I realize that this might feel like beating a dead horse. If you’re a person who reads reviews and critical analysis of television then you already know what I’m about to say. And if you’re not the kind of person who reads such things, then you probably aren’t reading this right now, and likely don’t care what I have to say. So, I acknowledge that there may be little point to any of this, but I can’t stand idly by. I need to say something.
Monday nights on the CW is the greatest two hours of the programming week. Back-to-back shows teeming with charm, wit, and two of the most talented young leading ladies we’ve seen in ages.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend kicks off the night at 8 pm. Rachel Bloom, the show’s creator and star, brings us a musical comedy week after week with hilarious musical numbers that entertain while also raising important questions about the expectations we set for ourselves and the people around us. In just 12 episodes, Crazy has tapped into the societal pressures put on women, the stigma of mental illness, the complexities of both romantic and familial relationships, and so much more. Bloom’s knack for comedy coupled with an exceptional supporting cast provides a funny yet poignant hour of television each and every week.
Right on its heels, Jane the Virgin airs at 9 pm. Jane debuted last year and instantly became a critic favorite. Written in the style of a telenovela, Jane the Virgin tells over-the-top stories, but grounds them in profound relationships. Gina Rodriguez stars as the titular Jane, and it takes approximately four seconds to fall completely in love with her. Rodriguez is captivating in a way that is hard to describe. Her presence onscreen is natural and engaging; it is impossible not to root for her. At its core, Jane is about family, a theme that many shows have veered away from in recent years. There are plenty of romantic arcs and sexy twists and turns, but it is the Villanueva family–their present and their past–that make the show so special.
The problem is: nobody is watching. Or, very few bodies are watching. We’re at that part of the year where I start to panic that the shows I love aren’t going to be around for another season. This would be a travesty in the case of these two gems. Perhaps people are turned off by the titles and basic premises of these two shows. I can understand that. They don’t really sell the brilliance and have maybe even led you to believe that they are offensive in ways that they aren’t. So, please trust me when I tell you, you are seriously missing out. And more than that, your mistake is going to negatively impact the people who have already figured out that the current CW lineup on Monday nights is a gift. Shows don’t get to stick around forever if people aren’t watching them — even when they’re the good ones.
Every season I see petitions being emailed around attempting to resurrect shows that have been canceled. Thousands of disappointed fans flock together to complain to the network that they’ve canceled their favorite show. The petitions should start before that. We should be petitioning the viewers to make better choices, not the networks. So here I am. Petitioning you. Start watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin. Don’t wait to find them on Netflix in a few years and wonder why they weren’t on the air longer. Be the difference maker. Seriously, I’m begging you.