“Virgin River”, small stories of life and love (with a bit of thriller) in the woods of California (Grade 7 and 1/2) – Corriere.it

of Maurizio Porro

The third station of the series created by Sue Tenney has arrived on Netflix. Big unresolved questions remain, waiting for the fourth, but we grow fond of the characters

release on Netflix the third season of Virgin River, the beautiful series created by Sue Tenney in 2019 and now waiting for the fourth part because the ending of this leaves unresolved the big question marks (love, death, births, crimes and punishments) of a story that in 30 episodes made us live the beautiful redwood forests and the woods of a green area of ​​the California where the destinies of different characters cross and chase each other. Among natives and tourists, at least a dozen, not counting the supporting actors: we are in one of those rural villages full of muscular machos like 7 brides for 7 brothers, but not a musical.

Virgin River una very romantic story played between Jack, the owner of the local inn (Martin Henderson) who becomes infatuated and then falls in love with the young nurse Melinda, called Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge), who arrived from Los Angeles to forget the pains of a widowhood and a failure maternity. But not just a romantic comedy with all its ups and downs, because Jack the hunk of the country and his ex, the shamrocker Charmaine thought it was serious; also a detective, because at a certain point someone shoots Jack and we still don’t know who the killer is but there are the usual suspects and the ugly gang that peddles, the ones who would have stolen cattle in a western.

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But not just a detective story either because there is also the constant bickering between Doc, the factotum doctor (Tim Matheson) and his longtime partner Hope, who boasts the gossip record, cannot keep his mouth shut and at the time of writing she was the victim of an accident of car (Covid actually blew her a season) and it is not known if and how she will recover. But not just a romantic and detective sit-com because there are also i folk moments in which the village rite of homemade tarts, tree climbing and water balancing on trunks is celebrated. But not only all this because Jack, who is expecting from his ex two twins, has flash back memories of the war in Iraq as in an Eastwood film and when he takes anguish here is that Virgin river also becomes a indictment of war and veterans’ pathologies, without transforming itself into a film of denunciation with a progressive stamp.

And then we also have the thriller, because Jack’s sister, also fleeing into the woods, falls in love with a good-looking bad boy, with good cinephile tastes (he loves The Sting) but with quick ways: he could be the one who tried to kill his brother. Finally there is also the young couple, the less interesting one, who begins to love each other, but she is sexually emancipated even if of a sub-zero intellectual level, he is attached to his grandmother, a helpless clumsy in front of the world, until he joins the Marines. Not only that, we also have an Afro-American in trouble, a father currently single, with a hidden wife, who struggles with his son and fears retaliation.

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In short, an index of stories and characters that make the tale attractive, here and there is repetitive, but very empathetic in developing atmospheres and characters, from the virile ones of fistfights (and here we fall into the pure western) to those of the chatter of women (Steel Flowers) who confide in everything and more while they work knit and lend a hand when they can, except for one, the woman-wasting milf who courts the doctor. Interpreted not as stars, but as first-rate actors – the women’s team wins, by far – the Virgin river series it makes us breathe good air and it does not claim to be an author’s work, it has only a literary ancestry (the novels of Robyn Carr), I believe, not from Nobel.

Yet you get attached to the characters, none innocent at all, we witness promises and abandonments, disappointments and illusions in a menage of the everyday where we return to the classic American poetics of the Little Town a la Thornton Wilder. That’s all. Small stories of life and above all of love, with a few too many melodramatic blows (because finally above all a mel) attractive in his elementary pursuit of people who every day pass through hells and paradises, always with whiskey and cigarettes at hand.

July 21, 2021 (change July 21, 2021 | 07:10)

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