The Village is a 2019 drama series brought to us by writer, producer Mike Daniels. As with many popular series on screen right now, it follows a string of dynamic characters and their complex relationships. We start mid-action with short scenes moving from character to character. Beginning with Katie, a high school teenager, sneaking out to cause mischief, we then meet Nick, who’s presumably in physical therapy. Soon we’re with Gabe and his girlfriend in the shower—things go sour quickly, and another scene change to Sarah speaking to Enzo in what seems to be a nursing home. We meet Ron, the super of the building, as he welcomes Nick to the building. Later on, we’re introduced to Ben and Patricia as they try to help Ava, who’s been detained by ICE. And we’re off! We’ve established many of the main characters and their connections to each other. Katie is Sarah’s daughter. Sarah works at the nursing home in which Gabe’s grandfather, Enzo, lives. Do I even need to say that they all live in the same apartment building? And yes, you guessed it, the name of the building is The Village.
What this pilot does well are inclusion and diversity. Each character speaks to its own audience. A military vet, the old man with a young spirit, a single mother, the mentor/parental figures, an immigrant mother and her young son, the black cop (often overlooked and underrepresented). The Village offers one major theme that typically resonates well with anyone: family. A family made of different colors, struggles, and perspectives that come through and show up no matter what. It boosts the ever so needed togetherness that our country needs right now. The flow is organic, and it elegantly reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly of living as “us.” Not to be confused with This is Us(though it does give me some of those vibes). What I appreciate about this show is the willingness amongst the characters to do right and support each other. Even more than that, it’s encouraging to see them recognize their actions as not always the best, choosing to own them and trying to be better in the next moments. Life comes at us hard, but living and growing through those tough times takes a village. See what I did there?
This type of multidimensional plot tends to be successful since, as we all know, life happens, and each new day brings with it a new set of circumstances, struggles, and experiences—many of which any audience can relate to. The connection between each passing scene and its respective characters are well established. This allows us to see each person as their own individual story or subplot. Excellent writing makes it easy for these actors to own their characters. With tremendous talents such as Lorraine Toussaint, Frankie Faison, Warren Christie, and Dominic Chianese, it’s no wonder this pilot is an excellent marriage of actor and script. It takes a story full of productive dialogue to move an actor past a role and into ownership. Ownership of the way this story finds its way to the audiences’ hearts. There are specific moments throughout that really define this pilot as one of the best in a while. NBC took their time developing this series, and it shows. The writing delivers meaningful jabs straight to the feels with just a few words. Like with our first scene between Sarah and Pop seated on the bed. Or how about when Ron sees Patricia on the roof. You can’t fake good dialogue. It flows rich with robust undertones of action and reaction.
This show will easily capture millions of viewers. Why? Because the characters are reflections of each audience member. It’s a building of underrepresented souls coming together as a unit. It’s inspiring, really. Or at least it is to me, but this is just the pilot we’re talking about, so let me not get too ahead of myself. I’ve seen my fair share of shows lose its potential after the first or second episodes. This pilot could be seen as a bit cliché. Just another drama of a bunch of people, overly supportive, and in some ways—perfectly flawed. Maybe it’s just another best worst-case scenario that will lose its authenticity. I don’t see it happening though, this show is coming for all the feels. It focuses on the differences of others in a way that brings us together. It reminds us that no matter what walk of life, we’re all a part of a more magnificent village. It’s our jobs as tenants of the building to extend a hand, encourage, and protect each other.
Family is where you find it. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://theknockturnal.com/exclusive-cast-talks-new-show-the-village-at-nbc-celebration/
The Village. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Village_(2019_TV_series)
The Village. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nbc.com/the-village/exclusives/love-is-the-thread