It’s the time of year where we all feel the need to rank things for some reason, and here is a list of TV shows I liked this year. My personal rules for this list are that I have to have seen all of the most recent season, or at least be up to date on what’s aired in Australia. I added that second part because otherwise I wouldn’t be allowed to put Jane the Virgin on there. I haven’t seen any of Halt and Catch Fire, but the final season hasn’t aired in Australia either, so the point is moot.
I got to write my piece about Jane the Virgin, which unfortunately meant that the Justin Timberlake concert got cut. I don’t know if I’d have that much to write about a Timberlake concert though, so it works out. Season 2 of The Flash drops today, so I’ll probably watch some of it with my brother when he gets home. Also: Foxtel announced earlier this week that they’re folding Presto (the DeciderTV Slack Channel was predicting this the day before they announced it), but there are still some good things on there. I chose Hap and Leonard, and while Presto and I are going to have a strange relationship over the next few months, I’m definitely going to highlight some of the weirder stuff. Also I was really happy to be able to highlight Ava DuVernay’s 13th, because she’s one of my favourite directors and also a great role model.
We need to talk about Petra.
This is one of the best episodes Jane the Virgin has ever done. There’s so much good in this episode in everything that involves Jane and Michael’s wedding, and the house and the biblical stuff (I really loved Jane 38:5). The flood, the smiting, the Fall, it’s all great. And just as it’s wonderful that Rogelio gets his crew to build the set of the Villanueva house for Jane’s wedding, Petra steals the episode. At the start of the show, Petra was a trophy wife having an affair with her husband’s best friend, and holding out for the prenup. She tried to get pregnant to save her marriage, because despite everything she still loved Rafael. The writers have done a fantastic job writing Petra, but Yael Groblas gives the character such warmth. Petra could have been a one note character, but she’s so much more than what she seems. Now she has nearly everything she wanted, and she’s going to leave it all behind. Petra doesn’t think she’s fit to be a mother, but the fact that she bought Jane and Michael their dream house (they’re renting it and have no idea Petra owns it), is all the proof she needs that she could be a wonderful mother. She just doesn’t believe that she can be.
The best show on TV right now is #JaneTheVirgin. If someone created a show that was just Rogelio gifs, that would be No. 2.
— Mo Ryan (@moryan) February 24, 2016
Then everyone sent Mo Ryan Rogelio gifs, it was great. When my alarm woke me up this morning, one of the first things I remembered is how much I enjoyed “Chapter Thirty-Four.” I don’t even know how to write about it, it’s that good. I did make the mistake of reading Oliver Sava’s fantastic review over at The A.V. Club last night because I enjoyed the episode so much, and I wanted to share it with someone other than my brother. He’s great, but he’s not the best television watching companion. Two weeks ago we left off with the possibility that Jane might not be a virgin for much longer, which is reflected in this week’s title-card with an added question mark at the end. Whether Jane is a virgin or not is irrelevant, because as Josh Oakley wrote, “Jane the Virgin has both outgrown and encapsulated its name.”
Jane the Virgin is a bizarre show, but it wears its heart on its sleeve, which is one of the reasons it feels so appealing. There was a lot of comedy in “Chapter Thirty-Three,” but it was all grounded in character, which meant the schtick was slightly toned down. Some plots work better than others, but this show has now made one and a half hours of solid television, and that’s not an easy task. The reason it works is that everything these characters do comes from the heart, and it’s why we know that as much as we love Xiomara and Rogelio together, one or both of them will likely end up unhappy if they get married. Furthermore, the more outlandish plots of the show have become more grounded in character, and we’re finally seeing the impact that Rose has had on Luisa.
“Chapter Thirty-One” and “Chapter Thirty-Two” were two really good episodes of Jane the Virgin, and I love almost everything that’s going on. I only just got to last week’s episode because I went out to the theatre and decided to review the two at once. This is probably going to be a shorter review than I had originally planned because I was busy this week, and everything seemed to get away from me. It’s impossible to summarise just one episode of Jane the Virgin in one paragraph, so I’m not going to be able to do it with both. These episodes were good, and “Chapter Thirty-Two” was excellent, so let’s get to it!
The Golden Globes is the first big awards ceremony to kick off the awards season when it comes to film. The problem here is that approximately 1% of the films that have been nominated have been released in Australia. Last year I used a randomiser to predict the film winners, but this year I’m going to leave my film predictions for the Oscars. There are still distribution issues with television in Australia, but it’s slowly getting better, and I think I’ve seen most of the nominated shows that I actually want to watch. It’s been a good year in television, and I like the complete unpredictability of the Hollywood Foreign Press, so every prediction I make will be worth a grain of salt.