The Parents Television Council tends to get riled up about network and cable programming, from network shows like Glee to cable shows with more adult themes like Sons of Anarchy. However, there’s at least one show that PTC President Tim Winters regrets having made an issue over. That show would be none other than the CW’s Jane the Virgin. Here’s what he had to say when asked about shows he has regretted protesting:
“I would say Jane the Virgin on The CW. We saw the first episode and we were concerned, and we put out a warning saying, “Hey, be careful, parents.” Subsequent episodes has been pleasantly surprising in terms of its relative cleanness and good messaging. We might have jumped a little too quickly on that one based on just the first episode.”
Winter did tell EW that the Parents Television Council does not generally run around reacting to shows without a good idea of what that show is attempting to do.
“Just as a matter of policy, we usually don’t publicly comment on shows until we’ve seen three episodes. We’re still kind of watching it to see how it unfolds.”
For the record, after viewing the pilot, the PTC called Jane The Virgin “offensive” and “over-the-top” and refused to recommend it to teens, despite the fact that the show features messages about retaining your virginity for the person you are going to spend your life with and selflessly coping with a pregnancy despite having other career goals, not to mention celebrating diversity. That review also made a villain out of Jane's staunchly Catholic grandmother, who is typically seen as a character who raised Jane to be steadfast and responsible. Regardless, Winter’s team didn’t abide by his own three-episode rule when trashing the series, which has been lauded by critics, as well as the Golden Globes in the time since.
Still, it’s refreshing to hear Winter open up about a possible mistake his team has made related to a TV series, and a reminder that something that might at first seem offensive might not be as blatantly bad as it is being portrayed. It's always better to give a show a chance before you decide to react (or overreact, if that be the case). You never know when you've caught a bad episode or may be misreading tone, not to mention that you just might disagree with a reviewer. Still, I don’t expect the Parents Television Council to change its mind about the MTV Video Music Awards or even accidental f-bombs during live sporting events in the near future.
We’ll let you know the next time the Parents Television Council is up in arms about something. With a little luck, it won’t be about Jane the Virgin.