I recently began watching NBC’s new show Rise. If we are being honest, I began watching because Josh Radnor (aka Ted Mosbey from How I Met Your Mother) is the main character. I was pleasantly surprised by the show. To me, it’s a mix between Glee, High School Musical and This is Us. How can it get better than that?
The series is inspired by the book “Drama High“ by Michael Sokolove, which focused on real-life teacher Lou Volpe and the famed theater program at Harry S. Truman High School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
The plot line of the show follows Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor), a high school English teacher in Stanton, Pennslyvania. The fictional town of Stanton is reaping the economic effects of the recent closing of the job and money supplying steel mill. Mr. Mazzou takes over and tries to revamp the drama program at Stanton High. He recruits the star football player to be the lead, and we all know that this will be met with adversity, conflicting schedules and drama like it did for our beloved East High Wildcat, Troy Bolton.
Like the Troy and Gabriella saga that we couldn’t get enough of, this new saga is between Robbie Thorne and Lillete Suarez (Auliʻi Cravalho,the voice of Moana). Robbie Thorne is the star football player that’ll take the team to states and Lillete is the shy, never been in a musical or sung in front of a crowd before, girl who works in a diner with her mom.
This show breaches LGBTQ issues, following one transgender student and one not so openly gay student who lives in a very religious catholic house. The show also encounters students living situations such as foster children, divorce, adultery and alcoholism… woah that’s a lot to take in.
I like shows like this because it introduces new young stars to the industry and consumers. Shows with well-known actors are all fine and they sell well because of the adverting but I like when new people come into the industry and get to make a name for themselves.
So far so good, but I can tell that we are in for a wild ride at Stanton High with Ted ah excuse me, Mr. Mazzou.
Rise is on NBC Tuesdays and on the NBC app online.