Virgin River season 3 feels like a rollercoaster. The things that work really, really work. And yet the things that don’t work …well, those things made me more than a little angry, which isn’t something I ever want to be when watching a show like this one. I watch shows like Virgin River to smile and yes, to get caught up in the drama, as long as we’re all in agreement what the level of acceptable drama is.
*pssst* this ain’t it, okay? not for me.
To the show’s credit, most – most being the operative word here – of what doesn’t work is not Jack and Mel related. Last season’s cliffhanger is dealt with as quickly as cliffhangers are always dealt with in this show (and you can expect plenty more of those coming your way this season, because the show is what it is, why would they change that now?), and we don’t even get to suffer that much – well, the hiatus aside, though honestly, I wasn’t even suffering that much, because I never truly believed something bad could happen to Jack. And, I mean, if it did, that’d be the end of the show for me anyway, so …
But yes, if you’re watching for Jack and Mel, and I think it’s fair to say most of us are, I’m happy to report that the show’s OTP has its strongest season to date, not smooth sailing by any stretch of the imagination, this is TV after all, but with so many good moments between them that the little (and not so little) problems they face never seem like they can actually break them. Mel and Jack haven’t yet reached that moment in their relationship where we’re so sure of them we don’t worry, but at the same time, it’s hard to believe the show is truly trying to throw any lasting big obstacle their way.
However, some of the storytelling around them – and some of the storytelling choices centered on them – left me shaking my head, and not exactly in a good way. We all understand what type of show Virgin River is, and yet there are some things that cross the line for me. Some things feel like drama for the sake of drama, and I’ve been there, done that, didn’t enjoy it. Jury will be out on whether fans like some of the twists this season throws their way, but there’s at least one I absolutely hated and that I’m still shaking my head at.
My one big positive – other than Mel and Jack’s relationship, and both Jack and Mel as individuals, because season 3 goes full romance, without forgetting that these are two people with separate issues, is Doc. If you’d told me I’d be here in season 3, loving Doc, I would have laughed at you. And yet Doc made me smile every time he was on screen, even when he was being very Doc about things, and his relationship with Mel, in particular, always hits the sweet spot for me.
Other things I enjoyed? Brie. I wasn’t sure how she was going to fit into the show, or the dynamics of the characters, but I found myself relating to her in her good moments, and in her bad moments. I wouldn’t say I support all of her choices, but that’s not the thing that makes a character work. I also truly enjoyed Preacher, the way I always enjoyed Preacher, because Preacher is often the only man with sense around Virgin River, and he deserves all the love and appreciation.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of all was how much I enjoyed the women of Virgin River, the camaraderie, the sense of community. At this point Mel – and I – feel like we’re part of this little community, and though they all have their quirks, and more often than not there’s at least one of them you want to strangle, I’ve reached that point where even that works in the context of what the show is doing.
Things I didn’t like and that I’m sure most people will agree with me on? Charmaine, Charmaine, Charmaine. There’s no amount of Charmaine that would be a good amount of Charmaine for me, so it isn’t even about how much screen time she got, it’s about the fact that she was around at all, and that, somehow, despite the fact that her circumstances have completely changed, I still do not like her one bit. Which is probably, as it doesn’t really feel like the show wants me to like her.
And then there’s Brady. I have mixed feelings about Brady, and I wish I didn’t. I wish I could stick to just one thought when it came to him, but I found myself having positive feelings about his general existence this season, something I didn’t see coming. So, I guess this show still has a few surprises up its sleeve.
I say that as if I didn’t know there’s no way I can tease – or you can guess – some of the biggest surprises the show’s season 3 has in store. Suffice it to say we should all be glad the show has already been renewed for season 4, because we’re all going to need that, ASAP. Plus wine. We’re gonna need wine too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Come prepared.
Are you excited for Virgin River season 3? Share with us in the comments below!
Virgin River season 3 will premiere on Netflix this Friday, July 9th.