Netflix’s Virgin River has been a hit for the streaming platform, but its pervasive pacing issue holds the series back from reaching its fullest potential. Based on the novels by Robyn Carr, Virgin River tells the story of nurse practitioner Mel, who moves to the titular small town for a new start after the death of her husband. Despite Virgin River coming across as a typical small town, the happenings there are anything but normal, and it doesn’t take Mel long to get roped into the town’s drama, which increases exponentially with every season.
Virgin River season 1 feels like a normal and satisfying viewing experience, but in the subsequent seasons, the pacing of the show’s timeline becomes increasingly wild. From the constant new arrivals, to the town to whirlwind romances, to Charmaine’s four-season-long pregnancy, the pacing of Netflix’s Virgin River is one of the biggest issues plaguing the series. While it might seem too late to fix Virgin River’s pacing problem after four seasons, the potential remedy lies with the books it was based on, representing Virgin River’s best possible future.
Netflix’s Virgin River Should Adopt The Books’ Pacing
Although Netflix’s Virgin River has strange pacing, the original books by Robyn Carr do not share the Netflix show’s problem. Among other differences between the original Virgin River books and the Netflix adaptation, the books are more slowly paced than the show is. The romance genre is always going to require some suspension of disbelief, but the books’ slower pacing means that certain events that feel like whiplash in Netflix’s Virgin River feel more natural in the original books. Shifting the Netflix adaptation’s trajectory to mimic the books’ timeline and pacing more could be a good change for the TV show.
Changing Virgin River’s Pacing Would Improve The Netflix Series
After four seasons of Virgin River, it might seem difficult for the Netflix series to adopt the books’ pacing, but doing so would improve the series. Fixing Virgin River‘s pacing could still be possible to do via a time jump. If Netflix’s Virgin River used a time jump, it could potentially fix the series’ pacing and allow the show to tell different kinds of stories, which would help keep Virgin River feeling fresh. Doing a time jump for an already established series isn’t unheard of, as it has been discussed as an option for Eloise’s story in Netflix’s Bridgerton, so a time jump could also be an option for Virgin River.
Changing Virgin River’s pacing would not only help keep the Netflix romance show exciting, but it would also help make some of the story more realistic. While romance stories are rarely 100% true to life, certain Virgin River stories like Mel and Jack’s quick romance or Charmaine’s four seasons long pregnancy can make for a jarring timeline. Doing a time jump to fix the show’s pacing after Virgin River season 5 would resolve this issue, making the Netflix show more believable and thus more immersive. Virgin River is always a fun watch, but fixing its pacing issues by mimicking the books’ timeline represents the Netflix show’s best future.
More: Will Virgin River Ever Change Its Leads (Like The Books)?