At the time of writing, the show has proved to have won over UK viewers, as it’s been near the top of the streaming platform’s Top 10 since new episodes dropped last week.
For those unfamiliar with Virgin River, it might come as a surprise to hear that it’s now into its fifth season, with a sixth already confirmed, too.
But with the first four series available to stream, it’s not too late to catch up. Here’s what you need to know if you feel like finding out what all the fuss is about…
What is Virgin River all about, then?
Based on the novel series of the same name by Robyn Carr, the TV adaptation of Virgin River has become known among its fans for its cosy, soap opera-esque tone, while critics often point to it as something to use for some escapism, rather than some of the more serious dramas Netflix has produced over the years.
As Netflix’s head of drama told Deadline when the latest episodes were first announced: “Season five is going to continue to stay true to what fans have loved about the show from the beginning; it feels like a community that we all belong to and that we’re all a part of, it’s very comforting, it gives you hope, and I think all of that is stuff that people can’t get enough of these days.”
In the first season, we’re introduced to Mel Monroe, a nurse practitioner who ups and leaves her life in Los Angeles behind for a new start in the sleepy town of Virgin River.
As the episodes unfold, we learn that Mel is leaving some personal troubles behind in LA, and it also becomes apparent that Virgin River isn’t quite going to give her the quiet life she had been hoping for.
We also quickly get to grips with other local residents, most notably Virgin River mayor Hope McCrea, her husband, town doctor (and Mel’s new boss) Vernon “Doc” Mullins and bar owner Jack Sheridan, a former Marine grappling with issues of his own.
Who is in the cast?
Joining her as bar owner Jack Sheridan is New Zealand-born actor Martin Henderson, who horror fans might know from The Ring or X. He’s also appeared in the films Bride And Prejudice and Little Fish, as well as three seasons of the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy.
Annette O’Toole stars as Virgin River’s mayor, having previously acted in the original TV adaptation of Stephen King’s IT and the superhero teen drama Smallville. Her on-screen husband is played by Tim Matheson, who earned two Emmy nominations for portraying John Hoynes in The West Wing.
Colin Lawrence (The Killing, Battlestar Galactica), Jenny Cooper (24, Jake And The Kid), Lauren Hammersley (Orphan Black, Mr. D) and Ben Hollingsworth (Suits, The Beautiful Life) also all play key roles in Virgin River.
Meanwhile, joining for its fifth season are Kandyse McClure (The Good Doctor, Charmed) and Libby Osler (Seventh Son, Chesapeake Shores) as Kaia Bryant and Ava Anderson, respectively.
Sorry, did you say that Virgin River is now onto its fifth season?
Yes, although Netflix has done that thing they’re so fond of and split the fifth season into two parts. And interestingly enough, while the show is now almost five full seasons deep, the action so far all takes place over a six-month period.
The first 10 parts of series five are available to stream as of Friday 8 September, with two episodes still to come.
When is the second half of Virgin River season 5 out?
Fans are in for a bit of a wait, with the final two episodes set to complete the series dropping on 30 November.
As you might already have expected given the release date, those two episodes will both be set around the festive season.
Will there be a season six of Virgin River?
We’re happy to report that there will. A few months before season five’s first few episodes were made available to stream, Netflix announced a sixth run was already in the works.
Of course, it’s hard to know exactly what storylines it will tackle as the final instalments of the fifth season are yet to be released. Viewers are probably in for a longer wait than usual, though, thanks to the ongoing actors and writers strikes in Hollywood.
Alright, I’m intrigued. Is there a trailer?
There certainly is. For the uninitiated, here’s the trailer for the very first season from back in the day (“the day” being... 2019):
And, as a treat, here’s the teaser for Virgin River’s upcoming season 5 festive specials: