Mel and Jack’s future may not feel particularly bright at the moment — especially when you factor in that shocking season finale cliffhanger — but Virgin River fans can take comfort in knowing that as long as there are books from which to pull inspiration (and if Netflix renews the series), there will be hope.
“Ultimately, the way I look at the show is that we’re going to get as many seasons as we get. And when we get to that last season, we want them to be where [book author Robyn Carr] has them,” showrunner Sue Tenney explains to TVLine.
So while possible future seasons of the show may send characters on slightly different journeys than in Carr’s novels, their destinations remain the same. That also applies to new Virgin River residents created specifically for the screen, with Tenney insisting, “Everything we do that isn’t directly from the book we do in [the spirit of] Robyn’s books.”
That said, Tenney has a deep love for the people inhabiting Carr’s world, citing Jo Ellen and Connie as a few of her favorite eccentric small-town personalities. And that world continues to grow, with the 21st installment in Carr’s Virgin River series — appropriately titled Return to Virgin River — hitting bookshelves back in Oct. 2020. The series’ first book was released in 2007.
Tenney has previously credited Netflix as a “fantastic partner” in storytelling, telling TVLine, “They weren’t trying to hurry us up, or to rush us to where we were going. They let us tell the story, and as a storyteller, that’s like catnip.”
This approach is one of the reasons Mel and Jack waited to have sex until the show’s second season. “If you’ve read the books, you know that sex is a big part,” Tenney says. “But I just didn’t feel that the first season was about that. I wanted to hold off.”
Book fans, how do you feel about the way Mel and Jack’s relationship is progressing on screen? Drop a comment with your thoughts on Netflix’s Virgin River adaptation (so far) below.