New show, Rise, exceeds all expectations


As much as I hate to admit it, I am a binge watcher. Almost every month I find a new show to binge watch, ranging from Criminal Minds to The Office to Grey’s Anatomy. For the past month, I have been hooked on the new show from NBC, Rise. Although I am usually not a fan of the cheesy, high school drama, I must say, Rise has defied all of my expectations. With elements of humor, romance, music, and friendship, this show has taken me captive, and I can’t stop watching it.

So far, there have only been three episodes in this new series. It’s on every Tuesday night at 8:00 pm and centers around a high school English teacher who takes over the theater department. Instead of producing the typical production of Grease, he decides to take a different approach and produce the controversial musical, Spring Awakening. Along with being the new director and deciding to produce a provocative musical, he shocks everyone with casting the star of the football team as the lead. Over the course of the past few episodes, the cast has been preparing for the opening night, and as it happens in most TV shows, a few challenges arrive.

Playing the English teacher and new theater department director, Mr. Lou Mazzuchelli, Josh Radnor does a fantastic job. He embodies what every parent hopes to see in a teacher: drive, ambition, benevolence, and determination. Not only that, but he has a genuine care for each of his students; he tries to help them in any way he can. Other noteworthy characters are played by Auli’i Cravalho, Ted Sutherland, and Damon J. Gillespi, playing the roles of three students in the musical. Carvalho plays Lillette Suarez, Sutherland plays Simon Saunders, and Gillespie plays Robbie Thorne. The three characters play a key role throughout the show and provide comic and romantic relief when things get too intense.

In recent reviews, Rise has been compared to Friday Night Lights and Glee. In a sense, they are similar. Both shows have the idea that football is more important than anything else: music and the arts. The football coach and theater director butt heads and clash. However, Rise also has a different approach and differentiating features. Although football is a prominent figure, the arts are just as important. Mr. Mazzuchelli proves to the school this to the administration and as a result, more money is awarded to the department. Another thing that is different about this show is that Rise has a cheesier and more predictable plot. The plotline has predictable qualities and that is one of the few things that I don’t like about it.

But even though the plot line is predictable, the music throughout the show is phenomenal. I personally love listening to people sing, and in this show, each character has a great voice and listening to them sing makes me feel warm and happy inside.

Overall, the show is noteworthy and memorable. Every Tuesday, I look forward to the new episode. It’s comical but also heartwarming. I would 100% recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new show to binge watch.