Rise series finale recap: Requiem for a theater TV show

Rise series finale recap: Requiem for a theater TV show


TV Show
run date
Jason Katims
Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez, Auli’i Cravalho

We gave it an A-

Ladies and gentlemen, I have some news. Perhaps you found this out earlier in the week, or perhaps you’re only learning of it right now, but you have just watched your final episode of Rise. Barring a last-minute season 2 pick-up by, I don’t know, PBS, the cancellation is a network mandate that has left me both relieved and saddened. Relieved that there will be no more crimes against the rehearsal process of musical theater, but saddened that by the same stroke there will be no more show about musical theater.

Despite my many ups and downs with Rise, it remains true that any theater show is better than no theater show. That’s a sentiment I stressed in my very first recap, yet in light of tonight’s season-turned-series finale, little did I know how aptly this concept would apply to the existence of Stanton Drama. In Rise’s culminating moments, the school’s theater department is shut down, the final knife-twist in what will be remembered as a cautionary tale about one man’s creative ambition and how his refusal to do Grease bankrupt an entire arts program. Mr. Mazzuchelli dared to dream but, like the literal only thing I know about Icarus, he has flown too close to the sun.

That’s the final image we’re left with as Rise signs off — a proud but crestfallen Mr. Mazzu, standing in the spotlight of his gra

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