‘Rise’ shined bright but fell like a shooting star during it’s first season

Don’t Stop Believin’ until your Totally Fucked

When I originally reviewed the NBC television, “Rise,” I gave it a 3 out of 5 and called it a gritty reboot of “Glee.” Now that its first, and only, season is over. I thought it was time to give some final thoughts on “Rise” now that I have seen all the episodes. It’s time to talk about “Rise.”

The show follows a new teacher and his drama club as they put on a controversial play in a conservative town in Pennsylvania. As they get ready to perform “Spring Awakening,” the show also covers all the crap that is going on in their lives. Sexual Abuse, self-acceptance, living in a foster home, teen pregnancy, and just living in a small mind town is what this show covered. 

“Rise” improved after the first episode. It grew and improved to stand on its own two feet and not just be a gritty reboot of “Glee.” It’s rather unfortunate that “Rise” won’t be returning for a second season. I understand and get why but this is the kind of show that is needed. It was extremely depression for most of the episodes. And most of the character had to grow on you. I didn’t like the main teacher until the very last episode. The only characters I truly liked from start to finish was Simon and Gordy.

The storylines for the show was stereotypical and predictable to a certain degree. By the time they turned away from being stereotypical, you got uninterested in them. I do give them props for the way they handled their LGBTQA storylines. They were handled in a way that wasn’t expected and done before on TV, especially on network television. I was invested in them and I would like to know what happened to them after it all ended.

I think if “Rise” didn’t start to find its footing until halfway in, there probably would be a second season. But it lost people with the lack of interesting storylines in the beginning. “Rise” wasn’t a bad show. It was just one that was ahead of its time. I hope there is a chance that it will get saved because I would like to know what is happened after the finale. The finale was depressing. It wasn’t the way that the show should have ended.

The Verdict

“Rise” is a good show. It just took too long to get good. By the time it did, it was too late. I do recommend the show if you are just looking for something to watch. It’s only 10 episodes so it won’t eat up a lot of your time. I only improved my rating by .5 just because it suffered from growing pains and it was bad.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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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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Singing reality shows need to end


It was recently announced that NBC was looking into picking up the dead ship called American Idol and bringing it back up from its shallow grave. For those who have literally been living under a rock for the last year, American Idol ended its dumpster fire like show last April by crowning the last American Idol, who realistically wasn’t an idol because most Americans didn’t watch the show. This raised much questions into what will become of “The Voice,” who’s ratings are currently down to begin with. And I have the perfect solution to the both issue: Drop both shows and move on.

Ever since people realized that they can get famous online, singing shows like that have been becoming more and more obsolete. The only reason “America’s Got Talent,” which should be cancelled to begin with, is that it’s more than just singing. There is more to offer there. American reality shows like that aren’t popular anymore. Look at the United States’ version of “The X Factor,” it’s extremely popular in other countries. The U.K. Version has been going strong since 2004. But it was an utter failure here in the States. The reason the American version didn’t last because there was too many reality shows in the market of singing competition, also because it was rather confusing. There was multiple categories with each judge having one but yet there was one winner. Didn’t make sense if you had no background info into how it worked. There wasn’t a way to get the causal viewer flipping through the commercials to get into the show.  You go to “American Idol” and “The Voice” and you get all competing for the same goal with no categories. Simple and make sense to everyone, including people flipping through channels. The American version of “The X Factor” should have adapted more to fit the audience.

Perfect example is when Big Brother came over from across the pond. The first season was literally taken from the British version of the game. The rating sucked because there was nothing keeping the viewers invested into the show. So for the second season, they add the HOH, Head of Household, competition and such and it became a hit and so much more interesting. There was a reason to get invested into the show because it got more drama and you wanted to see the backstabbing and the gameplay.

NBC needs to cut their losses and just move on and forget about picking up the dead ship. They just to focus on making “The Voice” more interesting because let’s be real for a moment: how many times can you see them flip their chairs around before it gets old.  “American Idol” was a good show for a couple of seasons, but shows need to adapt and change it up in order to stay competitive in the ratings. “Idol” never did that. The concept grew old and it would never survive in this day and age again, no matter who is the judges.

Have an opinion on the matter or just want to tell us that we aren’t going to Hollywood? Let us know in the comments below or tweet @Steven_Kaufman using #PopProject. Also make sure you follow us for more.

Hairspray Live!


Last night, Hairspray Live! came onto our Televisions and brought as back to an era where TVs weren’t in HD, Integration was a thing of wonders, and Corny Collins was the more talented version of Ryan Seacrest-let’s be real for a moment,what talent does Seacrest really have? I watched it and was in shock and awesome of it. Now, it’s time to review the nicest kids in town and NBC’s live production of Hairspray.Now for this review, it will be broken down into two sections: The production and the program.


The Production

The production of “Hairspray” was rather entertaining. It was really well done. If you were familiar with the 2007 movie version, it was similar experience to that but more faithfully to the broadway version, like it should be. It definitely had a more even story and didn’t leave out part like in the movie. The broadway version is way better than the movie. The casting of the roles were great for the most part. The only part that seemed not to be casted right was Garrett Clayton as Link. He didn’t do a bad job but his delivery wasn’t the best and seemed awkward at time. Dove Cameron was the sleeper hit of the show. She killed it with her vocals and acting.

Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson, and Ariana Grande were the powerhouses of the show. Their vocals were on fleek and were showcased the best out of all the cast. Jennifer Hudson literally slayed with her performance of “I know Where I’ve Been” and her duet with Ariana Grande at the end of the show. Like she made the world cry with her.

Let’s talk about Derek Hough and how he was probably the best Corny Collins ever. Is there anything him and his sister, Julianne Hough, can’t do? They are like genetically gifted siblings that I’m pretty sure were made in a lab. He like transformed into him and the role showcased him the best out of everyone. We need to get Derek Hough hosting a show. He was the best.

Maddie Bailie did a wonderful job as Tracy. You could never tell that this was her first big break. Her vocals may have not been the greatest things in the world in some of the songs, but they were on par with her predecessors.

Overall, the production was on par with all the other versions of Hairspray and is one of the best productions that NBC has done.

The Program

This is the part where NBC loses brownie points. While I understand and give them credit for trying something new, it wasn’t something they should do ever again. I pretty much just wanted to watch the musical. I didn’t want to see them in golf carts or behind the scenes. I also didn’t want to see live remotes from different parts of the country watching. It took away from the production itself. It didn’t make any sense to have Darren Criss host either, it was so random. They might as well have Derek do it because that more sense. They should have just had the production stand on its own and not add any fluff to it.

The program is what held the production back.

Overall, The production was amazing but the program let down the entire product. Hopefully, the production is all that is given in the DVD version and not the fluff that didn’t add anything to the product.

Have an opinion on Hairspray Live? Let us know in the comment below or tweet @Steven Kaufman using #PopProject