When We Rise
   HOME

TheInfoList



''When We Rise'' is an eight-part American
docudrama A docudrama (or documentary drama) is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describe ...
miniseries A miniseries (or mini-series) is a television show that tells a story in a predetermined, limited number of episodes. The term "Serial (radio and television), serial" and/or "series" is used in the United Kingdom and in other Commonwealth of Na ...
about the history of
LGBT rights Rights affecting lesbian, gay, Bisexuality, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or jurisdiction – encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the Capital punishment for homosexuali ...
advocacy in the United States from the 1970s to the 2010s. It was created by
Dustin Lance Black Dustin Lance Black (born June 10, 1974) is an American screenwriter, director, film and television producer, and LGBT rights activist. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the biopic '' Milk'' (2008). Black is a founding bo ...
and stars
Guy Pearce Guy Edward Pearce (born 5 October 1967) is an English-born Australian actor, musician, singer and songwriter. He is known for having starred in the role of Mike Young in the Australian television series ''Neighbours ''Neighbours'' is an A ...
,
Rachel Griffiths Rachel Anne Griffiths (born in 1968) is an Australian actress and director. Raised primarily in Melbourne Melbourne ( ; wyi, Naarm) is the List of Australian capital cities, capital and List of cities in Australia by population, most-pop ...
,
Mary-Louise Parker Mary-Louise Parker (born August 2, 1964) is an American actress and writer. After making her stage debut as Rita in a Broadway theatre, Broadway production of Craig Lucas's ''Prelude to a Kiss (play), Prelude to a Kiss'' in 1990 (for which she re ...

Mary-Louise Parker
, Michael Kenneth Williams, Austin P. McKenzie, Emily Skeggs, Jonathan Majors, Fiona Dourif, and Sam Jaeger among 30 others. The miniseries premiered on American Broadcasting Company, ABC on February 27, 2017, with the rest of its episodes airing March 1 to 3.


Plot

Based on the memoirs of LGBT activist Cleve Jones, ''When We Rise'' chronicles the personal and political struggles, set-backs, and triumphs of a diverse group of LGBTQ+ individuals who helped pioneer a portion of the civil rights movement from its infancy in the 20th century to the successes of today. The 45-year saga tells the evolving history of the LGBT social movements, modern gay rights movement, starting just after the Stonewall riots in 1969.


Cast

*
Guy Pearce Guy Edward Pearce (born 5 October 1967) is an English-born Australian actor, musician, singer and songwriter. He is known for having starred in the role of Mike Young in the Australian television series ''Neighbours ''Neighbours'' is an A ...
as Cleve Jones, LGBT activist ** Austin P. McKenzie as young Cleve Jones *
Mary-Louise Parker Mary-Louise Parker (born August 2, 1964) is an American actress and writer. After making her stage debut as Rita in a Broadway theatre, Broadway production of Craig Lucas's ''Prelude to a Kiss (play), Prelude to a Kiss'' in 1990 (for which she re ...

Mary-Louise Parker
as Roma Guy, activist ** Emily Skeggs as young Roma Guy *
Rachel Griffiths Rachel Anne Griffiths (born in 1968) is an Australian actress and director. Raised primarily in Melbourne Melbourne ( ; wyi, Naarm) is the List of Australian capital cities, capital and List of cities in Australia by population, most-pop ...
as Diane Jones, Roma's girlfriend (later wife) ** Fiona Dourif as young Diane Jones * Carrie Preston as Sally Miller Gearhart, activist, teacher, and writer * Michael K. Williams as Ken Jones (activist), Ken Jones, activist ** Jonathan Majors as young Ken Jones * Jack Plotnick as Gilbert Baker (artist), Gilbert Baker, designer of the rainbow flag (LGBT movement), rainbow flag ** Dylan Arnold as young Gilbert Baker * Ivory Aquino as Cecilia Chung, transgender activist * Kevin McHale (actor), Kevin McHale as Bobbi Campbell, AIDS activist * Dylan Walsh as Dr. Marcus Conant, pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of AIDS * Rafael de la Fuente as Ricardo Canto, Cleve's partner * Caitlin Gerard as Jean, Roma's first girlfriend in San Francisco * Nick Eversman as Scott Rempel, Cleve's friend in San Francisco who gives his job to Cleve when he leaves for Europe * Whoopi Goldberg as Pat Norman (activist), Pat Norman, the first openly gay employee of the San Francisco Health Department * Rosie O'Donnell as Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin, co-founder of Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian civil and political rights organization in the United States * Maddie Corman as Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin's girlfriend (later wife), fellow activist and co-founder of Daughters of Bilitis * Denis O'Hare as Jim Foster (activist), Jim Foster, an openly gay Democratic party organizer * David Hyde Pierce as Dr. Jones, Cleve's father * T. R. Knight as Chad Griffin * Sam Jaeger as Richard, Ken Jones' long-term partner * Todd Weeks as Tom Ammiano * Matthew Del Negro as Gavin Newsom * Justin Sams as Sylvester (singer), Sylvester * Alexandra Grey as Seville * Willam Belli as Jason * Michael DeLorenzo as José Sarria * Richard Schiff as Judge Vaughn Walker * Charlie Carver as Michael Smith, Ken Jones' early partner * Rob Reiner as David Blankenhorn * Pauley Perrette as Robin * William Sadler (actor), William Sadler as Chuck Cooper * Charles Socarides, Jr. as Richard Socarides * John Rubinstein as Charles W. Socarides, Dr. Charles W. Socarides * Phylicia Rashad as Yvette Flunder, Bishop Yvette A. Flunder * Jazzmun as Bobbi Jean Baker * Mary McCormack as Roberta A. Kaplan * Arliss Howard as Theodore Olson, Ted Olson * Henry Czerny as David Boies * Balthazar Getty as David * Tyler Young (actor), Tyler Young as Matt


Episodes


Notes


Production


Filming

The series is eight hours long in seven parts. Gus Van Sant directed the first two-hour part, Dee Rees parts two and three, Thomas Schlamme parts four and five, and Black parts six and seven. The series is partially inspired by LGBT activist Cleve Jones's memoir ''When We Rise: My Life in the Movement''. Van Sant and Black previously collaborated on ''Milk (2008 American film), Milk'', which likewise featured Cleve Jones as a major character.


Casting

On March 15, 2016, Carrie Preston was cast as Sally Gearhart.
Guy Pearce Guy Edward Pearce (born 5 October 1967) is an English-born Australian actor, musician, singer and songwriter. He is known for having starred in the role of Mike Young in the Australian television series ''Neighbours ''Neighbours'' is an A ...
as Cleve Jones,
Mary-Louise Parker Mary-Louise Parker (born August 2, 1964) is an American actress and writer. After making her stage debut as Rita in a Broadway theatre, Broadway production of Craig Lucas's ''Prelude to a Kiss (play), Prelude to a Kiss'' in 1990 (for which she re ...

Mary-Louise Parker
as Roma Guy,
Rachel Griffiths Rachel Anne Griffiths (born in 1968) is an Australian actress and director. Raised primarily in Melbourne Melbourne ( ; wyi, Naarm) is the List of Australian capital cities, capital and List of cities in Australia by population, most-pop ...
as Diane, Michael K. Williams as Ken Jones (activist), Ken Jones, Ivory Aquino as Cecilia Chung, Kevin McHale (actor), Kevin McHale as Bobbi Campbell, Dylan Walsh as Dr. Marcus Conant, Rafael de la Fuente as Ricardo, Austin P. McKenzie as young Cleve Jones, Emily Skeggs as young Roma Guy, Jonathan Majors as young Ken Jones (activist), Ken Jones, Fiona Dourif as young Diane, Whoopi Goldberg as Pat Norman (activist), Pat Norman, Rosie O'Donnell as Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin, Denis O'Hare as Jim Foster (activist), Jim Foster, and David Hyde Pierce as Cleve's father, Dr. Jones, were cast on April 26, 2016, respectively. On June 22, 2016, T. R. Knight was cast as Chad Griffin and Richard Schiff as Judge Vaughn Walker. Rob Reiner, Pauley Perrette, William Sadler (actor), William Sadler, Phylicia Rashad, Alexandra Grey, Mary McCormack, Arliss Howard, and Henry Czerny were booked as guest appearance, guest stars. Charlie Carver was cast as Michael on November 21, 2016.


Music

Chris Bacon (composer), Chris Bacon and Danny Elfman composed the music for the miniseries with various artists, and the soundtrack album is now released at Hollywood Records, Inc and iTunes.


Broadcast

The TV miniseries premiered on American Broadcasting Company, ABC on February 27, 2017 at 9 p.m. EST. Originally scheduled to air nightly until March 2, the scheduling was later shifted to accommodate live coverage of the address to a joint session of Congress by President Donald Trump on February 28; the first episode remained scheduled to air on February 27, with the remaining three episodes airing from March 1 to 3.


Reception


Critical response

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the series an approval rating of 81% based on 32 reviews, with an average rating of 6.65/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "''When We Rise'' works as a well-meaning outreach project with a decent cast, even if the script's ambitious reach slightly exceeds its grasp." On Metacritic, the series has a score of 67 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Daniel Fienberg of ''The Hollywood Reporter'' wrote in his review of the first part of the miniseries: "In a film festival environment, in which stories of otherness and barrier-breaking are part of the expected tapestry, ''When We Rise'' might play as a bit quaint, muted and smoothed out for mainstream audiences, which it very clearly is. But even in 2017, when we like to think that boundaries have been pushed a fair amount and that the voices being heard are as diverse as ever, ''When We Rise'' feels like a rather astounding thing to find on network TV." James Poniewozik of ''The New York Times'' wrote in his review: "''When We Rise'', ABC's sweeping four-night history of the gay rights movement, is a rebuttal. As a television drama, it often plays like a high-minded, dutiful educational video. But at its best moments, it's also a timely statement that identity is not just an abstraction but a matter of family, livelihood, life and death." Greg Braxton of the ''Los Angeles Times'' wrote in his review: "It could've been a scene from any of the recent protests that have arisen in the stormy first weeks of the Donald Trump presidency. But peering closer—at the '70s garb, the cameras recording the scene—reveals that this was a re-creation of another, similarly tumultuous, time. [...] The writer-director is still optimistic that ''When We Rise'' will appeal to a mainstream audience—including Trump supporters—because of its focus on family, emotion and perseverance." Danette Chavez of ''The A.V. Club'' wrote in her review: "''When We Rise'' isn't laboring in another production's shadow, though; instead, it tries very hard to bring all of those moments and history makers to light. This is obviously a huge undertaking, one that traces the converging paths of gay activists who thwarted Briggs Initiative, Prop 6, were later devastated by the rise of AIDS, but then rallied back to win Same-sex marriage, marriage equality in 2015. Those battles weren't all fought by the exact same people, which pushes the scope of the miniseries even further. But a central trio of characters anchors the story, which runs through four decades (1971 to 2015, roughly)." ''When We Rise'' received a nomination for Satellite Award for Best Miniseries, Best Miniseries at the 22nd Satellite Awards, 2018 Satellite Awards and won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series at the 29th GLAAD Media Awards.


Historical accuracy

Although there were some non-factual elements, Cleve Jones (one of the principal gay activists depicted) stated that the small, factual changes Black and his team made to the 50-year history of specific characters and events portrayed do not dilute the overall truthfulness and realness of the miniseries. Black spent four years researching and writing the script, consulting as many of the real life figures as possible and many of the actors were able to meet with the individuals they portrayed. The episodes often contain archival footage of actual events.


References


External links

* *
''When We Rise''
on
Dustin Lance Black Dustin Lance Black (born June 10, 1974) is an American screenwriter, director, film and television producer, and LGBT rights activist. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the biopic '' Milk'' (2008). Black is a founding bo ...
's website {{Portal bar, LGBT, Television, United States 2010s American documentary television series 2010s American drama television miniseries 2010s American LGBT-related drama television series 2017 American television series debuts 2017 American television series endings American Broadcasting Company original programming American television docudramas English-language television shows Gay-related television shows HIV/AIDS in television Lesbian-related television shows LGBT rights movement Television series by ABC Studios Television series set in the 1960s Television series set in the 1970s Television series set in the 1990s Television series set in the 2000s Transgender-related television shows Bisexuality-related television series Documentaries about LGBT topics