8 shows to watch if you love Virgin River

Jess Bacon
Mel in Virgin River on NetflixNetflix

With Season 5 Part 2 of Virgin River available for streaming, what about when you’re finished? Don’t fret, as we’ve put together eight shows to watch if you’re a fan of the Netflix show.

Season 5 Part 2 of Virgin River has finally arrived on Netflix. In our review, we said: “For two episodes only, the traditional soap opera-style succession of life-altering events comes to a halt, as our favourite Californian small town takes a moment to indulge in wholesome festivities.”

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Based on Robyn Carr’s novels of the same name, the fifth installment of this adaptation is the finest to date. Once again, the narrative follows Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge), a big-city nurse who moves to Virgin River to come to terms with the tragedies in her past.

The romance drama centers on the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity, as unlikely friendships bloom and comfort is found in the generosity and compassion of others. Everyone who arrives in Virgin River is sceptical of residents’ freely-given kindness, though as Mel and later Lizzie, Denny, and Cameron discover, the locals possess a rare and genuine need to protect and help others, which helps them all heal and move forward.  

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Shows to watch if you like Virgin River

The fan-favorite series has been a staggering success on the platform since its debut in 2019, with Season 4 overtaking Stranger Things 4 as the top TV series on the platform, after its impressive 2.6 billion viewed minutes of watch time in the first three days. 

One of the worst things about finishing a series such as Virgin River is waiting for the next installment to arrive. Thankfully, Season 6 is going ahead. However, until then, here are eight shows to watch if you like Virgin River. 

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Sweet Magnolias 

Based on Sherryl Woods’ novels, Sweet Magnolias is a wholesome romance drama set in a small town in South Carolina. It follows three women who have been best friends since childhood, Maddie, Dana, and Helen, as they navigate the challenges of adulthood.

From heartbreaks to career disappointments, this series is a reminder of the best elements of female friendship and the strength found in community, especially during difficult times.

Where to stream it: Seasons 1-3 are available on Netflix.

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Gilmore Girls 

If you haven’t already watched Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Gilmore Girls, then there are seven wholesome seasons to dive into. Follow Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, Rory, as they navigate her high school years, relationships, and difficult family dinners as you dive into the charm of their quaint town, Stars Hollow. 

Packed with quirky residents, pop-culture references, and trivial town dramas, every episode is reminiscent of an inviting warm hug. Grab a coffee, cozy up, and tune into the fast-talking mother-daughter duo, who are on hand to fill your Virgin River-shaped hole. 

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Where to stream it: Seasons 1-7 are available on Netflix. 

Ginny & Georgia 

In many ways, Ginny & Georgia have an innate Gilmore Girls quality, as it follows young mum Georgia as she relocates with her two children, Ginny and Austin, to escape her tragic past. 

After the death of her husband, Georgia wants a fresh start in a new town, similar to Mel after the trauma of her husband’s death. It’s a series about reinvention, moving on from the past, and how inevitability our problems, no matter how we try to outrun them, catch up with us in the end.

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Though, if Virgin River has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is ever as it seems… so expect some surprising twists along the way. 

Where to stream it: Seasons 1-2 are available on Netflix. 

Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane is a tribute to the beauty and timelessness of female friendship, as Tully and Kate navigate the challenges of life from their teens to their 40s together. Similar to Virgin River, it explores the contrasting elements of life’s greatest happiness that co-exist painfully with heart-wrenching, unexpected struggles. 

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Though it has light-hearted moments, this series is guaranteed to break your heart and have you reaching for the tissues… be warned!

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Where to stream it: Seasons 1-2 are available on Netflix.

Chesapeake Shores

For fans of Virgin River and Hallmark Christmas movies, look no further than Chesapeake Shores. Packed with tropes from both of these fan-favorite comfort watches, the series follows high-flyer Abby (Meghan Ory) as she navigates a messy divorce and reconnects with her hometown Chesapeake Shores. 

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With her two young daughters in tow, the New Yorker returns to her slow-paced small town to help her sister, Jess, as she attempts to restore an inn back to its former glory. Along the way, Abby reconnects with her former flame, Trace, and revisits what might have been if she hadn’t left 16 years ago. It’s a wholesome tale of second chances and how failures often lead us to better places.

Where to stream it: Seasons 1-6 are available on Netflix.

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Schitt’s Creek

Eugene Levy and Dan Levy’s acclaimed sitcom Schitt’s Creek is a masterpiece that everyone should experience. 

In contrast to the rest of this list, the wealthy Rose family is reluctantly forced to relocate to the middle of nowhere to the rundown town they once purchased as a joke, after they lose their fortune. Disheartened and enraged at their change of circumstances, this series is about the trials and tribulations the family face, as they come to realize that losing everything might just be the best thing to ever happen to them. 

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Brimming with witty one-liners, sharp humour, and Catherine O’Hara’s meme-able quips, it’s a delightful, light-hearted watch. With over 80 episodes to get through, what are you waiting for?

Where to stream it: Seasons 1-6 are available on Prime Video. 

Hart of Dixie

Hart of Dixie’s narrative mirrors Virgin River in many ways, as Dr. Zoe Hart leaves her failed career as a heart surgeon in New York and adjusts to her new life in a rural town in Alabama. 

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Like Mel, this fresh start isn’t as straightforward as Zoe anticipated. She inherits a percentage of a local practice that her estranged father owned, and despite Zoe’s dedication to her career, her arrival in town is not welcomed by the town locals.

Over time, Zoe earns the respect of her new patients, after she is initially shunned when they learn her father had an affair with her mother, while he was married to another woman. Throw in some romance and Zoe questioning her big move, and you’ve found a perfect Virgin River rival. 

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Where to stream it: Seasons 1-4 are available on ITVX. 

This Is Us

If you need more Alexandra Breckenridge in your life, then look no further than NBC’s long-running series, This Is Us. Dan Fogelman’s acclaimed series is grounded around the lives of one family, two parents, Jack and Rebecca, and their three children Kevin, Kate, and Randall. 

The emotional drama oscillates between several different time frames to examine family traumas, challenges, and triumphs in a beautiful, yet tragic life. Across its 106 episodes, the star-studded cast are dedicated to the show’s sensitive and poignant storylines, which will linger with you long after you watch them. 

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Where to stream it: Seasons 1-6 are available on Prime Video. 

Virgin River Seasons 1-5 are streaming on Netflix now. Check out our other coverage below:

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About The Author

Jess Bacon is a freelance culture journalist and editor who loves to over-analyze her favorite TV shows and films. She's also a major Marvel nerd and is writing a YA novel.