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.
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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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