Josh RadnorLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 3/21/18 at 11:27PM EDT
It's bizarre that Rise doesn't have Rosie Perez's character as the drama teacher in charge
"From the perspective of its creators, NBC’s new drama Rise is the inspiring story of an English teacher (played by Josh Radnor) who ends up in charge of a high-school musical and decides to stage Spring Awakening, leading his students to all sorts of emotional realizations along the way," says Jackson McHenry. "From the perspective of a very confused person watching Rise, it looks like the story of a random white guy who seizes control of a high-school musical, decides to stage Spring Awakening, and makes many baffling directorial decisions. But perhaps most baffling is this: The fictional Stanton High already had a drama teacher named Tracey Wolfe running the musical, and she is played by Rosie Perez."
Posted Tuesday 3/13/18 at 10:17PM EDT
NBC's Rise would be so much better if its biggest character wasn't such a mess
"Watching Rise feels like watching its promising high school characters take to the stage and try with all their might to bare their souls and inspire the masses," says Caroline Framke. "It’s unabashedly earnest, sporadically moving, and, when it falters, incredibly frustrating." The biggest problem, she says is that Josh Radnor's "supposedly inspiration teacher" character is a "patronizing nightmare." She adds that he "is a one-stop shop of condescension and petulance, and the show doesn’t realize it until way too late in the season."
- Rise does a commendable job of evoking that feeling of the transition from adolescence to adulthood
- The emphasis on Radnor's character takes away from Rise's strengths: the kids themselves
- There's a familiar naturalism with the younger stars, but the adults lack authenticity and won't get out of the way
- Rise benefits from being more Friday Night Lights than Glee
- You have to stick with Rise -- it gets better with the writers' course correction
- Just call it the anti-Glee: Jason Katims didn't want a show about kids bursting into songs
- Katims wanted to return to what he did well on Friday Night Lights
- After adapting Parenthood and Friday Night Lights, Katims has learned that you have to make a TV show your own
Posted Friday 1/26/18 at 11:08PM EST
Gay drama teacher who inspired NBC’s Rise says “for me, 'straight-washing' the character was never an issue, because he is not based on me”
Josh Radnor plays a straight drama teacher named Lou Mazzuchelli on the NBC drama series that is inspired by real-life gay drama teacher Lou Volpe. But Volpe, the producers and NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt — who is gay — want to make it clear that although Volpe’s memoir inspired the series, Rise is not a direct adaptation of his book. Thus the “Lou” character that Radnor is playing is a completely original character, even though he shares the same name as Volpe. “As an artist, I respect their vision for the show," says Volpe. That’s why executive producer Jason Katims received a “Created by” credit on the series, instead of a “Developed by” credit.
Posted Wednesday 1/10/18 at 2:41AM EST
Why the gay inspiration for NBC’s musical theater series Rise was rewritten as a straight man
Josh Radnor plays a straight male teacher, even though his NBC series is based on Michael Sokolove’s book Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater, about a closeted gay teacher. As Hanh Nguyen reports, Rise showrunner Jason Katims “explained he changed this aspect of his main character to be able to connect with the story, but that he didn’t want to ‘shy away from issues of sexuality.’ He pointed out that Rise will still have LGBT elements, particularly focusing on its young characters — including a trans character and another character who is grappling with his sexuality.” ALSO: How Katims' Friday Night Lights influenced Rise.