Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Spotlight On: JANE

Okay, this time I get to talk about the character because I'm the obsessed one (although in a different sense than Mango in our previous spotlight). I think Jane is awesome. Why? Well, to start, she's the only girl on the football team, faithfully serving as the team's running back. She also dates Spinner and helped him through his chemotherapy when he had cancer. Further more, she is chosen to speak at a leadership symposium because of her accomplishments. And finally, she was molested by her father as a child. Not as cool as the other stuff, but the fact that she was able to achieve so much with such a terrible past proves something, though.
So I guess now I should go a bit more in depth.

Okay, football: Well, after her debut at Degrassi after the Lakehurst fire in season 7, it is revealed that Jane had played rugby in Lakehurst and intended to play football in Degrassi. Principal Sheppard ("The Shep") opposes this decision, but the school board says he can't keep her off the team, so he agrees to let her try-out but warns her that there's no special treatment. Wholeheartedly, Jane agrees to his terms.

So you'd assume that's the end, right? Try-out, be best to try out, get spot on team, all live happily ever after. But please, who are you kidding? This is Degrassi. And nothing ever ends happily ever after without something to prove you want it first. And in Jane's case, that something is basically the entire football team.

Few of the guys on the team are supportive of Jane's football feat and try to bring her down. In fact, after Derek misses a block and Jane gets tackled, the team blames Jane and create t-shirts saying "Sorry I missed the ball... It's my time of month." Jane tells Snake (Mr. Simpson) and he tells the team it's disrespectful and rude. After practice, Derek and Bruce jump her, shoving her into lockers and kicking her in the stomach. When Jane tells Sheppard, he dismisses it as a small incident and sides with Derek. Jane's just about through with football and plans to quit, but receives a gift from Darcy (who's in Kenya at the time) and decides to keep trying. Jane confronts the team, and when over half the team sides with her, Bruce, Derek, and Principal Sheppard are upset, but Jane kneels down with the team for that well-deserved happily ever after.

Okay, next matter of awesomeness: dating Spinner. Spinner was your basic bully for the first few seasons, but after a few life changing events, he began to change. And with Jane's help, he's become a much better person. Jane has been basically the perfect girlfriend. Okay, not perfect, they have their squabbles, but they're practically perfect for each other. When Spinner and Jane first meet, it's at a peace meeting promoting Degrassi-Lakehurst unity after the fire, since their are some hard feelings between the 2. Spinner and Jane go on their first date and after a slight miscommunication (unaware of Spinner's cancer, she nudged him playfully and the groin and he raced out in pain, leaving Jane feeling pretty much dumped) Spinner confesses to Jane that he has testicular cancer and Jane supports him through chemotherapy. Although they have a fight when it is revealed that Spinner has been using weed to cope with chemo, Jane and Spinner work it out and Spinner stops using weed. Jane also helps Spinner when he tries to prove his masculinity by fighting in school frequently. Tensions rise between them, but they come out an item and maintain a strong bond throughout the rest of the season... excluding petty arguments because they manage to fix things every time. That's part of what make them such a great couple. They're not afraid to apologize.

Next: The leadership symposium. Well, that's a drama in itself. Jane was chosen to speak at the symposium because she played football. It was quite an honor and she wrote a magnificent speech and concluded by thanking the people who helped her... but accidentally failed to mention the loving support of someone really important. Who? You guessed it, Spinner. And on with the Valentine's Day special! So Spinner lies to Jane about police school and she learns this during the celebration she threw him. Result=angry Jane. Spinner goes to apologize at the symposium but then hears himself not being thanked. The result=angry Spinner. Spinner than proposes and pisses Jane of even more. So after the 2 of them have basically annoyed one another in every possible way, Jane apologizes at the dance, he apologizes back, the dance, and you just feel drawn to say "aww...". It's cute, it really is, in an and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after way.

Finally: child molestation. There's not much to say. Her dad is a creepy sex-offender jerk who needs to go die in a hole. And he molested her. Because he's a creep. And a jerk. Jane eventually tells her brother and mother about the molestation and they go to a family counselling to cope with and overcome the event. Carlo = jerk. Just so ya know.

To finish up my Jane section, I'll touch on her real name and her flaws, few as they may be. Okay, flaws: she doesn't really know when not to talk. For instance, when Darcy told Jane about Peter's bad breath, she wasn't really controlled enough to not say anything and kinda sorta accidentally called him "Jungle Breath." She's also a little slow to acknowledge the people who help her most (look above for the little symposium drama). But other than that she's totally awesome. And on to her name: Jane's real name is Anastacia Valieri. Yeah, just like me, you probably looked at that and went Anastacia Valieri... Jane Vaughn... how the fish do you make that connection? Well, you don't. It's supposed to be pretty far out. Jane changed her name so no one would know she was Lucas Valieri's brother, a.k.a. father of Mia's daughter, Isabella.

Now I'm gonna talk about Paula Brancati, the awesome person who plays Jane. She started her film career in television in 1999, which means she was about 10. She continued scoring small and minor rolls in a variety of television shows and eventually hit the Disney jackpot. From 2006 to 2007 she became one of the Disney faces of evil, portraying the typical mean and cynical girl with the rich father and the vocabulary of Gucci, Coach, and Armani, starring as Sarah Van Dyke in "Cow Belles" and Gina in "Jump In!". She also played Callie Stone in a television show Dark Oracle for 19 episodes. Then she hit the mandatory "Life With Derek" guest star path which almost every Degrassi star seemed to do for reasons beyond my comprehension (there's probably reasons, I just don't know them). After becoming Jenny in a show called "Being Erica" for 13 episodes, she was casted as Jane in Degrassi. And will hopefully forever stay Jane. Because I love Jane. But in a different sense than Mango's Sav love (I love SAV!). But it's still love. Because Jane is awesome (like Sav).

Holla! Mango here. I think that... Jane is almost as ah-mazing as Sav (see previous post for how ah-mazing Sav Bhandari is). Um... JJ already said a lot about Jane, so in conclusion, Jane is pretty darn spectacular.

1 comment:

  1. I think this touched on all the reasons Jane is awesome. Most of our favorite girl power characters tended to become stupid boy obsessed girls eventually (remember how Craig totally made Ellie boy crazy?) and I think Jane stood to who she was. She's never compromised herself for anyone. (unlike some characters I could mention) And everytime I hear Anastacia Valieri, I have to laugh