Critical Condition: Rise

Rise | Lightbox, from Wednesday


➢ “Rise is a season-long backstage drama about a high school production of the musical Spring Awakening. That it is inspired by a work of nonfiction – Michael Sokolove’s Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater – does not keep it from being cliched and corny, and that it is cliched and corny does not mean that it fails to do its job. Created by Jason Katims, who ran Friday Night Lights and created Parenthood, and Jeffrey Seller, a producer of Hamilton, it wants you to feel, by gad, and feel you will.” — Los Angeles Times.

➢ “As TV has aggressively expanded its scripted output, it’s begun to lean hard on that entertainment-industry standby: ‘Appealing kids put on a show’ Rise, a moderately winning drama that follows those familiar contours, will instantly draw comparisons to Glee, though it eschews that program’s slick sheen and barbed sarcasm. It also contains parallels to everything from Lady Bird to the retro Netflix comedy Everything Sucks!” — Variety.

➢ “NBC has been aggressively pitching its new musical drama Rise as the love child of Friday Night Lights and Glee. There’s some truth in that advertising, but Rise is one of those stubborn shows that takes its sweet time refining its voice. The network made all 10 first season episodes available to critics, and by the end, Rise felt very close to the show it aspires to be. Getting there, however, requires weathering at least half a season of choppy pacing, unconvincing character introductions and an ostensible hero who is far more unlikable than the show initially believes.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “Rather than spinning the high-school drama — or even the high-school musical drama — forward, Rise feels like a rehash, a collection of stories we’ve already seen, presented with a slightly darker palette … The more you watch, the more the series irons out some of its kinks, but overall Rise takes too few risks.” — USA Today.

➢ “Earnestness, sincerity, and optimism are all precious commodities in a culture overrun with snark, but the new drama series Rise reaches for profundity and comes up empty too many times to merit an A for effort (or a B, or, well, you’ll see). Created by Friday Night Lights and Parenthood head Jason Katims (which makes the blunt character-building all the more jarring), NBC’s follow-up (and potential successor) to This Is Us feels equally manipulative as it constantly mines for our tears.” — IndieWire.

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One Response to “Critical Condition: Rise”

  1. I hope Oculus Go goes on sale in New Zealand, then Lightbox may do a app for it. Besides, I think every New Zealand home deserves one. Yes, I’m highly addicted 🙂

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