virgin river

‘Virgin River’ is the Best Kind of Netflix Romance Binge

February 3, 2020 Rissi JC 12 Comments

The number of “originals” popping up on streaming services has been on an uptick in the number of exclusive programs that wear the respective services’ original banner. Another popular trend is series (or films) based on novels, which is precisely what Virgin River is. The story follows Melinda Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge), a nurse and midwife whose heart isn’t whole. Cutting ties with everything that’s “too familiar,” she leaves behind big city life and heads to the small mountain town in California where she takes a job as a small GP practice with an aging doctor.

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What Mel doesn’t know is, Dr. Mullins (Tim Matheson) is less than thrilled to have someone come into his practice, not to mention his belief Mel is less than capable. Fighting with her new boss isn’t what Mel anticipates, but she also never expected to meet someone, Jack (Martin Henderson), a local, who could maybe, just maybe make her feel something again…

This is one of those TV shows that is unfairly easy to binge watch. I watched an episode before mentioning it to my mother. After that, we both settled in to binge watch the entire (too short) ten-episode run, and ran through them quickly; and from my experience, this show is one of the best to binge watch. Each episode begins something new (in addition to background threads that runs through the entire series), but it always ends in a place that makes its viewer want to enjoy “just one more.”

I remember as I saw more episodes of Virgin River thinking how very impressive this is, from a production and story-telling quality. It’s really very well made up, at least up until the final 2-3 episodes where it feels like writer’s take the “easy” way out with an overused trope. It’s the kind that makes me most annoyed because it feels like something that’s just used to create more dissention. That said, the pros still outweigh the cons.

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virgin river

Up until this disappointment, the building romance is very well done. It’s easy to “feel” the relationship slowly coming into its full potential, and the backstory of the two characters involved makes it all the more impacting. The writing impresses far beyond my expectations in this aspect. Above all, the writing allows this series to be a little something of “everything.” There’s some mystery and a sense of danger that accompanies this. Then there is emotionally complex backstories, and the freeing power that comes with a healing process, and of course, there’s a swoon-y romance. Comedy also plays a part when appropriate as does duty.

If you’re looking for something new to sit down and enjoy, this is one such entertainment source. It’s easy to work through quickly, and impresses not just with its production quality, but its impressive cast which also includes Annette O’Toole, and Hallmark alumni Benjamin Hollingsworth and Lexa Doig. From the producer (and writer) of Good Witch and Cedar Cove and based on the best-selling novels by Robyn Carr, I’ve zero idea how well it follows its map, but in my opinion, Netflix has a keeper on their hands. Down to many similarities, this one is like Hart of Dixie 2.0, only this one has, if possible, more of a complex heart than the former CW show.

Here’s hoping Virgin River continues to be smart, complex example of a well-written romance, because I’m eager to see where this show can go.


Content: This one has some common-place profanity, innuendo and a few adult situations (sexual content, out of wedlock pregnancy). There’s also some tense situations, and if it’s not your thing, there’s medical situations (like a gunshot wound or childbirth), but nothing terribly graphic for its TV-14 rating.

Photos: Netflix

‘Virgin River’ is the Best Kind of Netflix Romance Binge. A review of the Netflix original with Alexandra Breckenridge & Annette O'Toole. #Netflix #Romance #MustSee #VirginRiver Click To Tweet
‘Virgin River’ is the Best Kind of Netflix Romance Binge. A review of the Netflix original with Alexandra Breckenridge & Annette O'Toole. Text © Rissi JC
Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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12 Comments

  • Dini @ dinipandareads February 4, 2020 at 7:40 am

    I started watching this the other day and have only gone 2-3 episodes in and then had to stop coz life but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I’m really hoping that it keeps up :) Great post!

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:26 pm

      Hi, Dini! Thanks for reading. :) Glad you liked what you saw. I was really impressed with it because I didn’t anticipate all that this encompassed. Hope you enjoy the rest if you see it – and I’m all about that second series! :)

  • Brittaney B February 4, 2020 at 10:17 am

    I binge watched this one too! Love the characters, although I did get a bit annoyed at the stubborness of Annette O’Toole’s character after a while. Can’t wait for season 2!!

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:34 pm

      Yeah, I can totally get this; she’s kinda’ funny though at the same time. ;) Glad you too enjoyed this one too! Hope S2 is coming sooner rather than later. :D

  • […] TV SHOW REVIEW | ‘Virgin River’ is the Best Kind of Netflix Romance Binge […]

  • Caitlyn Santi February 5, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    I gave this one a chance because a Facebook friend of mine recommended it. Before I finished episode one I was obsessed and promptly got my Mama hooked too! Loved it so much and I’m now impatiently wondering how long we’ll have to wait for season two! 😍

    • Rissi JC February 12, 2020 at 6:44 pm

      It’s just SO easy to binge! I watched it with my mom and we both liked it. SAME! I’m over here wondering, “…so how long before season two!?” ;)

  • bn100 February 5, 2020 at 8:26 pm

    haven’t seen this yet

  • […] NETFLIX REVIEW | ‘Virgin River’ is the Best Kind of Netflix Romance Binge […]

  • Tressa @ Wishful Endings April 23, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    I’ll have to give this one a try. I’m always looking for some good shows to binge watch right now.

    • Rissi JC April 28, 2020 at 3:39 pm

      It’s really pretty good, Tressa. I quite like the romance (at least until the final episode or two because it gets unnecessarily messy), and was impressed that it feels more genuine than most. Let me know what you think of this one if you see it. :)

  • […] NETFLIX REVIEW | ‘Virgin River’ is the Best Kind of Netflix Romance Binge […]

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