Plot: What’s it about?

At last count, I think I’ve got about 1298+ cable TV channels to choose from. Yeah, most of them aren’t HD so I won’t even consider watching something if it doesn’t make full use of my television. Then again, a LOT of them are, so I’ve never got an excuse to say “there’s nothing on.” Then again, I’ve not said that in a while since I’ve always got a perpetual stack of discs in my “to be reviewed” pile.  So when Jane the Virgin showed up, I really didn’t give it much of a thought. But I was a bit curious (being a Catholic, I was wondering if the title was misleading or there really was an immaculate conception) and figured I’d give this a try.  Granted, this isn’t something that I’d been longing for, but I wanted to at least give it a shot. To be honest, I’d never heard of any of the actors in the show, but saw that this is “critically-accliamed.” That’s a good thing, right? Well, having made it through this initial season, here’s what to expect…

Set in Miami, Jane The Virgin follows the surprising and unforeseen events that take place in the life of Jane Villanueva. Jane (Gina Rodriguez) is a 23 year old hard-working, religious Latina woman, whose family tradition and vow to save her virginity until marriage to a long time boyfriend and detective, is shattered when her doctor mistakenly artificially inseminates her during a checkup. And to make matters worse, the biological donor is a married man, a former playboy, and cancer survivor who is not only the new owner of the hotel where Jane works, but was also her former teenage crush. Granted, there’s more to it than that – but that’s the general premise of the show.

Video: How’s it look?

Jane the Virgin is presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that certainly does the show justice. I’m a bit perplexed as to why this isn’t being released on Blu-ray. Given the show’s success, I figured it’d be a lock to go Blu. But that’s not the case and what we have looks very pleasing to the eye. I usually watch the episodes in HD, so I have to say that this standard DVD set does lose a bit of the fine detail and clarity, but the colors are bold, bright and vivid. I actually did a few comparisons between the standard DVD and a few episodes I have saved on my DVR and, as expected, the HD broadcast is superior though not by a lot. There appears to be the tiniest bit of enhancement on the standard DVD set but aside from that and the lack of detail, viewers should be satisfied.

Audio: How’s it sound?

I don’t find myself saying this much anymore, but a Dolby Digital 5.1 track is included and it more than serves its purpose. By and large, television shows aren’t much on dynamic audio and Jane the Virgin is certainly no exception. A majority of the series is dialogue-driven and only at the rarest of times do the surrounds kick in. The LFE are practically non-existent, but it’s not like we need a lot of bass to add to the storyline. Like most television series, the audio serves its purpose and not much more.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Jane the Virgin: Immaculate Creation – Go behind the scenes and get a peek into the creation of the show.
  • Getting to Know the Cast of Jane the Virgin – How well do the cast know each other? We’ll find out with this fun featurette as the co-stars get an opportunity to ask each other questions and guess each other’s answers.
  • Gag Reel – Shenanigans on the set.
  • Deleted Scenes

The Bottom Line

Admittedly, Jane the Virgin didn’t really gain a new fan with me. It’s well-made and interesting, though I just feel that I’m not really the target audience. The first season offers up a smattering of extras, though nothing too robust. It’s visually pleasing and fans of the show will be happy with this non-HD DVD set. For everyone else, I’d recommend watching it on demand as this set doesn’t really seem to justify the cost.