Fans Disagree With Virgin River Showrunner's Disastrous Decision
The Season 5 storyline is just too heavy.
- Virgin River Season 5 shocked viewers with a devastating storyline, Mel's miscarriage.
- Showrunner Patrick Sean Smith and star Alexandra Breckenridge recently defended the arc, saying it was necessary for character development and more realistic than the alternative.
- Fans, however, disagreed, noting that the arc was too triggering for a romantic escapist show.
In Virgin River's long five-year run, there was probably no more discussed entry than Season 5 Part 1, which landed on Netflix back in September.
Among the many twists and turns, there was one storyline that hit absolutely every fan in the heart and even made them question the general direction of the show. It was Mel's miscarriage arc.
The Dark Path
Viewers learned that the protagonist was pregnant in the Season 3 finale, and it was a happy surprise. Even better, after the whole season of struggles and paternity uncertainty, the baby turned out to be Jack's and the happy couple got engaged.
Now, that's the wholesome turn of events you'd expect from a romantic escapist show like Virgin River, right? Well, no.
Season 5 brought in a new showrunner, Patrick Sean Smith, and a new writing staff. And they decided to go a darker route and have Mel lose her baby.
The Showrunner & Star Weigh In
In the recent interview with Deadline, Smith addressed his decision, explaining that for him, it was the best development point for Mel and Jack as a couple.
'It just felt like the natural direction for it to go. I wanted to ground the show a little bit more,' the showrunner said. 'I thought that this would be a season that Jack would get a sense of what Mel had gone through so they could go through it together.'
Alexandra Breckenridge echoed Smith's sentiments, adding that the miscarriage was not originally planned by the previous showrunner, but that she fully supports the new direction.
According to the actress, keeping the miracle baby would be 'a disservice to the women who have had trouble conceiving and have fertility issues.'
Fans At Odds With The Arc
The creators' position is understandable, but fans are still having a hard time agreeing with it.
Given Mel and Jack's past history, it seems that the characters just can't take a break. At this point, they both seem to have had nothing but misery and suffering, interspersed with rare moments of happiness.
It's the second baby Mel has lost. And Jack went from three kids to zero in a matter of days. That's too devastating even for a proper drama, let alone a romantic series.
As for the realistic portrayal of women struggling with infertility, fans find the argument polarizing. On the one hand, yes, a miracle baby is pretty far-fetched. But on the other hand, a miscarriage has many more triggers and negative emotions associated with it. Will those who struggle always lose?
As a result, many fans refused to even watch the new triggering season.
'I warned several friends who have gone through miscarriages (myself included) to not watch this season. It was too heavy for this show if you ask me,' a fan wrote on Reddit.
Virgin River Season 5 Part 2 is coming to Netflix on November 30th with two Christmas specials.