‘Jane the Virgin’ is no longer: Behind the making of Monday’s big episode
It was bound to happen: Jane the Virgin has officially been touched for the very first time.
Yes, really — there’s no telenovela-esque fake-out in this development: Jane Gloriana Villanueva (aka Jane Villanueva Cordero) is no longer a mom and wife who has never had sex.
In Monday’s episode of “Jane the Virgin,” titled “Chapter Forty-Seven,” the titular heroine (played by Gina Rodriguez) turned in her V-card after two seasons of keeping viewers guessing.
The start of the third season found Jane’s newly minted husband, Michael (Brett Dier), out of commission and recovering from his gunshot wound. But by the end of last week’s episode, Michael’s doctor had given the green light for physical activity — so, basically, the rush to consummate their marriage was on for Jane and Michael.
But, this being “Jane the Virgin,” the big moment wasn’t without some trial and error, including a faked orgasm and an unintentional sex tape.
The emotions she goes through are real. It’s not like she does it and it’s amazing and suddenly she’s this Dominatrix. It takes work.”
“The way it all went down was classic Jane,” Rodriguez said by phone. “It’s beautiful, there’s all this hope and anticipation, and it’s also very funny. And the emotions she goes through are real. It’s not like she does it and it’s amazing and suddenly she’s this Dominatrix. It takes work.”
Jennie Snyder Urman, the show’s creator and showrunner, said she had always planned to have Jane lose her virginity in Season 3 — to allow enough time to mine the humor and frustration of the character being a virgin, and then a virgin with a baby, and then a virgin as a wife.
“Once I felt like we had played all those colors and had told all those stories, then I knew it was time to move past that and embark on her life as somebody who has sex,” Urman said in a telephone interview.
Rodriguez said she when she first learned that Jane would lose her virginity she had some trepidation about shooting a sex scene. But Urman didn’t want to go there. Instead of heavy panting and gyrating body parts, viewers are shown an animated sequence with PG visuals of the feelings the moment is eliciting.
“We knew we wanted to do something that wasn’t straightforward,” Urman said. “We wanted it to have moments of magical realism because that’s so much in the bones of the show. There was a lot of discussion on what that should be. The biggest discussion was: What should it feel like? What would Jane feel like, having had sex finally since she’s wanted to get rid of this label for so long?”
Urman said she didn’t look back to TV dramas of the past — such as “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Felicity” or “Gossip Girl” — that tackled the “first time” moment to decide what to avoid or what to further explore.
“It’s not always going to be perfect even when you’ve been doing it for a while,” Rodriguez said.
Initially, the story did not include Jane faking an orgasm. Instead, the drama came out of Jane accidentally emailing her teacher a video of her first time. But Urman felt like the episode needed more emotional elements to explore.
“The faking of the orgasm — I just kind of thought that would be a surprising development and would allow them to start talking about how to make their sex life better and opened itself up to other shades to play,” Urman said.
The episode sees Jane struggle to reconcile who she is without that aspect of her identity.
“Jane, for so long, has define herself by something that was so clear,” Rodriguez said. “There was no debate about: She was a virgin who was saving herself for marriage. Now she’s married — she did it exactly how she wanted to do it. She lets it go and she’s wondering who she is now that that part has changed. What happens now?”
For the writers, Urman said, it opens up a whole new wave of stories. But what about the show’s name?
Urman said the show will be playful with the title in subsequent episodes, utilizing strike-throughs on the text depending on the theme. For example, Urman said, one episode might be: “Jane the Person Who Doesn’t Like Her Mom’s Boyfriend,” or “Jane the Person Who Wants to Get a New Job.”
“We’ve been using this label to define her,” Urman said. “By using new labels, we could sort of emphasize that she was never about one thing. I think it’s a fun way to keep the series feeling fresh.”
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