Virgin River

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Virgin River TV Poster Image
Comforting series has a sweet Hallmark Christmas vibe.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Stands out for positive messages.

Positive Messages

The value of hard work that helps others is championed, as is independence, strong women, being true to one's self, and accepting others as they are. Communication and integrity are themes. 

Positive Role Models

Mel and sister Joey have a strong bond; they talk frequently and support each other. Characters are quirky and have secrets, but nothing awful or disturbing. Small-town residents are clever and self-reliant; authority figures are worthy of trust. One main character is a man of color, but the rest of the cast is white. Mel is strong, self-reliant, and great at her job. 


Occasional scenes of mild violence: a character has a car crash and hits her head; off-screen, a violent patient assaults a nurse, leaving a bump on her forehead. A death provides a character's impetus for changing her life. 


Romance is central to this show's plot, expect crushes, kissing, flirting, dating, references to boyfriends and girlfriends. Sex happens off-screen, but characters do kiss and start to remove clothing before the camera cuts away. Love triangles are a plot point. 


Language is infrequent: "ass," "damn," "hell."


Mentions of luxury items drive home Mel's wealth: she carries a Celine bag and wears a Cartier watch. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Many scenes are set in a bar with patrons drinking. Expect to hear name brands of whiskey (i.e. Jack Daniels); in one scene, Mel drinks a total of three shots, and weaves and slurs a bit. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Virgin River is a series about a big-city nurse practicioner who moves to a small town while fleeing a tragic turn in her life. Based on a series of books of the same name by Robyn Carr, Virgin River centers on romance; expect flirting, dating, love triangles, kissing, and references to (off-screen) sex. Many scenes take place at the town's only bar, with characters drinking liquor (ordered by name), beer, and other drinks. Mel wears luxury items that are name-checked: a Celine bag, a Cartier watch. Language is infrequent: "ass," "damn," hell." Small-town characters are shown as quirky but kind-hearted and worthy of respect; medical professionals are caring and go the extra mile to help patients. A death occurs off-screen that impacts this narrative. Communication and integrity are themes. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byM K March 13, 2021

Ideal for 17+

I'm sorry buy whoever says this is for 12 or 13 y/olds, are just kidding themselves. What message do you want to pass on to such young kids? There's a... Continue reading
Adult Written bymcnelloe56 January 23, 2021

Great show!

A great show to watch with teens! There is some talk of sex and birth control in a couple of episodes in season 2.
There are also 2 short sex scenes but no nudi... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byGorgeus October 24, 2021
Personally, I liked the series and the connection between the characters. I think that in the whole series there are three scenes in which the characters undres... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bySammyboi August 15, 2021

I like it very much!

I’m in season three and yes it’s really good
Just beware of some sex scenes they don’t show nudity though and there is talk about birth control and other stuff... Continue reading

What's the story?

When something happens to turn Mel Monroe's (Alexandra Breckenridge) life upside-down in Los Angeles, she impulsively accepts a new job in the tiny town of VIRGIN RIVER. Only one problem: though energetic Mayor Hope McCrea (Annette O'Toole) hired Mel to work a year-long contract in the office of ob-gyn Doc Mullins (Tim Matheson), she didn't tell the doc that Mel was on the way. Now Mel has to find a way to get into the doc's good graces and make a new life in a town very different from the big city. Good thing handsome local bar owner Jack Sheridan (Martin Henderson) is on tap to keep Mel company, at least. 

Is it any good?

As comforting as a hug, this gentle series has the warm, easygoing vibe of a Hallmark Christmas movie, where all characters are quirky are lovable and all problems can be solved with a good talk. Gilmore Girls fans will instantly connect Virgin River (the town) to Stars Hollow, another television town full of twee residents with adorable problems; if that's a good association for you, Virgin River (the show) is definitely worth a look. Alexandra Breckenridge's Mel is suitably twinkly and charming, her apricot-colored beachy waves always perfect, tending to an endless procession of telegenic mommies in Doc Mullins' ob-gyn practice (which might make more cynical viewers wonder why a town tiny enough to lack a coffee shop seems to have so many pregnant women), when she's not weeping over the Tragic Secret in her past (trust that it'll get doled out to power plot twists over the first season). 

Mullins, too, is the type of endearingly crusty small-town doc to be found in romance narratives; Tim Matheson gives the role some color, just as Annette O'Toole finds warmth and irony in her role as Virgin River's can-do mayor. And Martin Henderson is crinkly and laid-back as Mel's love interest/the owner of the only bar in town, playing the part of the handsome local who shows our big city gal the heartfelt appearl of small-town life. In Mel's first week, he offers to take her on a tour of the local sights; she accepts -- Jack hands her a pair of binoculars so she can see the eagles wheeling between the mountains. "Beautiful," she sighs, relaxing into the moment before asking "What's next?" "Nothing," shrugs Jack; that's the only sight he had to show her. It's a sweet moment in an even sweeter show that some will find saccharine and others will relax into like a warm bath.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Romantic comedies, particularly those made for television, often involve a character from a big city who learns how to relax and then fall in love in a small town. What's so appealing about this setup? Who are these stories often aimed at? Who writes them?

  • Most TV series centering on romance feature characters in their twenties and thirties. Why? How would Virgin River change if the characters were teens? People in their forties? Seniors? 

  • How do the characters in Virgin River demonstrate communication and integrity? Why are those important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love drama

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