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EW Community MVP of the Week: Gina Rodriguez

MVP of the Week | Week of Apr 30–May 6

The EW Community was built by and for people who love television. And we, the writers of the ew community, especially love it when we get to witness brilliance in our favorite medium. Every week, we are blown away by a few showstopping performances.

In this regular column, “EW Community TV MVP of the Week,” we honor the actors who gave the week’s most commanding performances.

MVP of the Week:

Gina Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva
Jane the Virgin, “Chapter 21”

Photo credit: the CW

For the last seven months, Gina Rodriguez has wowed viewers with her natural and delightful portrayal of Jane Villanueva. Through a surprise pregnancy, a devastating breakup, a new job, discovering her father, falling in love, and then being rejected, Rodriguez has given us layered performances week after week that have made Jane relatable and incredibly endearing.

As the first season winds down, Jane is single for the first time since we met her. She is emerging strong and independent, and ready to take on motherhood. In this week’s penultimate episode, Jane attends her high school reunion, where she learns a little something about how mean girls get what they want. The combination of her fierce family loyalty and her newfound knowledge provide a different version of Jane—one we haven’t seen before. She comes up with a plan to use Petra’s feelings for Rafael against her in order to coax a confession out of Petra’s mother. And it works!

Rodriguez has made Jane’s warmth and goodness palpable throughout the entire season, so even as Jane is using questionable methods to get what she wants, it’s impossible to fault her. There are so few characters on television today whom audiences can root for unconditionally, but Jane Villanueva is one of them. That is, in large part, due to Rodriguez’s talent. She has infused Jane with charm and vulnerability, making her utterly mesmerizing to watch. Tamar Barbash

Also Notable:

Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne
Revenge, “Plea”

Photo Credit: ABC

Emily VanCamp excels each week as she plays Emily Thorne/Amanda Clark. Each week we see her show a new layer to her revenge plan. But this week, we saw her in a spot we rarely see: caught red-handed. Emily/Amanda has lost the upper hand for once. Victoria has faked her death and framed Emily/Amanda. When she gets out on bail, she can’t let other people do the dirty work for her, so she decides to use Nolan’s expertise to cheat the system. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what everyone was expecting, and she is caught. This is a place Emily/Amanda is used to being in, but she finds ways around it to get the information she needs.

As Revenge comes to a close after four great years of drama in the Hamptons, Emily VanCamp continues to impress each week by showing the different sides of Emily Thorne/Amanda Clark. Whether she is avenging her father or showing vulnerability at the thought of losing him, she shows us that there isn’t just one side to her character. Everything she does is out of love for her family and friends, and to protect the ones she loves. Emily Glover

Michael Emerson as Harold Finch
Person of Interest, “YHWH”

Photo credit: CBS

As Lost fans know, Michael Emerson is a phenomenal actor who gave the show’s main antagonist, Benjamin Linus, layers of humanity. On Person of Interest, Emerson’s Harold Finch is the complete opposite; he’s the leader and moral compass of Team Machine. On this week’s season finale, Finch and his A.I. creation, the Machine, had a one-on-one conversation where it referred to Finch as its father. This was a situation akin to a child begging for forgiveness after letting down a parent. It was one of the most touching and powerful moments of the entire series (I couldn’t help watching it again), sold largely by the expressiveness in this fine actor’s eyes. Shant Istamboulian

Lana Parrilla as Regina
Once Upon a Time, “Mother”

Photo credit: ABC

The biggest obstacle to Regina’s happiness has always been her mother, Cora. In a flashback, Cora wants to become the de facto ruler through Regina’s future children. To prevent this, Regina drinks a potion that sterilizes her, showing her willingness to sacrifice her own happiness for revenge.

In the present, Regina instead refuses to enact revenge on her sister because she doesn’t want to be like their mother. For once, Regina lets herself be happy. In the last couple of seasons, we’ve seen Regina start working with the heroes instead of against them. Season 4B has seen her truly embrace her desire to be good, and Parrilla’s performance shows how deserving Regina is of her transformation to hero. Samantha Swank

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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