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'Jane the Virgin's' big choice: Michael or Rafael?

Jane, Michael, Rafael: It’s a Jane the Virgin love triangle so complex, it almost requires a mathematician to decipher. One guy is the longtime love and devoted fiancé; the other the unintentional sperm donor who quickly became the infatuation, the new love, and the almost-fiancé. One has his heart broken; the other is the heartbreaker. One enforces the law; the other is entangled with lawbreakers. One is hot; one is hotter. And when we last left them, both wanted Jane, who didn’t seem to want either of them.

For many of us who rode the emotional roller coaster with Jane, Michael, and Rafael last season, it’s easy to form definite opinions on which suitor is best for Jane. In a perfect world—or a perfect telenovela—she could choose both (or at least pick the best parts of each), and while Jane’s decision to step away from both of them was admirable (questionably admirable), we know that Jane’s romantic—and glowing—heart will ultimately prevail.

Jane The Virgin romance - Giphy

Sure, season one ended with a horrific cliffhanger (#savebabyMateo), but as we see it, the real dilemma lies in who Jane will ultimately choose—loyal, adorably sweet Michael, or sexy baby-daddy Rafael? To help with this Sophie’s choice, fellow EW Community contributor Tamar Barbash and I are throwing in our own opinions and declaring teams.

Let us know your pick in the poll below, and don’t miss the Jane the Virgin premiere on Monday, October 12, at 9/8C on The CW.

Team Michael

Let’s get one undeniable fact out of the way: Rafael is hot. Believe me, I enjoy his dark, chiseled features as much as those of you on his team, and sure, he can rock a loafer-no-sock look like he was birthed from the pages of GQ. But at the end of the day, it’s Michael (who is attractive in his own right, although in more of a Labrador puppy kind of a way) who is Jane’s real, honest love.

Jane and Michael kiss - Giphy

The love Jane and Michael have was built on time, trust, and history. Rafael is Jane’s dream; her hot, unattainable crush. Her Clooney. It’s understandable that she was intoxicated by his sudden interest in her—not to mention by the fact that his baby was suddenly in her—but as Jane discovered more than once, Rafael wasn’t fully committed to their relationship. Of course, having his baby—a baby that could be his only offspring—made Jane attractive to him, but without the pregnancy, there’s not much to their relationship … except secrets, lies, and complications. Jane said it best herself in the season one finale: “We’re better off apart. There’s too much crazy drama in his life.”

Michael loves Jane for Jane, no strings—or umbilical cords—attached. He’s been incredibly patient and loyal, even graciously accepting the fact that his fiancée was carrying the spawn of a demigod. His unwavering support of Jane, even after she broke his heart, is true testament to his devotion. There’s no question that Michael loves Jane unequivocally, and as the blinding glare of Rafael’s attractiveness and magnetism continues to wear off, Jane is remembering that she feels the same. And besides, infatuation will only take you so far. We all know that even Clooney can’t be nearly as charming as we think he is. —M.N.

Team Rafael

What’s so great about the love triangle on Jane the Virgin is that there is no bad option. Jane is a strong, intelligent, capable woman, and both the men in her life know and respect that. Jane would be perfectly okay without either of them, but as a TV viewer, it’s fun to root for love.

When it comes down to it, being on team Rafael makes the viewing experience more exciting. Rafael pushes Jane to new places and experiences, and allows her to grow in a way that she never did with Michael. There is no question that Michael loves Jane, but watching her with Rafael gives us the opportunity to see a version of Jane that didn’t exist when the show first began.

Rafael and Jane kissing

Rafael is not perfect; he’s not even close. Part of the appeal of the relationship, though, is that he stands to gain just as much from the union as she does. With Jane, Rafael becomes the best version of himself. He hasn’t had it easy with his mother abandoning him and his father being murdered (by his stepmom/sister-lover!), and it is only with Jane that he has ever been able to open up about the impact of these events on his life.

Jane and Rafael’s initial meeting five years ago also gives the relationship a depth and history that seemingly only exists between Jane and Michael. Despite the fact that Rafael ultimately treated Jane badly years earlier, he was still the first person to whom she confessed her desire to be a writer. Jane has always felt a comfort with Rafael to be her true self, and he, in turn, supports her completely. He hasn’t always made the best choices, and he has definitely struggled with balancing all the stressors in his life, but now that he has grown up and learned from the (plethora of) mistakes he’s made, the potential for a beautiful future lies before them. —Tamar Barbash

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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