Thursday, March 28, 2019

Pilot Review: The Village

The Village (NBC)
Premiered March 19 at 10pm

There are certain shows that premiere and aren’t typical procedurals but still feel very much attributable to a particular genre. This one, which aired right after “This Is Us,” feels entirely influenced by that show and the type of following it has amassed. It’s a show that’s designed to pull at the heartstrings with affecting storylines and an inundation of sentimentality that’s probably not necessitated. Interestingly, this show resembles a sitcom in many ways, though it’s definitely put together as a drama instead. It’s strange to think that there would be an apartment building in New York of all places that could actually have people like this who value each other over anyone and anything else. Getting beyond that questionable premise, this show contains many recognizable soapy traits, like a mysterious military man who happens to be the father of one of the residents and the ex of another resident. I was trying to figure out where I knew Michaela McManus from him, and it’s not more recent parts on “Aquarius” or “Awake” but instead her first television credit: “One Tree Hill.” I also couldn’t place Warren Christie from his recurring role on “The Catch,” but I did immediately identify Lorraine Toussaint from “Orange is the New Black” and Frankie Faison from so many things, most recently “Luke Cage” and “Banshee.” It’s been a while since I’ve seen Dominic Chianese, who just turned eighty-eight, who I’m reminded has appeared in a few recurring TV parts since his career-defining role as Uncle Junior in on “The Sopranos.” Since I’m not in the market for another show that feels too melodramatic, I won’t be tuning back into this one.

How will it work as a series? Nick being Katie’s father wasn’t the only secret revealed in this premiere, and there’s sure to be plenty more mentioned and then accidentally repeated in each episode, as these residents put their lives on hold for each other any time they need to. It could be endearing to watch, but it hardly feels urgent or vital to do so after this premiere.
How long will it last? Debuting after “This Is Us” makes it so clear what NBC is hoping for with this show, though I don’t think it’s going to get it. The ratings were decent enough, giving this show a win in its timeslot, but the reviews pale in comparison, which suggests that this won’t be able to gain the same loyal fan base as NBC’s established hit. I think it will be done after this season.

Pilot grade: C

No comments: