For many of you Jane the Virgin the CW’s latest drama that revolves around Jane, a virgin, who became pregnant after being artificially inseminated. What an outlandish and original premise, huh? Well, while it’s still outlandish, the premise is not completely original. Jane the Virgin is an american remake of the original Venezuelan telenovela, Juana la Virgen.
Both shows share the same premise, but just about everything else that happens to the Janes is completely different. As someone who has watched both shows I thought it would be fun to point out some of the differences.
To clarify I will be using the original name, Juana to refer to the Venezuelan show, and Jane for the American one. I also haven’t seen past season 2 of Jane the Virgin, so please don’t spoil anything for me.
The Accident / Pregnancy
In the original Telenovela, Juana is accidentally inseminated by her gynecologist, meanwhile Jane is accidentally inseminated by gynecologist who also happens to be Rafael’s sister. In the original show we never see the doctor again. They even find out about the pregnancy at different times: Jane finds out soon about her pregnancy, Juana learns about her pregnancy a month later
The Title Character
In the American version, the Jane is a 20 something who has interests in writing romance novels and teaching. But in the telenovela, Juana is 17 years old who has hopes of studying journalism and photography in the United States.
The Male Leads
Both romantic interests become infertile after they are diagnosed with cancer and freeze their sperm. Rafael from Jane the Virgin, owns a hotel in Miami, but the Venezuelan version Mauricio owns a magazine company. Both of which have their respective Janes working in their companies.
Originally, Juana does not have a romantic interest at the start of the show and only falls in love with Mauricio (the baby daddy). Later on in the show, Juana captures the interest of David, but that relationship doesn’t go anywhere past the friendship line. There is also the question of Mauricio having a wife when he meets Juana, and that would complicate things if he actually loved her.
However, in the newer version has a complicated love triangle where Jane admits to love both Rafael AND Michael. It’s also a really good love triangle because it’s hard to choose and easy to flip slop between the two of them.
Xiomara who we see reconnecting with Rogelio, Jane’s baby daddy, has a completely different love story in the original show. Instead, Ana Maria has a string of flings and affairs with younger or married men before finally settling with Detective Salvador.
Jane / Juana’s Family
In the Perez family from the 2002 show, is slightly bigger and different than that of the Villanueva women. For one, Juana has an uncle (her mother’s younger brother) who acts more like her brother than an uncle. The paternal figures of the family have all disappeared too.
Another interesting part of the Perez women is that they seem to be cursed. No matter what they do they’ve all been pregnant at 17 and the men leave.
In the Villanueva household is exclusively women, at least at the beginning of the show. We also see more of Jane’s dad and even get to see some of her grandfather. And, they don’t seem to be cursed.
Characters That Don’t Exist & Equivalents
Luisa, Rose, and Rogelio do not exist in the original show. I’m sure Rogelio is shocked by this #RogelioLess
Michael sort of has an equivalent in two very different characters in Juana la Virgen. One of these characters is Salvador that shares the same profession as Michael, but other than that they have nothing else in common. Not even his silky blonde hair. The other character is David who acts as the third angle in Juana’s love triangle, but it’s nowhere near to the love triangle in Jane the Virgin.
In the original there is a character, Desiree, that doesn’t exist in the new version. Also, Carlota / Petra’s character has two other brothers that don’t exist in Jane Villanueva’s world.
Very much like the original, Petra / Carlota are the villains of the show along with at least one parent. In the most recent version, Petra’s mother is pure evil with all the cliches, but it’s Carlota’s father who’s the big bad of in the telenovela.
Desiree is another villainous character of the original, but she doesn’t exist in the new one. Perhaps she’s taken the form of Rose, but they’re completely different.
Spoiler & Other Differences
People sometimes have the misconception that all telenovelas have the secret twin trope, but Juana la Virgen has none of that. They have other tropes, but secrets twins is not one of them. However, Jane the Virgin loves this trope.
The last name “De La Vega” is given to different people. In the 2014 version Rogelio is given the last name, but in the original show it’s Mauricio (aka Rafael) who has that last name.
At the end of the first season, Jane and Rafael have a baby boy they name Mateo. By the end of the novela, Juana and Mauricio have a baby girl named Mariana.
Both Rafael and Mauricio expand their families whether by accident or not. Rafael has twins with Petra and Mauricio adopts a child with his ex-wife.
Another huge difference between Jane and Juana is that one of them loses their virginity before giving birth. If you’ve watched Jane the Virgin then you already know who it is.