NBC’s new show ‘Rise’ hits some high notes…and some flat ones

Don’t Stop Believin’

It’s been three years since “Glee” ended it’s run. The show introduced the world into how cool it was to be different, and to be yourself. It also made everyone and their brother want to join either musical theatre and/or show choir. Now, we have a gritty show that shows what musical theatre is really about. Here’s a gif that shows my reaction when it reminded me of “Glee” within five minutes:

“Rise” follows a high school drama teacher that takes over the department and wants to break barriers and shake up the social ecosystem. The show itself is based on a true story but it felt too close to what “Glee” was. Literally, the first episode was set up the same as “Glee” first episode was. I noticed it within the first ten minutes. You’re going to get that because it’s literally the same premise. A high school teacher tried to get students to break out of social norms and follow their hearts. It also doesn’t help that both advisors for the groups are extremely passionate about glee club and musical theatre. 

As a fan of “Glee,” I think it was rather too soon to try to capture what “Glee” brought to mainstream media and pop culture. Where “Glee” shined, “Rise” doesn’t seem to rise up to all that it can be. The pilot was rushed and really didn’t make sense. There are parts that are you can really see happening and then there are parts that would never happen in high school. Would high school student start a full-on rap verse during a pep rally?

There’s also just too much going on. Every character in the show has some sort of drama. If it wasn’t all shown in one episode, it the premiere would have been way better. Literally, you got every single character’s back story. Because of this, there wasn’t any satisfying conclusion to the premiere. It just felt like “oh, this happened.”

When I watched “Rise,” it felt like I watched it all before because it was set up like “Glee.” It tried too hard to not be like “Glee” when it should have been somewhere in the middle. Sure, it doesn’t seem like we will be getting new singles every fucking episode, which was annoying and grand at the same time, but it would be nice to hear some of the songs and if they will be any good. “Rise” just feels like a more mature and adult version of “Glee.”

It doesn’t have the magic of what “Glee” gave us and it takes itself a little too seriously. It’s fucking musical theatre. There’s no need to have it be like overly cutthroat. “Rise” was a bit too overdramatic. I just wish it was there were a little less drama and more comedy. It just needs to stop taking itself so seriously.

The Verdict

“Rise” doesn’t seem like it’s a bad show, but the first episode did little to build up to excitement to what pretty much was a gritty “Glee” reboot. Hopefully, it finds its footing in its short 10 episode season. My biggest complaint was that it felt like I have already seen it. If you have seen or was a fan of “Glee,” then “Rise” is something you will watch just for the nostalgia of “Glee.” If you didn’t see “Glee,” you will more than likely enjoy “Rise.”

“Rise” airs on NBC at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, after “The Voice.” That just screams ratings. That was sarcasm by the way.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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