JANE THE VIRGIN Boss Reflects on Season 1 Lessons, Teases the Impact of Mateo's Kidnapping in Season 2 - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

JANE THE VIRGIN Boss Reflects on Season 1 Lessons, Teases the Impact of Mateo’s Kidnapping in Season 2

October 12, 2015 by  

Credit: Nino Munoz/The CW

Credit: Nino Munoz/The CW

JANE THE VIRGIN left its fans with one heck of a cliffhanger.

After Jane spent all season pregnant, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy…only to have him immediately get kidnapped.

“The second season is not the story of how they get the baby back; the baby comes back,” JANE THE VIRGIN creator Jennie Snyder Urman reassured.

But that’s just the start of the drama that’s in store for the sophomore season of the CW series. I spoke with Snyder Urman about the lessons she took from season 1, how Mateo’s kidnapping will change Jane, the triangle, and more…

As you set out to shape season 2, what kind of lessons have you learned from season 1 which helped with the process?
Jennie Snyder Urman: I think there’s a few things. One, is I really know how our episodes break now, and how we need to balance the comedy and drama: the telenovela stakes and the smaller, emotional stakes. I feel like when you’re starting at the beginning, you need to figure that out. Now I know the math of the show.

You don’t have to do all the stuff you had to do at the beginning of building the sets and figuring out the show visually, and getting the writers [on the same page] — we now have 22 episodes done, so we understand the vocabulary together. And know the actors so much better, and know what they can do. Which is everything; they can do everything. You always start with a blank page, and that’s overwhelming. 22 episodes is so many. We know how to make them now. I think we trust our instincts in the writers’ room, so it helps you go forward in confidence, and also pressure.

The first season was about Jane, who was saving herself for marriage and got accidentally pregnant, and the tornado to everyone’s life that resulted from that. This season is about different things. It’s about motherhood, and her identity as a woman and a mother.

We know the love triangle we set up. We know where we’re going to go with it and what we need to resolve in it this season. It feels both the same and very different. You want to tell a different, complete, journey. But you also want to make sure you do all the things you love to do on the show. I’m excited.

When you went in and pitched that baby Mateo would get kidnapped at the end of season 1, what was the network and studio reaction?
JSU: The same as the audience: “What?!” I have two young kids, I’ve seen it probably 100 times, and it stops my heart every time.

We knew we wanted to lean into the telenovela roots of the show in the season finale. We [were] off from May to October. That’s a long time. I think people reacted so viscerally, because they are so attached to Jane, which is a great thing. The second season is not the story of how they get the baby back; the baby comes back. She actually took the baby for something very specific.

Was there concerns about putting a child in danger on a relatively lighter show?
JSU: I think I always pitched I knew how it was going to be resolved and in what capacity and how quickly. I’m so protective of that baby. I love that baby.

It’s a traumatic event, and that’s going to change certain dynamics and launch certain things.

How will this experience change Jane?
JSU: What changes in her when her baby gets taken is something that’s going to happen. How can you get back after that happens to normal motherhood, and what does that feel like? There’s a lot of stuff it opens up for us in terms of our small, emotional storytelling that we’re diving into.

Is Michael taking lead in the investigation?
JSU: Of course. Michael is integral to it.

At this point, do you feel there’s a triangle on the show? Or are you leaning in one direction, while fans are passionate about both sides?
JSU: I always take the underdog position. If I feel after seven episodes everyone’s rooting for Rafael, I’m going to challenge us in the writers’ room to how do we build up Michael without taking down Rafael. There are inherent differences in them. What does each one bring to her? What is she looking for and what does she want?

We’re very aware of the love triangle. I always feel, and I’ve always said, the love story is between the woman in this family. And that’s the thing you will never doubt. That’s very important to me. At the same time, who she ends up with is going to come to a [fruition] at the end of the season. We’re not going to drag it on forever, but it comes with its own complication.

Looking towards the family, how do the women handle having a little boy in the mix?
JSU: I feel like you want to give characters something that is difficult for them. They felt they had girls down. What kind of man do they want to raise? How do three women want to raise a man? What do they want him to be? I feel like, ugh, this child is going to be an amazing man — he’s being raised by women who are sensitive and caring and steadfast in their beliefs.

And they’ll need to know what Rafael thinks, what Rogelio thinks. All of those things are going to be important.

We always like to play the comedy, but what is it going to mean for [Rogelio] to be around this baby? I’m looking forward to the first time he babysits.

Rogelio’s also newly married to Xo. What can you say about how that (accidental) union will play out?
JSU: I think it’s a complicated situation. That relationship is going to have its own crescendo this season. There’s going to be some changes from how that resolves.

I think for Xo, marriage is the only thing she hadn’t done in terms of relationships. What does it feel like to have done it accidentally?

Rogelio’s first ex-wife will come in and challenge that relationship.

Petra has Rafael’s sperm. What can you preview about that?
JSU: We we will know by the end of the first [few] episodes what she does with it. And based on what she does, several other things happen…I feel like our show is a whack-a-mole: you hit on one thing and four other things come out. We want to continue that.

JANE THE VIRGINS airs Mondays at 9 PM on The CW.

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