By Christian Holub
February 09, 2019 at 05:17 PM EST

The world can be a scary place right now, and The Village understands that. When the new NBC drama debuts this March, some of its characters will have to deal with the threat of ICE, as well as their own pained pasts. But The Village, which revolves around the close-knit inhabitants of a Brooklyn apartment building, also has a hopeful message to offer alongside its examination of real-world problems.

“It was a show that would be very grounded and feel very real, but would have this underlying hopefulness to it, that I think was very important for me to get out there in the world right now,” creator Mike Daniels told EW in an exclusive video at the 2019 SCAD aTVfest this weekend. “It’s about community. It’s a little strange that that kinda feels revolutionary right now, to tell a show that’s about community and about love and about hope, but doesn’t feel sentimental or schmaltzy. I think they’re very real problems.”

The cast members also gave brief introductions to their characters. Lorraine Toussaint plays Patricia, a social worker who is “the den mother/dorm mom of the building. Everyone comes to Patricia with good news, bad news, and everything in-between.” Michaela McManus plays Sarah Campbell, whose “greatest focus in life, and the thing she’s most proud of, is raising her daughter Katie.” Grace Van Dien plays Katie, “a teenager who, like her mom, is a pregnant teenager. She learned how to crochet, which is her form of art, through Patricia.” Warren Christie plays Nick Porter, “a veteran returning from Afghanistan. This is new to him, this family dynamic of everybody coming into your business, and it’s a bit hard for him at first. Eventually they all start to wear him down, and try and help lift him up and help him heal.”

“Ultimately, people are here for you,” Daniels said, summarizing the gist of the show.

Watch the full video above, and stay tuned to EW.com for more coverage of the 2019 SCAD aTVfest.

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