Virgin River Is Netflix’s Most Absurd Show – And You Need to Watch It

Virgin River Is Netflix’s Most Absurd Show – And You Need to Watch It

 

Virgin River Is Netflix’s Most Absurd Show – And You Need to Watch It
At first glance, Netflix’s Virgin River is a very straightforward show with a very defined target audience. A small-town romance about a nurse practitioner who moves from Los Angeles to a remote Northern California town to start fresh and finds not just a surprising new love but a found family sounds very elevated Hallmark. And Virgin River is part of a slew of shows on Netflix meant to appeal to that very same female-skewing audience.

But Virgin River is no Sweet Magnolias – another small-town Netflix show – and certainly no Emily in Paris, another female-focused show that is very much not set in a small town. Instead, Virgin River is a rather absurd, cliffhanger-heavy romance that has provided fans with less than one year of linear entertainment in one season. Not just that, it’s a show that has managed to cram a couple of love triangles, a miscarriage, a drug ring, an almost deadly accident, and even a murder into its “small town” drama.

Virgin River is so absurd – it almost begs to be experienced. Where else would an episode end with two characters in mortal danger and start with a time jump with absolutely no explanation and the aforementioned characters completely fine? And let’s not even go into why characters are even in mortal danger so often on a show like Virgin River in the first place, anyway.

 

The absurdity is generalized. There’s a drug ring active in town. Yes, a drug ring. There are no drug addicts in town, and the actual drugs don’t seem to be an issue anyone cares to address or deconstruct, but the drug ring exists because… why not? This is, of course, a secondary plot point, but it’s still pretty important in the grand scheme of things. A lot of characters are involved – either as part of it or in trying to take it down. A lot of screen time is devoted to it. There’s a real, actual danger. And yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds.


And the romantic drama is even more absurd. The main love triangle between Mel, Jack, and Charmaine is sustained by the fact that Charmaine is pregnant with Jack’s twins. Except at the end of Virgin River Season 4, we find out she has been lying – the babies are not Jack’s. Meanwhile, at the end of Season 3, Mel tells Jack she is pregnant too. She, however, doesn’t know if the father of her baby is Jack or her late husband Mark. She actually went and got pregnant through IVF after a fight with Jack. Let’s not discuss how likely that is.

One agonizing season later, it turns out Jack is the father of Mel’s baby. And he is not the father of Charmaine’s babies. So, drama over, right? Right? Of course not – this is Virgin River. Absurd is what they thrive on. It’s in their DNA. That means the next step is, of course, for Mel to suffer a miscarriage when she and Jack are happy, engaged, and planning their future together.

All the absurdity adds up to a show that, at times, feels impossible to watch and, at times, feels impossible to stop watching. It’s hard to call Virgin River a great show or even a good one. But on a TV landscape that is increasingly filled with shows that look and feel the same, one thing that can be said for Virgin River is that it will definitely surprise you. And if just for that, it’s a worthy addition to your watch list.

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