Rise Recap: 10 Thoughts We Had On The Season 1 Premiere


Rise Recap: 10 Thoughts We Had On The Season 1 Premiere

Was Rise everything you thought it would be? Is NBC's Rise your new favorite show? We knew it would be. And it definitely wasn't just because we were still distraught over the This Is Us season 2 finale. Need to talk to about the Rise season 1 premiere? We've got the next best thing. Here's what happened on the Rise season 1 premiere. Well, the highlights of the episode anyways. Because let's get real. A lot of things happened in tonight's episode. It was hard. But, we promise it gets even juicier. Just you wait. So, without further adieu, we've got our Rise recap for the season 1 premiere! Here are 10 thoughts we had on the Rise season 1 premiere!

🗣 ROLL CALL. #Rise

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1 of 10

1. WTF Ted Mosby!?

I'm not going to lie, it took a second to unsee Josh Radnor as Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother and replace him with an uninspired and "stuck" teacher from Pennsylvania. But, Radnor's acting chops kicked in and he got me there eventually. But, it was still pretty sad to see Radner's Lou Mazzuchelli come off as the show's villain rather than the show's protagonist at some points. From the premiere, it looks as if Lou is set up to be a pretty decent guy and inspiring to the kid he teaches.

However, he totally stole Tracy's (Rosie Perez) job as head of the theater department for being a "pain in the ass," without so much as a warning. Really cool, Lou. Worst of all, it's just accepted and ignored for the rest of the episode, which is kind of annoying considering it's a narrative too many women have experiences in real life.

2 of 10

2. Who Is Who Again?

As much as we love the characters in the premiere of Rise, it would be a lie if we said we could keep every character straight since about ten billion people were introduced at once. Okay. That's obviously me being overdramatic, but could you tell who was who? Who Is Maashous Evers? I still don't know. Honestly. I had to give everyone a nickname or associate them with their character counterpart in order to keep track. Lilette (Auli'i Cravalho) became Hilary Duff's Cinderella from Another Cinderella Story since she was essentially diner girl mixed with Gabriella from High School Musical since she fell for her very own Troy Bolton and Finn Hudson, Robbie Thorne (Damon J. Gillespie). Do you see what I mean? It's too easy. But, maybe it's just me. I clearly love teen melodramas.

3 of 10

3. The School's View On The Arts Is Too Real

Rule number one. Do not cast football. Eh? Although it's kind of annoying that Rise hit the idea that schools favored sports over the arts over and over and over again, it hit a little too close to home. Truth is, a lot of high schools in smaller towns are like this since sporting events typically make the school more money. But, it definitely sucks to this day. Are you listening now, public school system?

4 of 10

4. How TF Are They Going To Pull Off Spring Awakening?

My reaction to Lou wanting to do Spring Awakening went like this:

  • Me: That's cool
  • Me: ...
  • Me: How are they going to sing "Totally Fucked"?
  • Me: How are they going to do ANY OF IT?

At the risk of sounding like Pheobe from The Magic School Bus, that would never fly in my high school. And it looked like no one from administration actually approved or looked at the play until a few months in. When the principal found out, Lou was removed from the play, Spring Awakening was stripped from them, and the kids would have to do a pirate play because the school couldn't afford the rights to Grease. Amazing. Luckily, the kids blackmailed the school into letting them do Spring Awakening, so all was well in the end.

5 of 10

5. Let's Go, Simon!

Simon's storyline has so much potential, it's unreal. The first real "surprise" of the night was when Simon confronted Lou about not getting the lead role. But, by the end, it was not about getting the lead. It was about not paying a gay character and being afraid of what his parents thought of him. Simon is a closeted kid from a devout Catholic home, but once he has been brought up by Lou throughout the premiere, he is able to step up to his parents despite their objections to the play. I'm interested to see where this takes him next, considering this seems like an arc that we could have explored. Or perhaps it's not over yet? We'll see.

6 of 10

6. Lilette's Relationship With Her Mom Is Upsetting

Lilette's scenes with her mother, Vanessa (Shirley Rumierk), are heartbreaking, to say the least. From watching her mom get sexually assaulted by her coworker at the diner to the fallout between the two after Lilette found out her mom was having a fling with one of her classmate's very married fathers and school football coach, we're dying to see how their dynamic pans out for the rest of the season.

7 of 10

7. What's Going On With Lou's Family?

So, what's going on? I'm not really sure where Lou's family fits in with all of this. When did his son suddenly become an alcoholic? We are missing something here. Also, isn't Gordy (Casey Johnson) in the same school as the rest of the kids? Why doesn't he talk to anyone outside of his family? These are the questions that keep me up at night.

8 of 10

8. Michael Is The Best. End Of Story. Goodbye.

Could Michael's introduction have been better? Yes. For example, if Michael had been the one who went to Lou and, you know, gotten more lines. But, I digress. Michael is a treasure, is proudly trans, and seems to be one of the only ones in the show who is on solid ground. I'm excited to see where they take this storyline.

9 of 10


When Lilette found her voice for "Mama Who Bore Me," and Lou's said, "We are a troop. A sacred troop," I teared up a little. Those are some serious Coach Taylor vibes right there. It was a touching moment that helped us understand that they were a team. They were in this together. Is this the new clear hearts, full eyes, can't lose? We'll have to see.

10 of 10

10. Why Was Everything Told In A Montage?

Everything past Lou getting fired from the play seemed to be in a montage. Not going to lie, it was a little weird and made the timeline of the show a little bit more confused. In one shot, we saw the students practicing for the pirate play and the next, they were singing and demanding to bring Mr. Mazzu and Spring Awakening back. During the montage, Lou has a voiceover that gushes what his students have done for him and that he would still be cheering them on. This scene just made me realize that we didn't actually get to see this. We didn't actually get to see the kids bonding with Lou or growing together. While this was a touching moment, frankly, I was a little bit confused. Let's hope it slows down a bit in the second episode.