THE VILLAGE – PILOT
Brought to us by creator Mike Daniels, NBC introduces new drama “The Village”. With a mix of established and upcoming actors, the show has a lot of promise and heart from the moment the episode starts. Taking place in a neighborhood in Brooklyn, specifically an apartment complex aptly titled The Village, it follows the lives of its residents and how all their stories intertwine.
*SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading if you haven’t watched*
Rebel Just for Kicks
Our pilot starts with a teenage girl making a grand escape out the fire escape window, as Portugal the Man’s hit “Feel it Still” sets the mood in the background. The music seems fitting, but we don’t know where she is headed yet. It screams adventure and I want a part of it! We see her stop at a fenced in construction site where she cuts into fencing and begins to weave … yarn? She steps back to admire her artwork… it’s a red heart.
The next morning, she comes back to the scene, her own admiration joined by plenty of onlookers, as a construction officer alerts her she’s been caught on camera and they’re calling her principle. This might be the coolest type of vandalism I’ve ever seen. I’m both intrigued and wanting to learn how to crochet so I can do something similar!
We cut scenes again, this time to a Veterans Hospital physical therapy room. There is a veteran at one of the machines; he’s an amputee. The nurse reminds him that he’s leaving today, to which he agrees. She expresses concern for him, they share a little banter and he thanks her. A show after my own heart.
Welcome to the Neighborhood
We see the first complex sign of the Village. Its an early morning and the sun is casting on the sign. It seems warm and happy.
Then it’s a passionate shower scene between a young couple, cut short by a phone going off. The girlfriend is annoyed when the boy reaches for it; the phone says it’s his ‘Pops’. The girlfriend makes a comment and our scene jumps again, this time to an assisted living home where a nurse enters the room of two men. She’s asking where he’s hiding drugs, as another resident was “high as a kite’. The man denies it. She tells him to wake his roommate up; he says he can’t. The man has died.
The nurse sits with Enzo, and they have a short conversation before she gets a phone call and must leave. The nurse, Sarah, is almost out the door as the boyfriend from the shower scene comes in with cough medicine for Enzo. He asks why they don’t stock it there and she tells him that he’s selling it. As much as the scene was a rollercoaster of emotions, the humor was on par. Hilarious.
The boy, Gabriel follows his grandfather out of the home and into a coffee shop. They bicker, it’s clear that Gabriel and Enzo have a complicated relationship. Gabriel reminds him he’s in law school and he’s busy. Enzo tells him he doesn’t want to live in the home anymore and he wants to live with him. Gabriel reminds him that he’s got a one-bedroom apartment and a girlfriend. Enzo is unhappy with his response. Enzo’s quick witted and determined. I bet he gets into a ton of trouble as the season goes on.
“You’re under this roof, you’re family.”
Back to the Village, our veteran is outside in a cab, looking at the complex. The cab driver thanks him for his service, to which he doesn’t answer. A man exits the building and addresses the veteran as Staff Sergeant Porter and he tells him Nick is fine. He is Ron, the Village super there to welcome him in. Ron is loud and happy, someone you want to be around. You can’t help but like him.
“You’re under this roof, you’re family.” As they enter, Ron tries to thank him for his service as well. Nick explains that while they mean well, it sounds like he’s ordering a latte. He asks Nick how he lost his leg. Nick says an IED took out his Humvee. He was the only one to survive and e says the only reason he survived was because of a bomb dog named Jedi, who protected him. There seems to be much more to this story, but we don’t get many details. I sense some foreshadowing…
Ron tells him he owns a small bar, called Smalls and tells him he needs a bartender. Nick says no, but Ron is persistent. He tells him he should see the neighborhood and check out the bar. The two exit as our screen switches to a school.
At the school, Sarah the nurse and her daughter, Katie, the one who made the heart, argue. The daughter says that she vandalized the site because they’re building a corporate location for a missile manufacturer there and she doesn’t want it in her “backyard”. Sarah is frustrated, when Katie suddenly grabs her purse and throws up into it. She tells her she’s pregnant. They argue in the bathroom while she cleans it, and it continues outside until Katie asks if she’s judging her when she made the same mistake. Sarah was a teenage mother. They are able to calm down and have a “do over”. This time they embrace and hug. You get the impression that the two of them are very close and they’ve only had each other.
A police officer patrols the neighborhood and sees a woman he knows being questioned by members of ICE. The officer, Ben, interrupts and he asks what is happening. The officers have a warrant for Ava’s arrest; they believe she is illegal even though she swears otherwise. Both live in the apartment building, too. A little boy exits the building, Sammy. He is her son. Ben tells her he must go with them, but he’ll watch over Sammy and they’ll get it figured out. She tells him to call Patricia.
We briefly are introduced to Patricia, who is in a doctor’s office waiting room when she receives the call from Ben. He asks her to get down to immigration; she says she will as soon as she’s done with her “meeting”. They hang up and the doctor comes in, she asks, “Good news?” The screens cuts again.
Sarah and Katie are taking a pregnancy test. Its positive and Sarah asks if she knows who the father is. They argue briefly, but then discuss options. Katie seems set on abortion, as she believes she ruined her mother’s life by coming into it. Sarah says otherwise, but Katie isn’t convinced. She believes her life could’ve been so much more without her. Sarah gets called away and Katie leaves though this conversation clearly hurts them both.
At the immigration center, Ava meets with Patricia. She tells her she’s been living here ten years and pays taxes and gave birth here. Patricia tells her that her papers were forged. Ava says she has no idea how. Her ex was the one to file it all.
Enzo escapes the home with two friends. Nick and Ron go to the bar where Ron tells him the history just before Enzo enters with his friends. Ron tells them that he’s a veteran and all three of them salute him and tell them they also served. Nick doesn’t stop them and salutes back. The moment is tender and sweet. It’s a moment of respect and understanding.
Back at the home, Sarah is hiding in a utility closet where she finds a resident smoking. They discuss why Katie is unhappy with her and the resident says that the man who died that morning’s grandson is in the home packing up his things. She tells him that he’s cute and she should go introduce herself. She can be a great mother and still have a romantic life.
Ben loses Sammy and then Patricia tries to convince Gabriel to take Ava’s case. He reminds her that he’s not yet a lawyer. We learn that Patricia is a social worker and that as their neighbor, it’s both their duties to help her. Gabe gets a text saying someone is using his credit card, but promises he’ll try and help.