It’s been a while since a new show absolutely enthralled me, so I was actually very excited for last night’s premiere of RISE on NBC.
I am a sucker for musicals. I love high school drama. I love Friday Night Lights and This Is Us…this show had all the ingredients of something I’d love.
And, ok, RISE is not bad. It’s actually relatively good, but let’s look at a synopsis –>
RISE stars Regular Joe teacher, Lou Mazzuchelli aka Lou Mazzu (aside: can we discuss how amazing this name is?) who aspires to take over his school’s struggling drama department. Also in the cast of characters includes the star football player with a hidden talent, a queen bee, a newcomer with an amazing voice, the kid with the overly strict parents, the disapproving school staff, and the skeptical spouse.
Now, if you’re reading this and thinking, “Hmm…this all seems oddly familiar. Didn’t someone do this show already?” You’re absolutely right. And it was called Glee.
RISE is essentially Glee filmed with Friday Night Lights-style cinematography. For the entire 40-some odd minutes I honestly just sat there and laughed at the similarities. And Glee definitely went off the rails relatively quickly, but you cannot deny that the pilot and the front 13 of the first season was immensely quality television. Comedy with heart. A ragtag group of kids who learn to love and respect each other while doing something they all love.
First things first, Josh Radnor cannot carry a show. I’m sorry. I do not understand why he keeps getting cast as a lead.
Secondly, granted, I went to Catholic school and our school plays consisted of a rotating schedule of Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, but is Spring Awakening like legitimately performed in high schools? It’s an AMAZING show, do not read me wrong. But this seems hella, super risque, especially for a school. And the fact that Lea MIchele aka Rachel Berry originated the role of Wendla is also just a fun coincidence.
Thirdly, if Robbie doesn’t have some variation of this conversation this season, I’ll eat a handful of Carolina Reapers:
Adult: But, you’re throwing away your dream!
Robbie: No. I’m throwing away YOURS.
Fourthly and tangently, RISE going the “we’re-going-to-blackmail-the-QB-into-auditioning” angle, it made me think of Finn and Will and the Chronic Lady and I got all sentimental because first season Glee, man…
For the remaining 10 episodes, I just hope that RISE separates itself from Glee and goes more the FNL route. I definitely think this show has potential and I am very much looking forward to hearing Spring Awakening music every week. I trust you, Jason Katims, but if you kill off Ted Mosby’s wife I will drop you like it’s hot.
Did you watch the RISE premiere? Any thoughts?