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Virgin River Season 4 Might unfold in Season 5
For over a year now, fans of “Virgin River” have been eagerly supporting the series’ subplots, speculating how the cliffhangers from the end of Season 4 might unfold in Season 5, and expressing frustration at Netflix’s delayed premiere dates. Their agony finally – finally! -concluded on Thursday.
For the uninitiated, “Virgin River” is one of those small-town, fish-out-of-water comedies-dramas set in water-adjacent locales that network TV once excelled at and now seems to have entirely abandoned.
It all began in the opening moments of the pilot, which aired back in December 2019, when a lovely redhead (Alexandra Breckenridge) crashes her red BMW into a chasm on a deserted mountain road, only to be rescued by a gruff elderly man (Tim Matheson).
Passing by in a truck. She tells him she’s Mel Monroe, a nurse practitioner who’s left Los Angeles to work in the remote town of Vernon Mullins, a doctor who, it turns out, is 70 and unable to practice on his own. It’s news to the elderly gentleman, as you guessed, he’s Mullins, known as Doc.
Things aren’t great there. The cabin she’s staying in feels like a raccoon tore it apart, and as soon as she shows up for work the next day, the doctor is ready to fire her.
A bright spot comes when she heads to the local bar and meets the owner, Jack Sheridan (Martin Henderson, the dashing New Zealander who played Nathan Riggs in three seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy”).
You know where this is going. By the end of Season 4, Jack had proposed to Mel before she found out she was pregnant, finding relief that the child she was carrying was his and not conceived with her deceased husband, whom Mel had falsely accused of being the father when she and Jack were apart for a while. Phew!
One of the many complications arises when Jack and Mel leave dinner after an emergency call from Jack’s former flame Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley), who, along with a woman Mel doesn’t know, is crying on the floor.
It turns out she’s been lying for months, and the twins she’s pregnant with aren’t Jack’s after all. Yikes! What’s the deal with the scary drug lord lady who shot Jack once before and Mel, who was kidnapped by illegal pot producers once before?
Who’s the father of Charmaine’s twins? And will Charmaine, who’s been flouting the rules of time and nature and has been pregnant since Season 1, finally give birth? Stay tuned!
For some, the breakneck pace and the full-throttle drama might be overwhelming.”How do people not get burned out on this?I asked my father to watch it with me, and he enthusiastically agreed.
It appears as though ten writers were imprisoned in a room with different situations. But for myself and my fellow lovers of romance, the stunning views of the Pacific Northwest (Virgin River is a fictional town, but the show is shot outside Vancouver);
and the heated arguments that arise at big events like Lumberjack Games, “Virgin River” is a welcome new addition to the stream-happy era, one I’ve started thinking of as “comfort soap.”
In the world of streaming, “Ginny and Georgia,” “Firefly Lane,” and “Sweet Magnolias,” along with other strong female-led gems like “The Summer I Turned Pretty” on Prime Video, are making waves.
Most of these are based on popular novels (like the 22-book series “Virgin River” by Robyn Carr) and revolve around a heroine or an ensemble of resilient heroines.
They can be religious, middle-aged, action-packed, but in a way, they play with the idea that it doesn’t matter what life has thrown at you – betrayal, death, abortion, sexual assault – there’s always something to learn, always a second chance at happiness.
Just like Netflix made a move when studios stopped making rom-coms, it has also filled the gap of low-budget family dramas that ABC and CW no longer produce. Packing these shows with “Big Little Lies” caliber stars would drain their budget, and it’s unlikely; Nicole Kidman isn’t coming anywhere close.
Writing can make for a deliciously hate-watching experience. (Fans joke on Reddit that whenever someone uncovers a mystery on “Virgin River” and then gasps, “Oh, I thought you knew!” we all need to take a shot.)
Critics and award shows have mostly overlooked them, but audiences haven’t; although it’s impossible to tell the exact number of Netflix viewers since the company doesn’t release those figures, it’s one reason the WGA and SAG-AFTRA are both going on the offensive.
Certainly, streaming has seen enough interest in these shows that it churned out five seasons in four years. Since Netflix started releasing weekly top 10 lists at the end of June 2021, “Virgin River” consistently reached number one within the first or second week of release and stayed in the top 10 for six weeks straight.
“I believe my liking of it is due to its comfortable nature, the quality of the characters and the plot, the ease with which I can watch it, and the fact that it is still entertaining”. says 30-year-old Tiffany Coperschmidt, who has a steady stream of soap and reality to balance out her work life as a divorce and neglect attorney in New Jersey. “The duration of several of these shows is unknown.”
They’re not as well-acted or produced, in my opinion, as ‘Friday Night Lights’ or ‘The West Wing,’ but I still concur. I’d rather have more TV than just award-worthy good shows,” she adds.
In the days before streaming, “Virgin River” would have been categorized as a “prime-time soap” alongside “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Revenge,” “Scandal,” “Desperate Housewives,” and, yes, “Friday Night Lights.”
All the romance, drama, mostly female viewership. Shonda Rhimes had the ownership of this style, and her latest, “This Is Us” and “A Million Little Things,” will respectively wrap up in 2022 and 2023, though “Grey’s” will probably keep going until climate change melts all our TVs.
Informally, though, it’s more like “Northern Exposure,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “Hart of Dixie,” complete with small-town quirks, if you’ve swapped out the murder, kidnapping, and PTSD for satire and humor.
And the setting and cinematography, aside from Afghanistan instead of Alaska. It’s more about middle-aged county bureaucrats and vampire baby mamas than teenage vampires.
The show’s legacy is clear; just look at the actors. Henderson came from “Grey’s”; Breckenridge was in “This Is Us.” And the fantastic Matheson (who will always be House from “Animal House” for me) had already squared off against a big-city doctor in “Hart of Dixie.”
Who would’ve thought she’d play the role of a small-town doctor feuding with an arrival from the big city twice, impressively. She’s great in it!
For Coperschmidt, the appeal of “Virgin River” beyond those actors she enjoys watching in their continued careers is that this show never gives in to despairing romanticism inside her.
And because to intergenerational storytelling, even her mother enjoys the festivities. Unlike other relaxing TV shows, the mission of the show seems to be that there’s never a dull moment for a new romantic journey.
Mel arrives on the Virgin River after escaping the tragedy of her husband’s car accident and a double loss of miscarriage, which had shattered her before she even died. She quickly becomes entangled with a knitting circle;
Adolescents are experiencing their first sexual encounters; one bachelor is trying to avoid an embarrassing relationship, and a doctor and his wife, Hope (Annette O’Toole), are looking for a way back to each other on the brink of divorce.
I’m pretty sure I started watching “Virgin River” when it began at the end of 2019 because it’s the kind of show I like to half-watch while doing other things.
But when it returned for its second season on November 27, 2020, it felt like a necessity, especially among my friends living under lockdown in tough cities like New York and Chicago. When very few new TV shows were coming out, it filled a void, especially when many of us couldn’t gather with loved ones for Thanksgiving. I don’t remember what I did during the holidays, but I remember “Virgin River.”
And I remember binge-watching the entire two seasons again in January 2021 when I could barely walk from my bed to my bathroom after undergoing laparoscopic surgery for fibroids and endometriosis.
I was in New York, and my heart had broken due to a breakup with someone I thought I could marry, and one of my closest friends came from D.C. to save me from a week of excruciating pain. She was watching “Virgin River” for the first time and continuously predicting humorous things that she thought would happen, which always came true because comfort soaps really aren’t going for subtlety.
In their tiny dose of chill. It’s a show about people taking care of each other, and I’m sure my slight devotion to it is connected to the feeling of being taken care of by my friends.
Season 5, which Netflix is releasing in two parts – 10 episodes now and two holiday episodes on November 30 – introduces a new character, “Greek” Patrick Scene Smith, and even in the first few episodes, the show feels hotter, quieter. Jerry Springer’s disruption with fewer shootings. (Brekenrij revealed in an interview with TVLine that he doubled down on clearing up several storylines about Jake’s pregnancy at the end of Season 4, so he and Mel could start fresh. )
The jungle fire is approaching the city; Mel has left the clinic to focus on her high-risk pregnancy; the doctor, who is now Mel’s loyal friend, is dealing with her absence and an incurable eye disease; Hope is struggling to stay mayor after a painful brain injury;
Jake’s sister Bree (Zibbi Allen) has decided to testify against the man who raped her; Jake’s former war buddy Brady (Benjamin Hollingsworth) has become a secret informant against a formidable drug lord; enthusiastic senior Muriel (Teryl Rothery) has found a new purpose in taking Mel’s place at the clinic; and Jack finally hears from Charmaine.
She loved him, thought they had a future together, and she was heartbroken. She’s human and deserving of forgiveness and a beautiful life, as the show says we all are.”