Movies & TV

Sorry, but we need to talk about how I accidentally became obsessed with Netflix’s Virgin River.

Over the weekend, I got caught up in a real doozy of a situation. I accidentally clicked on a Netflix series called “Virgin River” and before I knew it, I was hooked – like a fish on a line! I’m almost ashamed to say that I got a little too invested in the characters and ended up in an emotional tailspin.

You can watch the full Virgin River trailer below BUT only if you don’t let it put you off bingeing this show immediately. Post continues after video.

Video via Netflix

I say accidentally because I went into bingeing the series having exhausted every other option of new(ish) shows to watch and came out with an irrational crush on a fictional character.


Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up and explain what Virgin River is about and why it’s the best ‘worst’ TV show on Netflix right now.

Based on the books by Robyn Carr, Virgin River follows nurse and midwife Mel Monroe as she packs up her entire LA life and runs away from her painful past to the snowy, sleepy fictional American small town of Virgin River.

virgin river
When you realise you’re obsessed with a fictional TV show. Image: Netflix.
virgin river
Virgin River isn’t all soapy romance, though. Image: Netflix.

There, she works as a nurse alongside the town’s only doctor, a stubborn, grumpy man named… Doc. Mel also meets Jack Sheridan, the very attractive owner of the town’s only cafe/bar/restaurant (called… Jack’s), and the town’s nosy and annoying mayor, Hope.

Despite all the chaos and drama that comes with living in a small town and having the hots for said town’s only eligible bachelor, Mel still finds herself haunted by the dark memories she moved to Virgin River to escape.

Virgin River is soapy, romantic and fluffy, but also features heavier themes many of us can relate to like miscarriage, loss and grief. In other words, you’ll laugh and roll your eyes while watching this show, but you’ll also sob.

Virgin River cast.

We also need to talk about the Virgin River cast because there are a few things to unpack.

Alexandra Breckenridge as Melinda ‘Mel’ Monroe.

Prepare to have your mind blown because I’m going to tell you where you’ve seen Alexandra Breckenridge’s face before.

Way back in 2006, Breckenridge played Monique in She’s The Man a.k.a the ‘hot girl’ who was dating Amanda Bynes dressed up as her brother, a male teenage soccer player.

xshes the man
MIND. BLOWN. Image: Giphy.

Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan.

If you’ve watched another excellent show, The Gloaming on Stan, you will understand the complex feelings I have about Jack Sheridan, Mel’s strong and silent romantic love interest in Virgin River.

This is because the man who plays him, New Zealand actor Martin Henderson, also plays the horrible villain guy Gareth McAvaney in The Gloaming.

Before that, Henderson starred as Dr Nathan Riggs in Grey’s Anatomy from 2015 to 2017.

the gloaming
How can one man be so evil, but so loveable? Image: Stan.

Tim Matheson as Doc Mullins.

Now, this is where things reach Illuminati levels because if you’re a fan of other rom-com TV shows, you should know…

Tim Matheson, the actor who plays the old, grumpy, small-town doctor in Virgin River, also played Dr Brick Breeland, the OLD, GRUMPY, SMALL TOWN DOCTOR in Hart of Dixie with Rachel Bilson!

It’s at this point you realise Virgin River is basically Hart of Dixie but set in a wintery American town rather than a humid, southern American small town.

hart of dixie brick
Same doctor, 19 years later. Image: CW.

Even more random is the appearance of Daniel Gillies, who plays Mark in flashbacks of the moments in Mel’s old life that brought her to Virgin River.

Gilles is best-known for his role as Elijah Mikaelson in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. And yes, I am basic and watch way too much trashy TV.

So true, Elijah. So true. Image: Giphy.

In short, Virgin River is a very excellent trashy TV show with all the essential elements a binge-worthy series must have.

Romance. Action. A cast of eclectic characters. Mysterious backstories. And most of all, tension.

So, if you’re out of things to watch and need something to chuck on, or just unashamedly love soapy, romantic TV shows like me, give Virgin River a go.

But don’t come crying to me when you get to the end and find yourself in a deep void waiting for season two to come out, OK?

Image: Netflix.

Have you watched Virgin River? What are your best TV show recommendations right now? Tell us in the comments below.

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