Virgin River is worthy of a binge-watch

Virgin River is worthy of a binge-watch

A red car. A winding road. A girl. 

The opening scene of Virgin River begins with Mel Monroe (Alexa Breckenridge) driving her fancy red car through the mountains. When Mel’s car becomes stuck in a ditch, she tries to call for help but realizes that there is no cell service. 

Shortly after, an older man comes to her rescue and offers her a ride into the nearest town—Virgin River. Mel reveals to the driver that she was coming to Virgin River from Los Angeles for work as a nurse practitioner and that she was promised “suitable housing.”

An angry doctor. A trashed house. A man in a bar.

When Mel arrives in Virgin River, she realizes that her housing is by no means suitable and is worried for what the coming year will bring in her new job. 

Her house is trashed, and the doctor that she is supposed to be working with, Vernon Mullins (Tim Matheson), wants nothing to do with her.

Once she realized that she couldn’t cook in her dilapidated cabin, Mel walks down to Jack’s Bar on the corner of the street. There she meets Jack Sheridan (Martin Henderson), the owner of the bar. Jack has an immediate liking for Mel and takes it upon himself to show her the flora and fauna of Virgin River. 

As a city girl from Los Angeles, Mel has to adapt to the slower and more trusting way of life that comes with small town living. For Mel, though, the trust does not travel into the workplace. Doc Mullins does not trust her with his patients because he thinks of them all as his family and thinks of her as a stranger. 

As Mel struggles to gain the trust of Doc Mullins and learn the town customs, her relationship with Jack also develops. 

As a city girl from Los Angeles, Mel has to adapt to the slower and more trusting way of life that comes with small town living.”

Located in a picturesque town, the quaint buildings and lavish scenery added to the charm of the show. What could have very easily turned into a Hallmark-esque series, Virgin River managed to reveal the depth to each character and stray just enough from the cheesiness and predictability. 

Through multiple flashbacks to Mel’s past, we realize that a former lover of hers is out of the picture. Through a phone call with her sister, we realize that Mel is moving to Virgin River because she couldn’t possibly stay in L.A. any longer. 

This complexity develops in Mel, and viewers are still left wondering the backstory as they begin the second episode. 

Both of the lead actors, Breckenridge and Henderson, were strong in their roles. There was not that awkward window of a few episodes to feel completely attached to the characters and immersed into the storylines. From the moment that Mel’s car was driving through the mountains, I was intrigued. 

The soundtrack to the series is also very strong. The songs are perfectly chosen and help to set the mood and the tone to deliver even stronger and more meaningful scenes. 

Virgin River, based on the book series by the same title by Robynn Car, is an excellent addition to anyone’s binge-watching list. New to Netflix in December 2019, Virgin River has already been renewed for a second season, and I am impatiently waiting for its return.