'The Village' review: NBC's family-driven drama shows how walls deserve to be broken down and love needs to be shared
You may be hesitant to watch 'The Village,' at first, for whatever reasons, but once you do, you will be glad you did.
Emotions are ballooned but not without necessity, so you are spared from tacky sadness, except in one or two instances, but then you overlook that because sadness makes sense in this family driven-drama.
Set to premiere on March 19, 'The Village' revolves around the residents of Brooklyn apartment who have their own personal stories to tell and battle, but they all come together as one triumphant family supporting each other through thick and thin. This may sound very preachy like a show devoted to make the world a better place and in a way you can argue it to be true since the series opens with a young girl sneaking out to vandalize a construction site and weave a crochet heart on the fence as a form of protest and a message to share the love. However, the show doesn't shy away from delivering authentic human emotion, which FYI, is never constant.
The young girl we meet first is Katie (Grace Van Dien), who is a pregnant teenager, just like her mother, Sarah (Michaela McManus), was when she delivered her. Sarah is a single mother, working as a nurse in a nursing home, where Enzo (Dominic Chianese), a senior citizen resides. Enzo's grandson, Gabe (Daren Kagasoff), is a young aspiring lawyer, who happens to be Sarah's neighbor. Gabe isn't allowed to practice law, but he helps his other neighbor, Ava (Moran Atias), tackle the ICE threat to be deported to Iran. Ava is arrested in the pilot episode for illegally staying in the country. But Ava is naive, she had no idea her abusive ex-husband had forged her papers, so her predicament is intense since her US-born son is left alone at home. But there's little to fret since a cop Ben (Jerod Haynes), also resides in the same building and takes on the responsibility to look after the kid for the time she's in prison.
Then there's the superintendent of the building, Ron (Frankie Faison) and his loving and adorable social-worker wife, Patricia (Lorraine Toussaint). They are so deeply in love that hashtag couple goals instantly pops into mind. Then enters Nick Porter, (Warren Christie) a war veteran who is moving to 'The Village,' after serving in the military and trying to settle down as a normal family guy. He has lost his left leg while serving the country and finds it difficult to take a run around the locality. He is accompanied by his furry friend, a German Shepherd, who like him is an amputee.
This two-paragraph long information introduces the core characters, and there are a few more we meet throughout the episodes, including Gabe's mean girlfriend.
With so many characters how do you establish the connection? Well, 'The Village,' does that rather smoothly. In the pilot episode itself, you end up caring about the lead characters. When Katie breaks the news of her pregnancy to her mother, you cannot help but deeply care about what are we going to do about it, or when Patricia does not get the good news she expects from her oncologists, you feel terrible and broken, when Ava is arrested by the ICE in front of her son, you wonder what is going to happen to the child, and when they all come together at the rooftop to welcome Nick to 'The Village,' you rejoice.
With the tagline that "love is a thread that connects us all," you see the importance the crochet heart plays to set the theme, and even Katie's rebellion makes sense in a world where walls deserve to be broken down and love needs to be shared. The characters are woven together like the crochet heart, where they cross paths to enhance the love and create a larger masterpiece and an epitome of what family is meant to be. It is a message to those who need it.
This will not be a show you wake up to, but the one you can lull yourself to sleep with, perhaps wet your pillow and contemplate about it the next morning.
The Village premieres on March 19, on NBC at 10/9c.