March 2018

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Rise Up!

Rise premieres March 13th on NBC

Rise Up!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of NBC

Start with Jason Katims (executive producer of TV’s Friday Night Lights and Parenthood) along with Jeffrey Seller (producer of Hamilton on Broadway). Add in Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother, Disgraced); Rosie Perez (Do the Right Thing, White Men Can’t Jump); Auli’i Cravalho (Moana); and Damon J. Gillespie (Newsies) … and what do you get? It’s called Rise, a heartening new TV drama on NBC about finding inspiration in unexpected places. Radnor portrays teacher and family man Lou Mazzuchelli, who sheds his own self-doubt and takes over the school’s lackluster theatre department. He galvanizes not only the students and faculty but the entire working-class town.

Inspired by a true story chronicled in the book “Drama High” by Michael Sokolove, Rise is a powerful look at the way a dynamic and dedicated teacher can change lives. What happens when the status quo of an entire community is upended and it suddenly has change raining down all around it? A high school production of Spring Awakening causes conflicts and controversies between the students, their parents, and elected officials in a struggling Pennsylvania steel town. How will the issues be resolved? While viewing the first couple of episodes I found myself transfixed! The large cast also features Ted Sutherland, Rarmian Newton, Stephanie J. Block, Amy Forsyth, Casey W. Johnson, Joseph Tippett, Shirley Ryumierk, and more. I’m hooked, and I think you will be too!

Rise” premieres March 13th on NBC.

Roseanne Returns!

Roseanne returns March 27th on ABC (Pictured John Goodman and Roseanne Barr)

Roseanne Returns!

  • By Michael Jacobo
  • Photo Courtesy of ABC

This new trend of television revivals is going well, but for the most part, it’s been kind of slacking. Sure, Will and Grace was a hit, then. But the best TV series of the 90s, and I will say even of like, all time, is coming back this month.

Roseanne returns for a 10th season, picking up where the Connor family left off in 1997. The original cast is set to reappear, with a few exceptions: Glen Quinn, who played Becky’s husband, Mark, died of a heroin overdose in 2002. Speaking of Becky, both actresses who starred as her — Alicia Goranson in the earlier seasons and Sarah Chalke (of Scrubs fame) — will appear; Goranson as Becky and Chalke as Andrea, who hires Becky to be her surrogate. It’s interesting to see how this revival series will address the twist that was revealed in the original series’ finale. I know, it’s been 20 years, but if you haven’t seen it I won’t spoil it. It’s definitely worth watching.

There had been talks about Roseanne getting a spin-off when the original series ended at ABC, however those talks ended when an agreement couldn’t be reached. Roseanne Barr has been constantly asked where she thinks the Connor family is now. Barr has always set the Connor family and their world in a staunch, conservative Mid West, addressing middle-class issues that really hit the nail in the heart of America. It’d be interesting to see where those ideals go to in this new tense political climate.

Roseanne” premiers March 27 on ABC.

Trust on FX!

Trust premieres March 25th on FX Networks (Pictured Donald Sutherland)

Trust on FX!

  • By Rebekah Rejniak
  • Photo Courtesy of FX Networks

2018 is the year of the Getty. First with All The Money In The World (which truth be told was released in 2017 but on December 25th) and now with Trust, the family’s story is being told and not all storylines are alike.

Trust, a 10-episode first season, which airs March 25th on FX, focuses on the 1973 abduction of John Paul Getty III, heir to Getty Oil, that occurred in Rome, Italy. Series Writer and Executive Producer Simon Beaufoy explains how during their research they discovered and ultimately decided how the TV show would differ from Ridley Scott’s film, “It became clear reading between the lines that he actually kidnapped himself,” he said. “It was a hoax gone wrong…He’d run up a debt, quite a large debt, and couldn’t repay it.” The problem being, John Paul Getty III’s grandfather doesn’t seem overly concerned with paying such a sum to have him returned.

The first season is directed by genre polyglot Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Trainspotting) and written by his frequent collaborator Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, The Full Monty). The film stars Brendan Fraser as James Fletcher Chace, Harris Dickinson as J. Paul Getty III, Michael Esper as J. Paul Getty Jr., Donald Sutherland as J. Paul Getty, Hilary Swank as Gail Getty.

Trust” premieres March 25th on FX Networks.


Life Sentence premieres March 7 on The CW Network (Pictured Jayson Blair and Lucy Hale)


  • Photo Courtesy of THE CW NETWORK

With its latest show, The CW plays the cancer card and wins us over with a full house of lies and family drama. No doubt the ace of the show is the lovable Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) as she plays Stella, a girl whose death sentence is suddenly undone when she learns that her cancer has been cured. This is her second chance. This is her Life Sentence.

As Stella sets out to extend her happy life into a life happily ever after, her fairy tale ends with a harsh reality: her loved ones have been lying to her for the past eight years — about everything. First, her siblings let slip that Mom and Dad are splitting up. Then her husband admits he’s always wanted kids. And Stella soon realizes that she’s not the only one who’s been missing out on life because of her disease. Old scars of sacrifice are now open wounds of her brother’s bitterness and her sister’s blame. And with every life sentence, a penance must be paid.

Putting the fun in the dysfunctional family antics are Elliot Knight (American Gothic), Brooke Lyons (iZombie), Jayson Blair (Unforgettable), Gillian Vigman (Divorce), and Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck). And in the hands of show creators Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith (Significant Mother), Life Sentence proves that its future looks promising.

Life Sentence” premieres on March 7th on The CW Network.

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