Fans of the hit Netflix thriller “Virgin River” who want something new to watch while they wait for the next season should check out “Sullivan’s Crossing” on The CW. It’s a romance story like mine, and it’s based on a book series by the same author, Robyn Carr.That being said, how do you know if you watch “Virgin River” or “Sullivan’s Crossing”? Or do you watch both? Before the Oct. 4 launch of “Sullivan’s Crossing” in the U.S., Variety asked Carr and Roma Roth, who is also the showrunner for “Sullivan’s Crossing” and an executive producer on “Virgin River,” to talk about the shows’ similarities and differences.
“Sullivan’s Crossing,” starring Morgan Kohan as Maggie Sullivan, a neurosurgeon who goes back to her child’s house during a professional scandal, is a Canadian thriller set in Nova Scotia. This makes it different from “Virgin River,” which is set in the U.S. but filmed in Canada. There, she meets her long-lost father Sully Sullivan (Scott Patterson) again and starts dating a visitor to a town named Cal Jones (Chad Michael Murray).
Netflix’s “Virgin River” is now in its fifth season. The show is about Melinda Monroe’s love life and career. She responds to an ad to work as a midwife and nurse practitioner in the small California town of Virgin River, thinking it will be the perfect place to start over and leave her painful memories behind. Carr told Variety that “Sullivan’s Crossing” starts off a bit more intensely and slowly than “Virgin River.” “Virgin River” goes very, very quickly. Also, “Sullivan’s Crossing” made me think of the first few episodes of “This Is Us.” It’s mostly about everyday life, and it’s a lot like a family story. We’re meeting a lot of new people, but some of them have been together for a long time. I’ve loved it so much. I believe they did a wonderful job. They added things I wish I had thought of, like the Native American part.
It was Roth’s choice to focus on the Indigenous people of Nova Scotia while keeping the storyline of Carr’s book version of “Sullivan’s Crossing.” Roth says that “Sullivan’s Crossing” is “a woman who is coming home to try and reconcile who she is now with who she was once,” which is a big difference between the two shows.
Roth said, “There’s more of a found-family dynamic, and her life has fallen apart. She’s now going back to a place she hasn’t been to in years to reconnect with friends, family, and an estranged father she hasn’t seen in years.” “There is a romance between Chad Michael Murray and our lead, Morgan Kohan, and it gives you all the feels you want from a romance story.” People still love the same things about the new show: drama, feelings, and characters you want to adopt as your own. And that you want to listen to once a week.”
Carr thinks that the strongest links between her romance books are the ones between the characters and the ties between people in the community.
The strong sense of community is one of the reasons why people read and watch my show so much, said Carr. “Your friends are very important to you. You’re not really part of the bigger group. After that, you’ll always look out for your friends, even if you don’t like them. Because you can’t live any other way.
“As a people, we’ve been looking for a strong sense of community for probably 20 years or more now.” I believe that’s what keeps us together and gives us hope.