For the creative team and the stars of The Republic of Sarah from The CW, the drama is about highlighting ordinary people who do extraordinary things.
Creator / showrunner / executive producer Jeffrey Paul King joined director Kat Candler and lead actors Stella Baker and Luke Mitchell to tease the new CW drama and discuss how its portrayals of the community resonated with pandemic audiences can find.
“It all comes from a place of compassion and kindness and it feels so necessary and needed now,” Candler said. “That’s something I love so much about this show.”
Faced with the devastation of her town by a greedy mining company, rebellious history teacher Sarah Cooper (Baker) uses an obscure cartographic loophole to declare her independence. Now she must lead a young group of misfits who are trying to start their own country from scratch.
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The Republic of Sarah cast, which includes Ian Duff, Hope Lauren, and Nia Holloway, touted the less than perfect characters in the drama. Unlike a number of other characters who inhabit The CW’s boardroom board, the citizens of Greylock don’t have superpowers to help save their city – instead, they have to rely on their ambition to instigate change in their community, Holloway said .
“Most of the changes happen in real life just like they do on the show,” she said of the on-screen community effort.
When King spoke of his original story, he linked the situation of the Sarah Republic to the early days of America and found that it was only ordinary people who eventually made the nation. Baker added that the series draws on the human actions of its characters in an attempt to redefine what exactly “extraordinary” can mean.
“Everyone is normal until you just try to do something – something that has never been done before,” she said. “This really is the show – it’s not about being extraordinary, it’s just about standing by something and fighting for it.
The show’s in-depth approach to encouraging change in its own community, however, wasn’t the only aspect of making the series something audiences can relate to. King and Candler stated that the show’s punk aesthetic also made the drama seem more realistic.
Unlike other series, which show characters in polished clothes and new, glamorous outfits in each episode, The Republic of Sarah takes a less “shiny” approach to storytelling, King said.
“It felt like something I would like to see on TV. As we all know, TV can be very shiny and perfect at times, and I think it’s hard for viewers to see themselves in it when characters are in 7-inch stilettos, “he said. “Our characters are real people.”
The Republic of Sarah team closed the panel by teasing what’s in store for the series’ freshman season. They listed heartbreak, touching teenage stories and “just so many mistakes”.