Every time we dip our toes into the romance drama genres, we always end up diving in headfirst as soon as we get a taste. Even for me, as someone who’s not keen on the genre to begin with, I just can’t resist as soon as I get started on a new series. These kinds of shows just call out to the hopeless romantic in all of us, and I lowkey love it.
One of these shows is Netflix original Virgin River, which has all the makings of your typical romance series: a bright young woman in a small town, a handsome local man with who she has a will-they-won’t-they relationship, a few other locals who become either family or enemies, and the occasional dose of town-wide drama.
If that’s up your alley, then you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you’re a longtime Virgin River fan or just about to get started on the series, we’ve put together a list of FAQs about the series that will tell you everything you need to know!
Just a heads up for newbies to the show: there will be a few spoilers in this article!
General questions about Netflix’s Virgin River
Is Netflix’s Virgin River based on a book? Who wrote the Virgin River series?
Yes, the Virgin River Netflix series is based on the collection of romance novels written by American author, Robyn Carr.
The first novel in the series was published in 2007 and the whole collection now encompasses a total of 22 novels!
Which seasons of Virgin River are based on which Virgin River books?
As is normal with most novel-based adaptations of TV shows, the series does deviate slightly from the source material.
According to one fan of both the books and the series, the first season intermingled plot points from the first and second books, Virgin River and Shelter Mountain.
Why is Virgin River so similar to Hart of Dixie? Are the two shows in some way connected?
Virgin River and The CW’s Hart of Dixie are not connected in any way in terms of character or plot. However, it’s understandable to think so because they’re very similar in a lot of ways – not to mention that actor Tim Matheson appears in both!
The main similarity, however, is that both feature big-city women moving to a small town to reboot their lives, where they find family and lots of romance.
What is the age rating for Netflix’s Virgin River?
Netflix has Virgin River rated at 16+, though IMDb has other certifications rating it for as young as 12-year-olds!
The general consensus is that while there’s the occasional age-sensitive content and language, it’s nothing too serious.
What’s the theme song for Virgin River?
When you listen to the opening credits for Virgin River, it’s hard to tell what the title song is as it’s mostly instrumental. However, one familiar melody permeates throughout the second season and has come to embody the show, and fans have discovered it’s called Where It Stays by Charlotte OC.
You can check out a list of all songs found in both seasons of Virgin River here!
How many Virgin River seasons and episodes are there?
There are two seasons on Netflix with ten episodes each.
What’s Netflix’s Virgin River about?
Mel Monroe was happy in Los Angeles – she had a great job in the medical field, and a great husband. That is until a horrible accident leaves her a widow. Wanting to leave her old life behind and start fresh, she answers an ad to become a nurse practitioner and midwife in a small, remote town in Northern California. Once she arrives in Virgin River, she soon finds that small-town living is nothing like she expected it to be.
Who plays who on Netflix’s Virgin River?
The protagonist, Mel, is played by Alexandra Breckenridge, who you may find familiar if you’ve watched seasons of The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and Dirt. Breckenridge was among one of the first casting announcements alongside Martin Henderson as bar owner Jack Sheridan, Tim Matheson as the local physician “Doc” Mullins, and Annette O’Toole as Virgin River mayor, Hope McCrea.
Joining them in main roles are Colin Lawrence as Preacher, a friend of Jack’s. Lauren Hammersley as Charmaine, another of Jack’s friends but “with benefits”. And Jenny Cooper as Mel’s older sister Joey.
Season 2 brought the addition of Sarah Dugdale, Grayson Gurnsney, and Benjamin Hollingsworth as series regulars, with the latter two being promoted from recurring roles in the previous season.
Why is Netflix’s Virgin River so popular?
The simple answer is: what’s not to love about it? It’s a feel-good romantic drama that’s lighter on the “drama” side that we’re so used to in the genre.
One common consensus amongst viewers is that Virgin River has a very Hallmark-y feel to it – soft, fluffy, and safe. Although the books are said to be much steamier in terms of, erm, mature content, the series tones that down a lot. This makes it a lot safer for younger audiences and could be a great introduction for younger teens into the romance genre.
“It’s soapy but with a kitchen sink spin, balancing its gentle tone with the kind of plot points you’d expect on Passions: abusive relationships, abandoned babies, drugs, and murder. Yet, despite all that, the show maintains its inviting mood, the TV equivalent of a warm hug.”
Watching Virgin River
Where can I watch Virgin River?
Both seasons are available to stream on Netflix.
Where to watch Virgin River:
Can I somehow watch Virgin River without a Netflix account? Is it on Amazon Prime or can I buy it on DVD?
Virgin River is exclusively for streaming on Netflix (so far), but you do have the option of purchasing the DVD.
Amazon Prime doesn’t have the DVD sets available yet, but they do have the books!
Story-related questions about Virgin River
How does Virgin River season 2 end?
Virgin River season 2 ends with Jack being discovered by Mel bleeding out from a gunshot wound in his bar, first of all.
Then there’s the trouble brewing with Preacher, Paige, Christopher, and Paige’s husband’s evil(er) twin brother, who is determined to find out what happened to his missing brother.
Lastly, we were left with a cliffhanger about Doc, too! We were getting hints throughout the season that he may be sick, but the finale ended before he could reveal anything for sure.
How did Mel’s husband Mark die?
Unlike in the novels where he died during a convenience store robbery, Mark dies due to a car accident after taking his eyes off the road during an argument with Mel.
What happened to Mel’s baby?
Sadly, Mel’s first pregnancy through IVF was terminated due to the baby being stillborn, which was actually what she and Mark were arguing about when they had the car accident.
Why is Jack mad at Hope at the start of Virgin River season 2?
Hope found out about Charmaine’s pregnancy before Jack did. She’s the one who went behind Jack’s back to tell Mel about it, who then ended up leaving Virgin River to give Jack a chance to have a family.
Is Jack Hope’s son?
Jack and Hope do have a very familial relationship, but there’s no confirmation yet (just theories) that they’re literally blood-related. In a sense, Hope has been more of a mother-figure to him so far.
What happened between Mel and Jack?
After dodging their feelings for each other throughout the entire first season, Mel and Jack finally get under the sheets of bone town (if you catch my drift) by the second episode of season 2. They were finally getting their relationship off the diving board when, well, that finale happened.
What happened between Jack and Charmaine? Is Jack really the father of Charmaine’s babies?
Much to Charmaine’s chagrin, Jack didn’t want to pursue a relationship with her but he was still willing to stay in her life as a co-parent to their twin children.
As of now, it looks like Jack really is the father but theories that throw doubt on this are abound!
Who shot Jack in the season 2 finale? Will Jack survive or die?
At this point, we have no idea who shot Jack in the season 2 finale of Virgin River! However, there are theories that it could be Charmaine, out of spite for Jack not wanting to be with her despite the bun in the oven. Of course, Jack also got caught up in Calvin’s drug operations so that could be connected, too. It’s pretty safe to say that Jack will survive this, though.
Is Paige’s (Michelle’s) abusive husband Wes alive?
No, but we all panicked and definitely thought he was for a hot second. Turns out, the mysterious Wes lookalike who turned up in Virgin River was his twin brother, Vince!
What happened between Doc and Muriel?
Though they briefly had a relationship at Hope’s suggestion (to hide their reconciliation from the public), Doc finally decided to come clean to her. They met up again later on in Seattle, but only because Doc needed her help to get an engagement ring for Hope!
What happened between Doc and Hope?
They used to be happily married until Doc had an affair and slept with Charmaine’s mother. Hope was unable to forgive him so they remained separated, though never went through with a divorce. Now, they’ve reconciled and set to renew their vows.
What happened between Ricky and Lizzie in season 2?
The pair meet in the second season with Lizzie’s arrival in Virgin River, and the two eventually become a couple. Things hit a speedbump after they decide to take things to the next level, but showrunner Sue Tenney assures us that there’s more to come for their romance in the next season!
What happened between Paige and Preacher?
Things are complicated, to say the least between the two.
After Paige accidentally kills her abusive husband, Preacher helps her dispose of the body and his car – but this comes back around to haunt him later on. Currently, Paige is deep in hiding, but it looks like her son Christopher is staying with Preacher.
Is Doc sick?
Looks like it, but we’ll have to wait and see for sure! After his visit to the doctor in another town, he starts to tell Hope about what’s going on but is interrupted by a surprise party thrown in their honor.
Who is Spencer?
Originally part of Calvin’s “crew”, Spencer eventually began working with Jack to bring down Calvin’s illegal operations. However, he gets caught and is supposedly killed by Brady – but the finale has a pleasant twist about that, too!
Who is Calvin?
Calvin is the “head honcho” of the illegal pot farm opposite Virgin River, the kingpin if you will. He might also be the one behind Jack’s shooting in the season 2 finale, as retaliation for cracking down on his drug transport operations.
What caused the food poisoning outbreak in Virgin River season 2 episode 8?
Well, Calvin kind of already had his revenge with this food poisoning outbreak. To get Jack back for turning Spencer against him, Calvin ordered one of the employees at Jack’s bar to sabotage the food, leading to the food poisoning epidemic.
Location-related Virgin River questions
Where does Netflix’s Virgin River take place, and where is it supposed to be located?
The titular Virgin River, where the show is primarily set, is a fictional small town that’s supposed to be located in Northern California.
Is Virgin River a real place?
No, Virgin River is a completely fictional town.
Where is Virgin River shot?
In the “Hollywood of the North” – Vancouver, British Columbia! As well as many other areas in Canada.
The Virgin River community itself is filmed in Snug Cove, Bowen Island, while other notable locations you’ll see (like Jack’s restobar, the waterfalls, and Doc Mullins’ practice) are filmed in Brackendale, Burnaby, Squamish, and New Westminster.
Mel’s Cabin, which is filmed in Murdo Frazer Park in North Vancouver, has also been used as a filming location in TV shows like Once Upon a Time and Fringe!
Questions about the future of the show
Has Netflix renewed Virgin River? Will there be a third season?
In December of 2020, not long after the premiere of the second season, Netflix announced that Virgin River had been renewed for a third season! So hold on tight, we’re getting another 10 heartwarming episodes.
When does Virgin River season 3 start?
There’s no official news on when season 3 will premiere but if we’re basing it on the previous seasons, it should be around November or December 2021 – provided the pandemic doesn’t delay production anymore, of course.