‘Rise’ receives a round of applause

'Rise' receives a round of applause

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

When flipping through channels looking for a new TV drama, check out NBC’s new show, “Rise.” Featuring popular faces such as Auli’i Cravalho and Shannon Purser, “Rise” is giving the life of students a new perspective.

“Rise is a show about the struggles of everyday life, from students to teachers. It begins with English teacher Lou Mazzuchelli taking over the school’s theatre program, hoping to change the program for the better. When taking over, he replaced the previous director, Tracey Wolfe, and changed the play from “Grease” to “Spring Awakening.” Mazzuchelli rocks the program by replacing the current leads with a new duo, including football star Robbie Thorne, who develops chemistry with the female lead, Lilette Suarez. This causes rifts with the administration, who do not want to compromise their football star. In return, the students are forced to fight to keep the play alive, fighting for budget rights and the ability to put on a show with the play’s adult themes. The story follows each member of the theatre program, showing their own hardships and high school journey. Ranging from topics of alcohol abuse, sexuality, teenage pregnancies and more, the show highlights the real problems faced students by students. Tied together by the common love for the show, the students come together to put on a production, developing a sense of community along the way.

The show is very reminiscent of “Glee,” which sometimes leaves the storyline feeling unoriginal. “Glee” begins with Spanish teacher Will Schuester deciding to take over the Glee club. A diverse group of members were brought into the picture, following characters dealing with an array of serious problems. Football star Finn Hudson is recruited to join, with push-back from the football program, but continues to stay and fall in love with female lead, Rachel Berry. Sound familiar? The two plots are very reminiscent of each other, and while “Rise” is an enjoyable show to watch, many of the ideas are too similar for “Rise” to take credit for.

Despite the clear repetition, the show is redeemed by doing an excellent job at showing the internal conflict different people have and how they choose to deal with them. It shows that popular or unpopular, young or old, everyone has their ‘junk’ they deal with. This message spreads kindness as the audience realizes they need to be considerate of everyone because there’s something they’re going through.

Rise” is a drama that stands for itself. The show deals with real issues and a family atmosphere, leaving viewers rooting for the well-being of the theatre program and the students involved. The show deserves a standing ovation, leaving me to rate it four out of five stars. When looking for a new drama to keep up with, find NBC’s “Rise.”