“Northern Rescue”,a new Netflix family drama starring Hollywood veteran William Baldwin has started streaming on Netflix in India. It talks about the trials and tribulations of the West family which suffers a devastating loss and in the event of that move into a small town to start a new life. The show is highly rated and is making waves all over the world.
Entertainment Journalist and Blogger Rahul Gupta caught up with Mark Bacci, the creator of the show where he discusses the inspiration behind creating a family drama and its relevance to audiences globally. Mark is a noted Hollywood writer and a leading faculty in film schools in the US.
1. What is the inspiration behind naming the show “Northern Rescue”?
Two fold. Rescue was a larger metaphor for this family and the town they are moving to, need as much help as the people John West will have to save. Also the idea of Northern made where we were going with the family to feel remote and far away.
2. In the crowd of family dramas, How is “Northern Rescue” offering a different viewing experience?
I personally don’t think the field is that crowded which is why we were green lit so fast. I think there is a hunger for family dramas. Our show brings a sense of hope to the world right now. Everyone can relate to tragedy, we’ve all experienced it, but how you deal with it as a community that really speaks to people. The West’s a relatable family, that as writers we have fun with, and that fun speaks to our audience.
3. I liked the relationship between Maddie and John, it is quite intense and reminds me of the chemistry between Shailene Woodley and George Clooney in “The Descendants”. Would you say that the narrative of the show hinges a lot on this relationship.?
Maddie is our inner voice to what the West family is going through. It’s really about her and her relationship to everyone around her, not just John. John and Maddie will have the biggest battles as they are the most headstrong. And with the big season one reveal, you’ll understand why they are so important to each other.
4. A major part of the story is dedicated to a family moving to a smaller town from a bigger city. Would you say that is a true reflection of our time?
I actually think it's the opposite. Small towns are dying, we need to find away to keep them alive. Incentives to have doctors, lawyers, teachers, to move to these towns, so it creates a stable network for families who choose to live a smaller quiet life. Big city is convenient, and its where people can make money.
5. In the writing of the West family characters, which character was the toughest to develop and why?
Charlie was the toughest for me. She was the one on the outside looking in, and I wanted to make sure Kathleen had a lot to do, as she’s a great actor.
6. John’s occupation is fascinating as a search and rescue commander, is his occupation playing a major role in who he is?
It’s his identity, something a lot of men his age face, I am what I do. This will be something we play with in season 2, as he comes to grips with possible limitations in the job.
7. India as a country has a major population living as joint families. Will it be fair to say that Indian audience will relate to the lives of the West family?
I really hope so. Our themes are universal.
8. As I watched the show I was extremely intrigued with the duels between Gwen and Maddie in the initial episodes. I was almost bowled over by Gwen’s one liners like “Like an STD you have come back again”. Gwen actually turns out to be quite a surprisingly interesting character? Was that done intentionally?
Yes. We wanted Maddie to have a nemesis who turns out to be her best friend. Someone Maddie has to keep up with. Gwen is a fun character.
9. Do you watch any Indian films or TV shows? If yes, then who is your favorite Indian actor and favorite Film/TV Show?
Unfortunately I don’t. But I’ll start, I promise.
10. Mark, please tell us about your future projects?
I just sold a show to Sony with Milas Kunis, and working on a fishing drama with Thomas Flanagan from Sons of Anarchy. Plus my book, A SIMPLE MAN, is finally being adapted into a movie.
11. Any message for the Indian viewers of “Northern Rescue” ?
Watch the show. Tell us how you feel. We believe the West will touch everyone, and there is something to learn from them.