Rise: Season 1 (2017)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

Rise's admirable aim to inspire audiences with a grounded depiction of high school theater is undercut by stock characters and an off-putting presumption that it is more moving than it ever manages to be.



Critic Ratings: 41


Audience Score

User Ratings: 165

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Air date: Mar 13, 2018

In the premiere, Lou petitions to take over as director of the theater program in an attempt to revitalize his passion for teaching, but quickly realizes he has his work cut out for him. His controversial decision to change the musical to the more provocative "Spring Awakening" and his atypical casting choices create a ripple effect for the program's assistant director Tracey Wolfe, the school's football coach Sam Strickland, and the students in the show.

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Air date: Mar 20, 2018

Lou is brought down to Earth when his production budget is slashed, Coach Strickland vindictively monopolizes Robbie's time, and he has a conflict with Tracey. Lilette finds herself starting to fall for Robbie, while Simon contends with conflicting feelings about his role in the show. As Michael finds support within the theater troupe, Gwen acts out in rehearsals in response to tensions at home.

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Air date: Mar 27, 2018

When Lou describes his vision for the show's staging and design, Tracey questions his every decision—but it's Simon's bombshell news that forces Lou to ask himself whether picking this controversial show was worth the cost. Meanwhile, Coach Strickland attempts to rehabilitate Gordy, and Gail worries for Maashous. Lilette struggles to contain her feelings for Robbie after discovering another side of him.

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Air date: Apr 3, 2018

Robbie's two worlds collide at a house party, where tensions threaten to bubble over as his football teammates face off with the drama troupe. Meanwhile, Tracey reluctantly explores a new relationship with a not-so-secret admirer and a Mazzuchelli family road trip to visit Gail's sister goes sideways when Gordy sneaks off back to Stanton.

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Air date: Apr 10, 2018

After their unresolved confrontation with Gordy, Lou and Gail try desperately to get through to him. Lou discovers a crucial element to the show needs a major overhaul, while Tracey resists a blossoming romance. As Gwen reels in the aftermath of a shocking announcement from her parents, Simon finds an unlikely ally. Robbie and Lilette grow closer just as outside forces conspire to put them at odds, and Vanessa takes a stand.

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Air date: Apr 17, 2018

As Lou's vision for "Spring Awakening" starts to crumble, Lilette and Robbie feel the weight of responsibility on their shoulders with rehearsals going into overdrive. In reaching out to a student in need of support, Tracey opens up old wounds from her own past. Gwen starts down a destructive path that threatens to disrupt Gordy's attempts at self control, while Simon takes steps to get closer to Anabelle.

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Air date: Apr 24, 2018

Tech week at Stanton High finds Tracey and Lou leading the cast through a series of rehearsals that falls short of expectations. Gwen's familial strife leads to a wild night out, while Michael tries to reconnect with an estranged friend. Maashous receives potentially life changing news, and Simon's personal feelings start to compromise his performance in the musical.

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Air date: May 1, 2018

When an unauthorized, provocative sizzle reel promoting the Stanton High production of "Spring Awakening" is posted online, it spreads like wildfire through the school and surrounding community. Coach Strickland and Vanessa are forced to face their daughters, but major damage has already been done. Robbie faces a crisis of confidence, while Maashous contemplates a difficult family reunion.

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Air date: May 8, 2018

Gordy agrees to volunteer in the theater, bringing him back onto Gwen's radar, while his family tries to come to terms with Maashous' imminent departure. As Robbie faces the severity of his mother's illness for the first time, Lilette waits for her mother to return home. Tracey and Lou work to prepare "Spring Awakening" for opening night, but can't see eye to eye on how to address notes from the administration.

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Air date: May 15, 2018

The Season 1 finale: During opening night of "Spring Awakening," personal crises and dilemmas percolate in the wings backstage as Simon struggles to overcome his biggest fear, Lilette withholds a huge development from Robbie, Robbie has a momentous breakthrough, and Tracey draws a line in the sand. Over the course of one evening, decisions are made that will change Lou and Stanton Drama forever.

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Tv Season Info

Series 1 follows a passionate teacher who galvanises drama students and an entire town.

Cast & Crew

Shannon Purser
Josh Radnor
Lou Mazzuchelli
Tom Riis Farrell
Harold Baer
Erin Kommor
Sasha Foley
Taylor Richardson
Kaitlin Mazzuchelli
Shirley Rumierk
Vanessa Suarez
Rarmian Newton
Maashous Evers
Ellie Desautels
Michael Hallowell
Katherine Reis
Jolene Brooks
Auli'i Cravalho
Lilette Suarez
Joe Tippett
Coach Doug Strickland
Casey Johnson
Gordy Mazzuchelli
Marley Shelton
Gail Mazzuchelli
Amy Forsyth
Gwen Strickland
Rachel Hilson
Harmony Curtis
Rosie Perez
Tracey Wolfe
Ted Sutherland
Simon Saunders
Sean Grandillo
Jeremy Travers
Michelle Lee
Flody Suarez
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News & Interviews for Rise: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Rise Season 1

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (22)

... it's heartfelt from start to finish while also offering an overall feel-good respite from television's ongoing obsessions with "true crime"...

Mar 12, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

The cast is solid, but otherwise "Rise" falls flat.

Mar 12, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

That timeliness gives the series added relevance, and it grounds the story in reality. The motivated, uplifting kids in "Rise" aren't too good to be true.

Mar 8, 2018 | Full Review…

It's time for a break from the tears. You have to earn those.

Mar 14, 2018 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Mr. Mazzu is like Rise itself: sweet, earnest, cloying, and also obnoxious.

Mar 14, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

When Rise works best, it's invariably placing these kids at the center; when it stumbles, it's nearly always because the series chooses to tell us how inspired they should be, rather than showing us what happens when they're inspired.

Mar 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Geniune and raw, this NBC drama features an eclectic group of great characters and a strong plot that keeps the proceedings moving along.

Nov 24, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Rise is well-written, hopeful, and considerably more mild than Spring Awakening (this is network TV, after all), but it's still overly sexualized.

Nov 15, 2018 | Full Review…

The messages of class disparity, a small town in an economic downturn and the power of a musical never coalesce.

Oct 29, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

[The show] does a nice job of showing the world just how important the arts are to children.

Jun 19, 2018 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

... the stakes are so low on this show that any moment of drama, any monologue unrolled by Radnor or one of the other stars, feels more sanctimonious than emotionally impactful.

Apr 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Rise deserves praise for reminding us how difficult it is to put on a show, unlike Glee's tuneful fantasias.

Mar 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rise: Season 1

  • Jul 29, 2019
    I really love it! Make me feel the same thing that Glee did
  • Aug 29, 2018
    Rise is a powerful drama that beautifully handles real life situations against a musical backdrop. Perfect for adults and teens.
  • Jul 26, 2018
    Rise is a step ahead of other TV shows, both in terms of MODERN thinking and societal theme. a high school drama (ADDRESSING relevant problems like abortion, child pregnancy, alcoholism) coupled with versatile and excellent acting by josh radnor has allowed rise to "rise" in COMPARISON to other shows. it Reminds us that every person has to deal with their own life problems in their own way, MAKING rise a must watch.
  • Jul 23, 2018
    This show had a heartfelt theme into it a perfect drama to watch with friends and/or family this is a great show to bringe watch to .
  • Jun 17, 2018
    A clche bit of tripe! Stinks like hot garbAge. Only 1.5 because it doesnt register if i put 1 or less.
  • May 29, 2018
    this was one of the best shows i ever saw. If there ever was a masterpiece in the form of a series, this would be it. So much emotion went into this production. There may be something like this somewhere down the line, but it could never take the place rise has in my heart.??
  • May 25, 2018
    the attempts to tick-off every box on a checklist of both teen and adult stereotypes was not only ludicrous, but offensive.
  • May 22, 2018
    High school Musical meets glee. nothing original about it. terrible acting.
  • May 16, 2018
    I love this shoW-it has real storylines that reFlecT CURRENT issues and thE music and talent is amazing. I have heard it may be cancelled which truly makeS me sad-if you enjoy friday night lights or This is us or gLee, you would probably enjoy this show.
  • May 16, 2018
    Do not find anything interesting about this show.

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