The Fake Novela in ‘Jane the Virgin’ Is Now a Real-Life Novel

Lead Photo: Photo: Patrick Wymore/The CW
Photo: Patrick Wymore/The CW
Read more

Faithful viewers of the CW’s Jane the Virgin are all-too-familiar with the passionate president of North Ecuaduras and his lavender military uniform. Throughout season one, we saw Santos bound at the arms and legs by thugs, stranded at sea, wrestling any number of jungle felines, and embracing his forbidden love Blanca against a rotating cast of green-screen backdrops. If you still haven’t caught up on Jane, don’t worry – this isn’t actually part of the show; rather, it’s the meta novela-within-a-novela that plays out incessantly on TV screens across the Jane universe.

Played by Rogelio de la Vega, who in turn is played by Jaime Camil, The Passions of Santos is the schlocky day job of Jane’s long-lost father, who earnestly assumes his role as her well-meaning but bumbling papi after they reunite. While Santos is clearly a sendup of the telenovela format Jane itself is playing with, the joke is that Rogelio never actually seems to break character. But aside from the snippets of Santos’ constant courting of danger and passionate love affair with Blanca, we never really get to know the backstory of North Ecuaduras’ commander-in-chief.

That is, until Jane’s production team authorized a digital fan fiction-style backstory for Santos that is being released chapter-by-chapter on the amateur writing platform Wattpad in both English and Spanish. It’s an appropriate tie-in, given that Jane herself is an aspiring writer who works in the Santos writing room for part of season one, and The Passions of Santos novel promises to continue with creator Jennie Snyder Urman’s tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. So if you’ve ever wondered how it was that the illustrious president of North Ecuaduras got mixed up with a humble pueblerina, what happened when her father caught wind, or exactly how el Señor Presidente got stranded at sea, head over to Wattpad for a silly and enjoyable spin-off of our favorite network novela.