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The ABC drama Ten Days in the Valley has a pretty interesting approach, taking ten episodes to lay out its suspicion-fueled mystery, with each episode covering a different day of the ongoing case. So it makes sense that the creative team would want to pack as much stuff into the episodes as possible, and when CinemaBlend recently spoke with Ten Days in the Valley star Malcolm-Jamal Warner about the show, he told me that fans should expect this densely structured narrative to keep gaining momentum as the weeks go by.
The more you get into it, the more layers are uncovered. You know, there's a big question that gets answered by the end of the third episode, but you're still engaged, because that big question turns out to be just a small part of the big picture.
It's no secret that there have been many TV series over the years whose central storylines were completely derailed when a big piece of the puzzle was revealed too early, without enough narrative hooks to keep the story interesting. But while Ten Days in the Valley may be answering a "big question" in Episode 3, the show has already laid out a foundation full of questionable characters and relationships that can be mined for even more shock-laden drama in the future. Viewers might consider the series to be all about a kidnapping case, but it's as much about Kyra Sedgwick's complicated TV creator Jane Sadler as it is about her missing daughter.
Having seen the first half of the season, I can attest to the mystery getting deeper and more widespread after Episode 3, even though it wouldn't necessarily seem that way. And there's a pretty solid reason for how the show can keep audiences interested, as Malcom-Jamal Warner tells it.
I think the fact that everyone has some dirt on them. There's no one character, except maybe the little girl who goes missing, who has a squeaky clean slate.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner's character Matt currently looks like he's just a solid writer dedicated to following Jane's vision with her intel-inspired cop drama, but as the actor says, nobody in this show is wholly innocent in their personal lives. As such, fans can definitely expect to see him get his hands dirty in some ways in the future, along with everyone else.
That kind of character dynamic is apparently what interested Malcolm-Jamal Warner when it came to joining the Ten Days in the Valley cast, which also includes former Walking Dead star Emily Kinney, Parenthood vet Erika Christensen, and Lost vet Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Warner, who has put in stints on shows like Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story and American Crime Story, told me this:
I love being able to play characters that have layers to them, and that was one of the things that attracted me to this character. He's not your straight-up nice guy as you may think from the onset. So it's fun being able to play those kinda roles.
Warner also told me that he would be "always be down to work with" the cast and crew from Community, should Dan Harmon & Co. ever get a feature film off the ground, so let's hope that happens one day. As far as Ten Days in the Valley goes, though, fans can keep digging through the layers every Sunday night on ABC at 10:00 p.m. ET. To see everything else coming to the small screen in the near future, head to our fall TV premiere schedule.