In 10 days, Netflix will invite viewers back into Virgin River for a second season of extremely cozy drama. But before we crack open the next chapter of Mel and Jack’s pine-scented romance, why not revisit an iconic moment from the couple’s courtship?
We’re talking, of course, about Mel and Jack’s dramatic first kiss in Episode 8, a defining moment for the couple — one highly anticipated by fans of Robyn Carr’s Virgin River book series. In case you need a refresher, allow us to set the scene:
After a particularly emotional day, Mel returned home to discover that Jack had transformed her dumpy shack into a Pinterest-approved cabin. “I know how hard it can be to make a fresh start,” he said. “Maybe this place can offer some comfort, a place to call home?”
Those words (plus a solid cover of Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” playing in the background) were all Mel needed to hear before finally diving in for that long-awaited first kiss.
“We put pressure on ourselves for everything, but especially for the big, pivotal moments for these characters and their development,” showrunner Sue Tenney tells TVLine. “That was a big scene that we did a lot of work on. It was a huge moment. It was that character really stepping out on a limb and leaning towards the light, if you will. But I’m so lucky, because I’ve got Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson, who are fantastic together. They have amazing chemistry.”
Those on-screen sparks, Breckenridge explains, turned out to be a wonderful surprise, as she and Henderson weren’t able to do a chemistry read together during the casting process. Also surprising: “I didn’t realize how popular the show was going to be,” the actress tells TVLine. “I knew the books had done really well, but I didn’t know if those same people would also watch us on Netflix. I didn’t really know who my audience was, so I just played the character as true to the way she was written as I could. But first kisses are always a big deal. You can kind of sense that whenever you’re filming something.”
Meanwhile, Henderson is taking the humble route, referring to the magic moment as a “team effort.” He credits Carr for coming up with “the genesis of the whole thing,” as well as Tenney for “extrapolating on that vision.” Heck, he even gives a shout out to the lighting department “for making everything look so cozy and romantic.”
Ultimately, however, Henderson must accept credit where it’s due: “We’re blessed with the fact that Alex and I have good chemistry,” he tells TVLine. “That’s really evident, and it’s not something you can always count on, unfortunately. It’s either there or it’s not, and we have it, so it allows us to work in a way that is respectful of one another. There’s a level of trust there, that we hold space as performers and get some of those authentic moments on screen.”
Virgin River returns to Netflix with its 10-episode second season on Friday, Nov. 27. Will you be watching? Hit PLAY on the trailer below, then drop a comment with your hopes for Season 2 below.