Tuesday night’s episode of “The Village” (8 p.m.) marks the seventh of its 10-episode order — and series creator Mike Daniels has a plan for Season 2 if NBC renews the midseason ensemble drama.
“There are a bunch of things that are tied up by [episode] number 10 and a number of storylines that are left open-ended,” says Daniels (“Shades of Blue,” “Sons of Anarchy”). “One of the fun parts of the show is that we’ve only met a handful of residents of what is a very large [apartment] building, so every season would be an opportunity to bring in new characters and new storylines.”
Thus far, “The Village” has focused on nine core characters of a Brooklyn apartment building (called The Village) who run the gamut from octogenerian grandfather Enzo Napolitano (Dominic Chianese) to 17-year-old high-schooler Katie Campbell (Grace Van Dien), who’s pregnant and just learned that the building’s battle-scarred war vet (Warren Christie) is also her real father — who’s rekindled his romance with Katie’s mom, Sarah (Michaela McManus). There’s also social worker Patricia (Lorraine Toussaint), who’s battling cancer, and Iranian refugee Ava (Moran Atias), who’s run afoul of ICE.
That’s a lot of melodrama, which has sparked feelings, in some quarters, that “The Village” is too soapy. “I think if people are saying the show is making them feel something then I feel like we did something right,” says Daniels. “If you go and watch a horror movie it’s designed to make you jump, and an action film is designed to make your heart race.
“If you’re going to tell the story of a family and the people living their lives there’s a lot of emotion to that,” he says. “Our hope isn’t to manipulate, it’s to help the audience feel what the characters are feeling.
“I’m a huge fan of big family dramas and always have been,” he says, citing “The Wonder Years” as a big influence. “A part of what sets ‘The Village’ apart, as someone who lives in a big city and is far away from most of my immediate family, is that it’s a family drama yet nobody is related to each other — there’s a hierarchy, a diversity of age groups and stories that are compelling to grandparents, partners, children … they all have that connection yet each of them has a completely distinct family and history that the others aren’t necessarily privy to.”
Daniels, who’s been married to McManus since 2011 (they have two young sons), is asked about working with his wife on a network television show. “This is the first time I’ve been the boss,” he says. “I met Michaela on ‘One Tree Hill,’ but we didn’t start dating until quite a bit later. We both understand the other’s job so well that it was really never a conflict. I’m her biggest fan and I like to think she’s mine.”
If anything, Daniels says his relationship with McManus is why New York City plays such a key role in “The Village.” (The series was shot at Broadway Studios in Greenpoint and on location around Brooklyn and Manhattan.)
“When I first started dating my wife we were long-distance and I hadn’t lived in New York City on a permanent basis but I fell in love — which made me love New York City,” he says. “I also think New York City is a great place to set a show because it’s a metropolis that has a small-town vibe to it —it’s a dense city yet you run into people you know on the street.”