It’s being hailed as NBC’s successor to This Is Us. It will literally replace This Is Us when season two wraps up in March. No pressure. I’ve had my issues with This Is Us this season (the last few episodes have been MUCH better and some of my faves of the series) but overall, I think it’s an exceptional emotional drama and I still sob my face off every week. This Is Us has been a massive ratings win for NBC. It rejuvenated the careers of Mandy Moore and Mila Ventimiglia, introduced rising star Chrissy Metz and finally made everyone put the respect on Sterling K. Brown’s name that has been deserved. So, can they do it again with Rise?
Rise is inspired by the true story recounted in the book Drama High, about an English teacher who saves his high school’s theatre department. So it’s about teenagers, musicals and high school politics? They had me at Rise. More good news: the show is helmed by executive producers Jason Katims, the dude who gave us Friday Night Lights AND Parenthood and Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller. HAMILTON. And it stars Auli’i Cravalho of Moana fame. MOANA. I already know I’m going to be blowing up Duana’s phone every week about this show. I already know that Duana should be head writer on this show.
EW has the show’s first trailer and it looks good. Really good. I never got into How I Met Your Mother so I’m not seeing Ted Mosby instead of Josh Radnor in this role. I do worry that his character will be a Dangerous Minds, white saviour teacher type but I’m going to trust Jason Katims who never crossed the line into that territory on FNL. My bigger concern is that Rise follows the story of seven students as well as Radnor’s teacher dude and ROSIE PEREZ (!!!). That’s a lot of narratives. This Is Us sometimes feels like a lot of intersecting plots to follow and there’s really only The Big 3, Jack, and Rebecca to worry about. In the Rise trailer, we only get a real glimpse into three of the seven teens in the series and it feels like those three stories could carry a whole season. I’m excited and nervous to see how they’ll make us care about all of these stories while still giving these characters depth and authenticity.
I’m mostly excited to watch a teen drama without having to hear the words Jingle Jangle.
UPDATE: Duana has now weighed in with her feelings about the trailer:
“I feel like I need to protect my heart. Like this might get cancelled so soon that I don't want to get invested.”
I am not giving her this option. We are getting invested. I am already way too invested.