‘Virgin River Season 2’ review: More of the same in a good way

Virgin River’s second season is as engaging as its predecessor. Watch it if you wish to unwind after a day

Photo Courtesy: Social Media
Photo Courtesy: Social Media

Biswadeep Ghosh

The motley crew of characters inhabiting a fictional town in Humboldt County, a real place in northern California, is back.

Virgin River’s second season consisting of ten episodes has started streaming on Netflix. The first season had received many positive reviews and also acquired a substantial fan following.

History will repeat itself.

Based on Robyn Carr’s bestselling fiction series of the same name, the second season ends with a cliffhanger, a talking point about the serial among netizens right now. Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) finds Jack (Martin Henderson) in an injured state. The injury seems to have been caused by a gunshot, making one wonder who shot him. A third season, which must be on the way, shall answer that teasing question.

Virgin River is a sparsely populated picture-perfect place where the modern-day urbanite would like to spend his days of retirement. It may not have all the comforts that big cities offer, but what it does have is natural beauty, a relaxed pace of existence and locals with a lot of time in their hands who are ready to gossip with a willing partner any day. It is an island of comfort with a dream-like feel that its creator Carr had lovingly crafted. The series re-creates the environment beautifully, its biggest strength.

Predictably, the second season offers more of the same. Nothing about the town has changed. The lady mayor is as likeable and intrusive as earlier. The doctor appears to have mellowed down, but how he goes about his day-to-day life remains unchanged.

Mel, the nurse practitioner from Los Angeles, is back in town and still struggling with the memories of a tragedy. The mysterious woman with an altered name and a child expectedly gets into trouble because of which she needs the help of a kind-hearted former Marine friend. As those who have watched the first season would know, that helpful man isn't Jack, also a former Marine.

If a lot of what we see is predictable, why is the second season ideal for binge-watching just like its predecessor? That is because of the little moments in people’s lives, which are engagingly written. All the actors seem to have enjoyed playing their parts, and their characters come across as real people in this slice-of-life story.

Jack runs a bar named after him. It is a place the townspeople visit, among them the doctor who cannot cook his meals. We see a lot more of the bar in the second season with characters gossiping, eating and drinking as they spend a part of their lives outside their homes.

The second season springs the odd surprise. Neither the doctor nor the mayor, a married couple living separately without getting divorced, would have hoped to reunite. That happens.

Breckenridge, Henderson, Annette O’Toole as the mayor Hope McCrea and Tim Matheson as Dr Vernon Mullins carry the narrative on their able shoulders. The smaller players in the ensemble cast are noteworthy, too, which contributes to the appeal of the series.

Don’t miss the second season of Virgin River. If you haven’t watched the first season, make a start from there.

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