‘Grease: Rise Of The Pink Ladies’ first reviews praise “entertaining” if “uneven” spin-off
Grease: Rise Of The Pink Ladies has been praised in early reviews, albeit with some caveats.
The musical comedy series serves as a prequel to the 1978 classic Grease, taking place four years prior in 1954 to tell the origin story of the Pink Ladies girl gang.
According to a synopsis, the show “follows four fed-up and misfit students who band together to bring out the moral panic that will change Rydell High forever and become the founding mothers of the first high school clique known as the Pink Ladies”.
Ahead of the show’s UK premiere on Paramount+ on April 7, critics have released reviews of the show’s first four episodes which paint an encouraging picture.
Entertainment Weekly, who awarded the show a B- rating, described the show as “uneven” but “when Rise Of The Pink Ladies leans in to this vision of the protagonists as equal-rights innovators, it sings”. It adds that these highlights are “too often muffled by a surplus of mostly forgettable music, overly long episodes, and lukewarm central love stories”.
ScreenRant particularly praised the show’s cast and said the series “offers plenty of enjoyment” even if it doesn’t justify its existence: “Regardless of whether this is a show that needed to be made, Grease: Rise Of The Pink Ladies is an entertaining trip into Rydell’s past, and one that deserves some credit for facing thorny topics head on.”
In a C+ review, Consequence was slightly more critical, saying that it suffers from being connected to the Grease IP. “Perhaps Paramount+ could have had a hit on their hands if they had championed an original, musical-filled, and outright campy series that wasn’t constantly trying on jackets that just don’t fit,” the review reads.
“And for all its faults, the performances these actors turn in have too much heart to rule out Rise Of The Pink Ladies entirely. Every last person onscreen is performing to the balcony, delightfully theatrical and inviting.”
The show’s cast includes Marisa Davila, Cheyenne Isabel Wells, Ari Notartomaso, Tricia Fukuhara, Shanel Bailey, Madison Thompson and Johnathan Nieves. The series is created by Annabel Oakes and executive produced by Erik Feig and Marty Bowen.
In the original film, the Pink Ladies are led by Stockard Channing and Didi Conn as Rizzo and Frenchy respectively.
Grease: Rise Of The Pink Ladies debuts on Paramount+ on April 7, 2023.