Television dramas that are set in the heart of small and quaint towns are able to bring forth a sense of warmth and coziness. It is the type of show that you don’t mind binge-watching for a whole night, because it just feels good and heartwarming. It also helps that most of these shows center around community, family, and love. Three things that resonate with home. The Netflix series, Virgin River, has proven to carry all the good qualities of a romantic drama series, and it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future, as the series has just been renewed for a fourth and fifth season.
Recap of the Previous Seasons
The hit series, which is based on the series of bestselling novels of the same name by Robyn Carr, first premiered in 2019. It was not hard for viewers to become smitten with the show’s storyline, which follows a nurse practitioner, Melinda “Mel” Monroe, portrayed Alexandra Breckenridge (This Is Us), who relocates from Los Angeles to a remote town Northern California called Virgin River to have a fresh start in life and in an attempt to heal past wounds, which includes the death of her husband. Mel starts off a new chapter in her career, as she is hired to help an unwelcoming local physician, Vernon “Doc” Mullins, portrayed by Tim Matheson (The West Wing), who can’t help feeling threatened by Mel. It was safe to say that this change in scenery proved to be quite different from what she expected it to be. As Mel tries to settle in town, she also meets a rugged man named Jack Sheridan, portrayed by Martin Henderson (Off the Map), a local bar owner, and also a former member of the U.S. Marine, who suffers from PTSD.
A connection is immediately felt, but a lot of factors get in the way for a romance to blossom in full. The series progresses to show how Mel adjusts to her new life, and confronts dark memories from the past. Viewers are brought onto an interesting journey filled with complicated love triangles, mysterious disappearances, and a lot more drama that seems to be a lot for a small town like Virgin River. The first season ended with some explosive revelations that led to Mel deciding to go back to Los Angeles. Heartbreak and despair seem to follow her wherever she goes. Despite the dramatic scenarios and tearjerkers along the way, Virgin River is ultimately a show about self-care and realizing one’s worth. A story about healing one’s own wounds before jumping into something new. An easy watch that we all need from time to time.
The second season proved to be filled with more drama and cliffhangers. At the end of the first season, Jack’s ex-girlfriend, Charmaine Roberts, portrayed by Lauren Hammersley (Orphan Black), dropped a bombshell when she revealed that she was pregnant with Jack’s child. This was one of the major factors that pushed Mel to want to move back to Los Angeles. It is evident in the second season that this decision did not push through. The rest of the season just latched on to past issues, and brought forth new ones, such as parental woes and some medical concerns. The season finale ended on a bittersweet note. Viewers who were rooting for Jack and Mel to get together, finally got their wish granted. The two finally reached a place of stability in their relationship, and were ready to commit. This supposedly romantic moment turned tragic when Jack suddenly gets shot.
The third season is focused on Jack’s recuperation, as well as finding out the identity of the shooter. This season might have been the most eventful in terms of revelations and plot twists. By the end of the season, a suspect in Jack’s shooting is arrested, there is an incident of poisoning, one of the show’s main characters get into a car accident, a secret grandson is revealed, and Jack and Mel’s relationship is in limbo once again. The big reveal happens when Mel informs Jack that she is pregnant, but the baby may have been conceived using the frozen embryos from her pregnancy attempts with her late husband. This does not sit well with Jack, and the two eventually go their separate ways. Hopefully, the next seasons go easy on the emotional baggage.
What to Look Forward to
The upcoming seasons rely heavily on the shrapnel left from the past episodes. As a viewer, one can only hope for the creators to not be too stuck in the past, and be able to explore new storylines. Continuity is essential in long-time series, but creativity and innovation are also equally as important. Seeing characters have on-off relationships that are bordering toxic can also get tiresome at times. It would be nice if the show does not stray away from its core lessons seen in season one, which focused on the pursuit to reinvent oneself and become a better person. The heart of the series is pure, and the characters are real and relatable. It’s no surprise that fans are not ready to bid goodbye to Virgin River anytime soon. The cliffhangers may be one of the reasons why viewers can’t get enough of the show, but the heartwarming moments and life lessons are also the reasons why they decide to ride it out, and tune in to each season. There are still a lot of moments to look forward to. Here’s to hoping that Virgin River continues to make the journey worthwhile.