Virgin River is finally back for its fifth season, and I'm thrilled to say it doesn't disappoint. Under new showrunner Patrick Sean Smith, the show moves at a faster pace than in previous seasons, while staying true to its roots. (There are no time jumps in case you were wondering.) New characters enter the picture without feeling forced, and your most pressing questions from season four will get answered, all while creating new mysteries and events to ponder.
But as idyllic as the town of Virgin River is, this season isn't immune to the devastation that's been happening in cities all over the world as a wildfire erupts and threatens everyone's lives. It almost feels too close to home—I, for one, watch VR for an escape—but when this major event does happen, it's handled delicately enough with a strong focus on the characters, propelling various storylines forward for seasons to come.
Of course, there are plenty of soap opera-fueled moments too: Who is the father of Charmaine's twins? And just how ballistic is Jack going to react when he actually processes that he's been lied to for months?
The end of the season (or at least these 10 episodes; two more will roll out after Thanksgiving) brings so many surprising and shocking developments that you'll be counting down to November 30 immediately. I'll be here to break it all down with you later this week.
With that, check out the full guide to this week below. I'll see you back here next Sunday for my favorite new rom-com of the year, Love at First Sight, and the third season premiere of The Morning Show.
Wednesday, September 6
The Little Mermaid (Disney+): Disney’s live-action reimagining of the animated musical classic will premiere on Disney's streaming site today. Subscribers will also be able to access special bonus content, including Javier Bardem as King Triton performing the song “Impossible Child” with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King as Eric, Daveed Diggs as the voice of Sebastian, Awkwafina as the voice of Scuttle, Jacob Tremblay as the voice of Flounder, Noma Dumezweni as The Queen, Art Malik as Sir Grimsby, with Bardem as King Triton, and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula. Streaming
Thursday, September 7
Virgin River (Netflix): The first 10 episodes drop today, followed by two more holiday-themed episodes on November 30. Check back here on Friday. I'll be listing the best theories about what happens next once you've seen the finale. Streaming
Friday, September 8
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 (Focus Features): The highly anticipated third film was written and directed by Nia Vardalos. It stars Vardalos alongside John Corbett, Louis Mandylor, Elena Kampouris, Maria Vacratsis, Andrea Martin, Elias Kavacas, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone, and Melina Kotselou. According to Vardalos, "We filmed our family reunion entirely in Greece which was thrilling for us all. Plus, we ate for free."
Sitting in Bars with Cake (Prime Video): Think Firefly Lane meets Beaches with a side of dessert, and you get Sitting in Bars with Cake, a coming-of-age drama starring Yara Shahidi, Bette Midler, Ron Livingston, and standout newcomer Odessa A'zion. Just one word of advice: Keep the tissues close by. Streaming
Guiding Emily (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries): Sarah Drew’s newest film, in which she plays Emily, a young woman whose life changes after losing her eyesight. To make matters more complex, her guide dog, Garth, struggles with training. With the help of Emily’s friend Matthew, and Garth’s trainer Katie, both make headway in their important transitions and feelings develop between Matthew and Emily. Starring Sarah Drew, Antonio Cupo, and Eric McCormack. 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Blue Fox Entertainment): Based on Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s best-selling YA novel, the story centers on the friendship between two teenage Mexican-American boys in 1987 El Paso. The film stars Max Pelayo and Reese Gonzales as well as Eugenio Derbez, Eva Longoria, Veronica Falcón, and Kevin Alejandro. In theaters
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour senior West Coast editor and author of the New York Times best-selling book The Big Bang Theory: The Definitive, Inside Story of the Epic Hit Series.
Originally Appeared on Glamour