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Always Jane Review 2021 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew
Jane Noury lives in rural Sussex County, New Jersey with her mother Laura, father David, younger sister Meg, older sister Emma (who goes to the Coast Guard Academy) and her grandfather Gabriel (they call him “gido,” which is “grandpa” in Arabic). Jane is a senior at Sussex County Technical School, having transferred from her regional public high school when she started her transition; she came out as trans in eighth grade.
Jane’s family has been very supportive of her transition, though Laura shows the director a massive binder of information and research she did about the evaluations and other things they needed to do to help Jane on her journey. As supportive as they’ve been, of course, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t had concerns, especially about her safety as a transgender person in a world that still isn’t 100% welcoming to them.
One of the biggest moments of the journey, Jane’s confirmation surgery, is set to happen on her graduation day, after she turns 18. While Jane acknowledges that not all transgender people want to have confirmation surgery, she feels it’s right for her, and will make her truly feel like the person she always knew she was from a pretty young age.
When Jane initially came out as trans, her experience in middle and high school was so troublesome, she only talks to one of her old friends from her old school. Jane sits in an auditorium and talks about an assembly where basically the entire school, most of whom bullied her about being trans, was there, and people spoke up about how they think being transgender is a sin. It got so bad that Emma had to defend her sister at the assembly.
But at the vocational school, Jane has found her niche; she wants to be a filmmaker. Her student films are some of the best ones in her class, and she even shoots parts of the docuseries. She’s already applied to the School of Visual Arts in New York, writing an essay about her transition for her application. She figures working in the film industry is one way for her to put Sparta behind her. Another way is modeling; she finds out about a modeling competition for Slay, an agency whose clients are all transgender. She definitely hopes she can do both; the more avenues out of Sparta, the better.
Having grown up in a New Jersey town not far from Sparta, I took special interest in Always Jane. It may come as a surprise to people who don’t live here, but there are part of New Jersey that are extremely conservative and less than tolerant. Let’s just say that hearing the fact that Jane got bulled constantly after she came out as trans isn’t a surprise to me.
Despite the fact that Jane is coming to an interesting crossroads in her life — one that is two months away from shifting dramatically because of COVID — director Jonathan C. Hyde does a good job of showing how Jane is juggling the anticipation of her upcoming surgery, the desire to get out of Sparts, and the usual teenage stresses, like keeping up grades, finding a prom dress, and trying to figure out exactly what she wants to do with her life.
What we liked about the show is that, in a lot of ways, it’s more of a coming-of-age story that just happens to feature a transgender person, then a story about a transgender person coming of age. Jane is pretty secure in her identity, and she has a loving and supportive family around her. She already has two very important building blocks to success in adulthood. What we’re interested in seeing is how she forges her path, especially as COVID derails her plans. Will she feel the burden of the lockdown as she spends more time in NJ than she intended, or will she just become closer to her already tight-knit family?