The second episode of Jane the Virgin (on Monday, Oct. 20) was as well-written as the first.  This CW series is the new Desperate Housewives—i.e. the new plebeian, seriocomic soap—but so far it’s better than Housewives.  It’s livelier and more amusing and, well, somehow a little less plebeian.  Too, it’s moving (in the second episode), notwithstanding the gimmicky tear falling in slow-mo from the eye of Yael Grobglas’s Petra.

Gina Rodriguez is appealingly fine as Jane, resourceful and not as conventional as she could be.  Yara Martinez also impresses as a doctor named Luisa, strikingly subdued in pain and fear.  Among the men, Jaime Camil never overdoes his comic vigor as a telenovela star.

The ratings for Jane have been decent.  Let’s hope the show remains decent.