense, even though that wasn’t the intention, I connected with Jane the Virgin in ways that were unexpected. I am grateful that there are still so very many of you who tune into this site each week, and that you’ve helped be a part of a space that continuously allows me to feel safe enough to share what I have. I know that Mark Watches is often a very personal thing, but it’s probably very obvious by now what Jane the Virgin has meant to me. I love art that can transcend time or intention and connect with others, and this show has done that so spectacularly. Clearly it has for the actors, too! UGH, ANDREA NAVEDO NEARLY MADE ME CRY MULTIPLE TIMES. Same with Yael Grobglas!!! YAEL KNEW HOW IMPORTANT IT WAS TO BE OUR BISEXUAL QUEEN!!!!!!!
So, from here, we’ll have our Q&A Party on Wednesday, which will be a chance for y’all to send me all the spoilery stuff I’ve had to avoid, as well as to have a little comment party about Jane the Virgin as a whole. Friday, I begin the first of two Discworld TV adaptations: The Colour of Magic! I’m excited that these get to be full Mark Watches reviews as well. Immediately after that, I’ll be watching series 12 of Doctor Who, including the Christmas Special. (I’ll watch the upcoming special later on.) And then—then!!!—Steven Universe Future is up next. That journey will be followed by yet another return to a fictional world I “completed” years ago: Star Trek!!! I’m jumping into all three seasons that have aired of Discovery, and I can’t wait to find out what a modern Star Trek show is like. HELL YEAH.
So, lots to look forward to in the Mark Watches universe in 2021! Mark Reads will remain on hiatus for the time being, as I have two novel manuscripts due in early 2021 that I am hard at work on. (Yes, you read that right: I have to write two novels in the next 3-4 months. HELP.)
ALL RIGHT. Until then: See y’all on Wendesday!
The video for “Chapter Ninety-Nine” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– My second novel, EACH OF US A DESERT, is now out in the world!
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