Virgin River





Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

Nurse and midwife Mel Monroe is ready for a new start.

After unexpectedly losing her husband in a tragic accident, Los Angeles no longer feels like home. No matter what she does, she can’t seem to move forward with her life. She’s not even sure if she wants to. Or what that might mean. All she knows is that something has to change.  

Which is why she’s just accepted a job in her field in Virgin River. A small town in Northern California, Virgin River is an unassuming place where everyone knows everything about their neighbors–the exact opposite of the crowded big city. And while small-town gossip isn’t Mel’s cup of tea, she’ll do whatever it takes to get some distraction from past trauma. Even if that comes in the form of a loving but nosy community.

One of the nosiest might be Hope McCrea, the town’s mayor and queen of what’s happening when. Then there’s Doc, Mel’s old school, rough around the edges boss who’s finally warming up to her. Hope and Doc have their own complicated past. Although they’ve been separated for 20 long years, they’re giving their marriage one last try.

And if you think that’s complicated, just wait. Although Mel is trying to heal, she has a lot of secrets she’d prefer to keep to herself—just like former marine and local bar and restaurant owner Jack Sheridan. Since the day Mel set foot in Virgin River, she and Jack have had an instant connection, but their growing feelings for one another are only making life more complicated. Especially now that Jack’s ex-girlfriend is pregnant with his twins.

Throw in the rest of the town and you’ve got one big, messy family—the kind of family whose members are always there for you … even when you don’t want them to be.

A Little Bit of Everything

Netflix’s romantic drama Virgin River is based on an award-winning book series of the same name. Each episode clocks in over 45 minutes and is packed with enough small-town suspense and tension to keep viewers wanting more. If you don’t believe me, just look how often the series lands in Netflix’s own top 10 list. It’s wild.

The series features romance, emotional connection and deep character development. Mix that in with past trauma and war stories and you’d think Netflix was trying to get wives and their husbands hooked. And while there’s plenty to like here when it comes to moral messages, like defending the vulnerable and supporting the needy, there’s also enough to warrant caution.

First, Mel’s past experiences and trauma come in flashbacks that could easily trigger anyone who has lost a loved one or a child. The same goes for Jack. He struggles with severe PTSD, and it seems that no matter how much he drinks, his night terrors are never far away.

There’s also illegal drug trading and growing that goes on right outside of Virgin River (which is not praised, by the way), underage drinking, light language, tons of gossip and couples that climb between the sheets every now and then. So, before you venture up into Virgin River’s fictional forests, just know that not everything that takes place here is fit for the family.

Episode Reviews

Nov. 27, 2020, Season 2, Episode 1: “New Beginnings”

In this Season Two premiere, Mel returns to Virgin River after grieving the loss of her husband and daughter; Hope isn’t ready to go public with her new relationship; Charmaine, wrestles with pregnancy complications; Preacher asks Paige about her harrowing past.

A drug addicted man breaks into a doctor’s office. A woman recounts horrific moments of physical abuse from her ex-husband.

Mel and Doc discuss Jack and Charmaine’s casual love affair. A couple kisses, flirts and discusses the future of their relationship. A woman wears a cleavage-baring top.

God’s name is misused once and the word “d–n” is heard twice. Men and women drink beer, wine and hard liquor. Doc tells Hope that she’s the biggest gossip in town. A bitter, jealous woman is rude to her lover’s female friend.  

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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