Virgin River is like your favorite cable-knit sweater or pair of wool socks, or the smell of your grandma's house on a Sunday afternoon, or like a slice of warm banana bread. It's comforting, it's cozy, and it's easily digestible. And it's coming back for season 4 on July 20!
The show has a soap opera-esque feel to it without being too over-the-top (the storylines are a little wild, yes, but they've got nothing on Days of Our Lives in the 1990s).
There's no shortage of drama, but the visual surroundings—and the townspeople—are so stunning, you want to hop on the next plane to this fictional town and have a drink and a meal at Jack's bar.
Here are some new photos Netflix released of the upcoming season to keep us guessing until July. (Yes, that's Doc and Hope—be still our hearts, what a welcome sight.)
Last fall, it was announced that Virgin River was picked up for seasons four and five—further proof that we all love this show, even the parts of it we love to hate.
The series is based on the expansive romance book series by author Robyn Carr, which also tracks as to why we love it so much: romance. Today's entertainment is seriously lacking in the rom-com charm of yesteryear, and, frankly, audiences are starved for it.
A quick recap for those who may be considering a cozy binge-watch before July 20: Virgin River mostly follows the story of Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge), a nurse practitioner and midwife who leaves life in the big city after the death of her husband. She decides to start over in a charming, idyllic small town (big Hallmark vibes, right?) in a small practice in Virgin River. Her new boss, Doc Mullins, is reluctant toward her at first, but eventually, the two have a really sweet friendship (as Mel does with many other very memorable supporting characters).
But it's Mel's relationship with Jack (Martin Henderson)—the owner of Jack's, natch—that will keep you pressing "Next Episode" over and over again. He's handsome, a little broody, very into Mel, and has the best head of hair a man has had since Patrick Dempsey's Grey's Anatomy days. (You just want to run your fingers through it, sorry not sorry.)
Watching her navigate small-town life, a new romance, and all the charms and quirks Virgin River has to offer makes the whole show a perfect curl-up-on-the-couch-with-your-favorite-blanket type of show.
What separates it from Hallmark movies (which are also cozy and addictive in their own right) is that Virgin River doesn't shy away from gritty plotlines: postpartum depression, grief, crime, personal tragedy, and, of course, actual sex scenes. In a cozy log cabin. That Jack beautifully restored himself just for Mel, expecting nothing in return. What's not to love?
With each season, it seems like the drama kicks it up a notch—murder, fugitives on the run, love triangles, and, oh yeah, an enormous pregnancy cliffhanger at the end of season three.
Did Mel somehow secretly undergo in vitro fertilization to wind up pregnant with her late husband's sperm during a five-second break in her relationship with Jack? Is she somehow pregnant with Jack's baby, despite the fact that he is reluctantly expecting twins with his ex-girlfriend and already said he wasn't ready to eschew birth control? Will Annette O'Toole finally come back as Hope instead of just FaceTime acting through her scenes? Did Paige fall off the face of the earth? When will Christopher stop dyeing his hair?
Who knows? But when it comes to Virgin River, we can't wait to find out. And we don't have to wait much longer!
A version of this story was published September 19, 2021. It has been updated.