Rise (S01E02) “Most of All to Dream”

Last night’s episode was solid, but not fantastic. Following on the feels of the uplifting premier I suppose it had a hard target to reach. It felt like it was straining in that direction – magic always just out of reach. It’s hard at times to know what is the story following the true life events, and what is the writers falling back on old tropes.

Between the star athlete torn between football (or basketball ala High School Musical) and the gay teen struggling to hide his sexuality (as we saw in season 1 of Glee) it feels all too familiar. Thankfully there were some truly stand out moments, transgender boy Michael (Ellie Desautels) deciding that he’s going to change in the boy’s room, entering with his head held high was truly inspiring.

Gwen (Amy Forsyth) singing at the end, pouring all her pain, her grief at her father’s betrayal and losing the key part, into that song was beautiful. Mr. Mazzuchelli (Josh Radnor) told her she could be extraordinary and in the moment, she was.

I’m hopeful that this episode is similar to its plot, a cast full of potential, stumbling a bit towards showing the audience that they can shine.

photo credit @nbcrise

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