Rise’s “Victory Party” is anything but. From blowing a big football game, to the worst first date imaginable, the theater troupe of Stanton High School has more on their plate than just their performance.
Robbie invites Lilette to his football “victory” party, making it clear that he wants to explore their feelings. After losing the big game on Friday, his party on Saturday is anything but a celebration, especially after Robbie’s dad intervenes.
When Robbie steps away to talk to a teammate, his father swoops in and takes Lilette to the trophy room. There he shows her all of Robbie’s accolades and gets into her head. In so many words he tells her she’s not good enough and Robbie needs to focus on what he’s great at: football.
While yes, this is a high school coming-of-age drama, Rise is starting to fall into the high school drama trap. The storyline about the jock liking the “nerdy” girl and everyone trying to pull them apart is so overdone.
Not only is it his father trying to tear Robbie in half, but also his teammates. His party ends with him having to choose between his teammates and the theater troupe. Instead of actually choosing, he just cancels the party. For the sake of Robbie’s character, who has a lot of depth, I hope they let him dive more into his feelings because right now we’re only seeing the surface.
One character we’re starting to learn more about is Tracy. She has been a background character to Lou since the premiere and in “Victory Party” we get to learn a little bit more about what makes her who she is.
Tracy starts driving Lou’s wife nuts because she would constantly text or call him with ideas about the production. She puts it in Lou’s mind that because she’s single, she needs to get a life. This leads Lou to suggest Andy, another teacher at Stanton, to ask Tracy out after he shows interest in her.
What goes wrong is that while on the date, Andy mentions that Lou said Tracy would be available because she was “so single.” Tracy, being the strong, independent woman she is, walks away to call Lou to give him a piece of her mind.
After Lou hangs up on her, Tracy is ready to leave her date fully because of the compromise she’s been put in. However, Andy comes out to tell her it wasn’t what Lou said that made him want to ask her out, it was the fact she was this incredible and luminous person. He reminded her that it’s because she cares so deeply about her students and the work she does that made her so attractive.
What is great and wrong about Tracy’s predicament is that just because a woman puts her heart and soul into her work doesn’t give others the right to say “get a life.” Andy does the perfect thing by telling Tracy what others consider her flaw is anything but that.
Hopefully, Rise will soon get away from pinning Lou and Tracy against each other and have them start working in tandem because both bring completely different things to the table. If they learn how to collaborate, it will not only make for a successful production, but also a successful show.