Current Network Shows

NBC’s The Village: I’m Hooked Despite Myself

Catholic-perspective review of NBC drama The Village

NBC’s new ensemble drama “The Village” premiered at the end of March. And leading up to the premier, I saw the commercial for it countless times. 

I thought it looked like it might be a good uplifting, relationship-y drama, and I was eager to give it a try.

So my husband and I started watching the pilot, and by about half-way through it we were sort of like, “I feel kind of assaulted by drama right now…”

And yet, several weeks in, I’m surprised to find that I’m actually pretty hooked on the show.

The drama-heavy premise

 Like basically all ensemble dramas these days (and probably all ensemble dramas to come for years and years…), “The Village” seems to try and take a cue from “This Is Us” and offer interconnecting stories that make us cry and feel.

The problem from the get-go with this one is that it is SO MUCH DRAMA. 

The pilot introduces us to nine characters who all live in the same apartment building in New York and have become a sort of family.

But almost all of these characters are in the midst of huge personal crises in the pilot episode. 

We’ve got cancer, an unplanned pregnancy, a veteran who lost a leg on his last tour of duty, and a character who might get deported from the US, all in the first few minutes of screen time. Hence our feelings of being hit over the head. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love good drama in an hour-long show like this. But the speed at which these tear-inducing elements are introduced feels way too heavy. And yet…

I went back to this show

We didn’t finish the pilot and didn’t really feel strongly enough it to go back to it when we had plenty of other good options to watch.

But I decided to give it another shot a few weeks later, mostly because I wanted to see how the unplanned pregnancy plot played out (fun fact, the pregnant girl in this show is played by Grace Van Dien, who stared in the one script I wrote that was made into a movie…).

Near the end of the pilot, there’s a plot twist that I didn’t see coming that was intriguing enough to make me want to keep watching, especially since the unplanned pregnancy’s fate isn’t decided yet in this first episode.

And now, I’m seven episodes in.

The dramatic elements still feel heavy-handed at times, but the episodes after the pilot feel a lot more balanced and not nearly as BAM, DRAMA, BAM BAM!

There’s some uplifting stuff here…

I definitely wouldn’t go so far as to say this show is as all-around morally positive as “This Is Us,” but there are definitely some good elements.

The importance of family and helping those in need etc. is big here. 

But mostly I’m just talking about a storyline that eventually goes well for the pro-life position. Not to spoil it, but this one doesn’t make abortion look like it’s any kind of a good solution.

And some moral issues as well

It’s not perfect, by any means. It’s rated TV-14, and there are a couple scenes of sexuality that show more than is necessary. That’s my biggest complaint here, morally speaking. Though there’s also an occasional nod to the pro-homosexual agenda.

I’ll keep watching this one

Sometimes, this show is way too sappy for its own good – my husband keeps asking, when he hears the emotional music while he does homework nearby, “Is the cancer lady dying now?”

But most of the various plot lines are pretty engrossing and compelling.

On the whole, I feel like this show has more good than bad in it. Barring something unexpectedly bad popping up, I plan to keep watching it.