Mid-season network shows can often be very hit-and-miss, but there was good reason to suspect Rise would make the grade. A new high school series from the creator of Friday Night Lights sounds like an easy win, and gets better when you add in a musical spin, the producer of Hamilton, and a cast including Josh Radnor and Moana's Auliʻi Cravalho.
The series is very much pitching itself as Friday Night Lights crossed with Glee, but sadly it can't capture the emotional storytelling and character work of the former, nor the glorious fun of the latter.
It works best when it focuses on the teenagers, with Cravalho excellent, but it's nowhere near as moving as it thinks it is. The bigger problem, though, is Radnor's Lou, a self-serious, endlessly-monologuing irritant, and the fact he's the main character is a flaw the show couldn't overcome.
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.