Research has suggested that it is a matter of milliseconds within which a first impression is made. In that time people are able to surmise almost everything they need to know about someone, which can often be their lasting impression. The same can be said of TV shows, with seconds of a trailer, a glimpse of the first episode or even a quick Google of the show’s synopsis enough to know whether you think the show is worthy of watching.
The initial contact made with a show can tell us that the show’s premise is bad, the quality looks sub-par or simply that the show doesn’t look up to much at all. And often these split-second analyses made whilst simultaneously scanning Twitter and eating Doritos are correct. However, every now and then a show defies expectations, the odds and even the boundaries set by the shows themselves.
Whilst no show is ever guaranteed to be a success, shows like Game Of Thrones, The Wire and Friends followed well worked formulas that made critical acclaim and positive audience reception highly likely. Some shows however seemed less likely to be the successes they turned out to be.
The lesson? Never judge a TV show by its IMDB synopsis.
10. Jane The Virgin
Whilst shows are never a guaranteed success, good
quality source materials or experienced writers with a solid pedigree make it
more likely that a show will be successful. It’s fair to say that amongst the
pantheon of great TV shows very few are inspired by, or based on a Venezuelan
This however is the case with Jane the Virgin. Based on the telenovela Juana la Virgen, Jane the Virgin is perhaps the archetypical ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ TV series. Critics and fans alike questioned the premise, with the story following the life of a 23-year-old devout Latina virgin who is accidentally impregnated through artificial insemination.
The idea sounded limited and fairly cheap, however the shows acting, clever writing and parodying of common Latin telenovela tropes and themes garnered critical acclaim and a loyal fan base.
Jane the Virgin’s awareness of its silly premise added to the laughs, and with plans of a spin-off shelved in 2019, it could be a while until we see another Venezuelan telenovela inspired comedy on our screens.