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Cheer Season One Review

I watched the first season after all the allegations came out against one of the cheerleaders, but for this review I am trying to not let that skew my thoughts and review the season as if I had watched it with no knowledge of what comes to light in season two.

Cheer is a documentary series that follows the cheerleaders of a college called Navarro in Corsicana, Texas. In the show we follow the cheerleaders as they gear up for the National Championships in Daytona and it is a very fascinating series that really shows you how much effort is put into what some could see as a trivial entertainment and not a sport.

In the show we follow only one team so we really get to know each of the people within it in depth. We get to see that a lot of them have come from broken homes or hard hitting places and cheerleading is the one thing that gives their life point and purpose, and for many this may be the last time they’re able to cheer due to them getting older and cheerleading having such a short lifespan in terms of how fit you have to be to be able to be a part of it.

Cheerleading is a mixture of gymnastics and dance and really elevates it to a different level that we don’t see in those competitions. Usually you have a mixture of rhythm and showmanship but also the fact that you are being thrown feet in the air and have to pray that your teammates catch you, it’s not just about you and your own performance but the whole team’s performance, and if there’s no trust there then there is no way you can do the show because it is so technical, intricate and dangerous.

And that was the fascinating thing for me was how athletic these people had to be. There was one moment where one of the girls was weighing herself and she was under a hundred pounds and had to make sure that she stayed at that weight so that she was light enough for people to be able to throw her about and catch her, but also so that she was fit enough and muscular enough to be able to pull off these moves too. It’s such a hard sport where at any moment you could hit the ground and break a bone or become concussed and your whole career in cheerleading could be gone in an instant.

I don’t know whether the judgement of season two has clouded me slightly but there did feel an air of darkness within this show. It was very grey, it was quite dark, and maybe it was the people’s back stories that made it seem like that or maybe it was the amount of effort they went into but it really showed cheerleading in a different light, where usually it’s full of sparkle and glam and excitement and fun, and within this there were so many moments of hardship and tears and upset and it really goes to show you how what you may see on the surface isn’t always what is happening in the background.

This is not a show that I would usually watch, I was actually recommended it by someone else, and I’m glad I watched it because it really does show you how hard these people train to do something that they enjoy. I did drama school as a teenager and thoroughly miss it because I was probably at peak fitness back then, and that feeling of working as a team and the pride you feel when you win a competition, and the togetherness you feel that you have a family even if they aren’t blood is so wonderful and something that I’m sure will help a lot of kids in dire situations.

I definitely recommend this show even if it isn’t something that you would normally watch. It’s a really fascinating look at a sport that often goes overlooked and really shows you the hardships that go into it. I’m intrigued to see what they do in season two with all the allegations that have come out and how they are going to play it, but for a show that really lets you connect with the people on it and makes you realise just how hard people work to feel like they belong and to be a part of the family, it is fantastic.

What do you think of Cheer?

Until next time.

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