Cheer Review: Why is Cheer Such a Popular Show?

With audiences facing another lacklustre slate of midseason broadcast premieres and seeking for programmes to cheer about, perhaps it’s not a coincidence that a handful of excellent recent shows have focused on the intense world of competitive cheerleading.

Even though it premieres on the wrong network and at the wrong time, USA’s Dare Me, aWith audiences facing another lacklustre slate of midseason broadcast premieres and seeking for programmes to cheer about obsession, kids went bad, and the thrill of making Regionals is already one of the year’s most pleasant surprises.

Cheer on Netflix is uniquely excellent, but arguably more directly suited to its context. Cheer takes a similar docudrama-style approach to junior college cheerleading as Netflix’s acclaimed Last Chance U. Perhaps a bit of persuasion is required to convince the audience of Last Chance U that cheerleading is a serious business for six hours, but it definitely shouldn’t be.

Cheer is a believable depiction of what is undeniably a real and absurdly risky sport, along with interesting tales that make it significantly more emotional and exciting than the last few seasons of Last Chance U.

Our story takes place at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, a cheerleading powerhouse that won 13 national championships between 2000 and 2018.


The team, including coach Monica Aldama, is under a lot of pressure as the 2019 competition season approaches, and Cheer follows a very focused programme from spring enrollment to the championship in Daytona in only 68 days.

The previous two seasons of Last Chance U became The Jason Brown Show, for better or worse. Brown’s players were pushed to the background of an ongoing “Brilliant motivator or just an asshole?” discussion as a result of their coach’s loud and aggressive behaviour.

Cheer review
Cheer review

Aldama, on the other hand, is the ideal blend of motivator and den mother, a progressive coach with an MBA from the University of Texas and a clear vision for keeping the team on course. She has inconsistencies — she is extremely Christian, quite conservative, and intensely dedicated to her homosexual cheerleaders — but not enough for the show to revolve around her.

Executive producer Greg Whiteley, who directed the six episodes (two of which were co-directed with fellow producers Arielle Kilker and Chelsea Yarnell), does not need to rely too heavily on Aldama because the Navarro squad is filled with big personalities and big stories, five of which are given the spotlight.

Morgan, who was reared in troubled circumstances in rural Wyoming, is initially in over her head when she learns the distinction between the pep rally cheering of her youth and the high-stakes athletics of Navarro. Gabi is a child cheerleading icon with tens of thousands of social media followers and a cottage economy based on her name and likeness. Lexi is a high school dropout with a short fuse and supernatural tumbling abilities.

La’Darius, who was ridiculed as a child and continually battles his own attitude, is the polar opposite of Jerry, who has overcome weight difficulties and personal sorrow to become a beloved inspiration. Almost everywhere, the investment is nearly immediate.

The Navarro squad has 40 members, but only 20 will be “on the mat” at Nationals, so you know that Morgan, Gabi, Lexi, La’Darius, and Jerry are going to be a big part of the Daytona equation — Gabi, Lexi, and La’Darius begin as indispensable starters, with Morgan and Jerry as underdogs — but their journey to Daytona is full of twists, turns, bumps, and bruises.

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So many cuts and scrapes. If there’s one thing the first season of Cheer wants you to learn, it’s that cheerleading is hard. Every time the team prepares its crucial pyramid stunt, you just know that someone is going to fall to the ground with a thud, crack, or scream of pain, evoking an almost Monty Python-esque sense of dark humour.

These are genuine shattered bones, real concussions, and real tears, so perhaps it is not actually Monty Python-esque. Numerous tears. The most significant difference between Last Chance U and Cheer can be summed up by the scene in which a coach instructs a despondent athlete to “go to the restroom and cry it out.” That is not how Jason Brown operates.

Cheer review
Cheer review

Another significant distinction is that Cheer begins with an odd urge to justify itself. The opening features many cheerleading specialists discussing the history of the sport and dispelling misconceptions, the sort of rudimentary introduction that a football docuseries would never in a million years feel compelled to do. Thankfully, the first concern that the show will excessively and condescendingly explain cheerleading is unfounded.

You’ll quickly learn the distinction between flyers, stunts, and tumblers, and when stars say things like “It’s either going to be a whip full through to full or it’s going to be full through to full,” the show assumes you understand the concept even if you don’t know the specific terminology.

My sense is that if the characters in the documentary buy into the stakes, the audience probably will as well, and with Cheer, you’ll be fully committed as the final episode creates first suspense and then true character-driven weight.

I’ve always desired a somewhat deeper societal push from Last Chance U, and I feel the same way about Cheer. Perhaps this is what separates very good presentations from amazing ones. The sexual politics and dynamics of cheerleading are discussed — Coach Aldama’s backing and La’Darius’ backstory are both interesting jumping-off places — but they are not thoroughly examined.

The economic conditions of cheerleading, including how it has evolved into a sport for the privileged due to the high prices of gym time, equipment, coaching, and all-star teams, are also discussed, but more time could have been devoted to this topic. There are talks that are just beginning that are difficult to maintain when people are continually dropping off the top of the pyramid.


The heightened drama of Dare Me and the grounded energy and fervour of Cheer are wonderful complimentary texts, as well as welcome and highly watchable validations of a sport that television has historically undervalued. The CW’s Hellcats series has ended.

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Cheer Review Trailer


is It Worth Watching Cheer?

Even if you dislike cheerleading, it is worthwhile to watch Cheer. I did not appreciate it at the time, but I do now, and I strongly urge you to watch it. Allow me to explain why. The film focuses on five students who were all wounded by their childhoods for a variety of reasons.

is Netflix’s Cheer Inappropriate?

As the season develops, references to such topics as sexuality, sexual assault, and sexting increase. In a non-sexual environment, the cheerleaders wear exposing, skin-tight sportswear and bikinis.

Why is Cheer Such a Popular Show?

A weaker version of this programme may have deleted Jerry as much as feasible, explained his destiny in a sidebar, and gone on. However, one of the reasons “Cheer” became so successful in the first place was the film’s obvious empathy for its victims’ suffering, which is amplified in this horrifying case.

What is the Debate About Cheer?

The statement stated that Harris, whose ardent encouragement of his colleagues made him a global sensation after the release of “Cheer,” had been sexually molested as a child in the world of competitive cheering.

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