Cheer is a Netflix docuseries focusing on the Navarro College cheer squad.
When you first hear the title “Cheer”, you picture pom-poms and “Rah Rah Rah”, but this squad is a far cry from that, as their athletic levels are through the roof as they push their energy, bodies, and talents to their absolute limits.
All this as they gear up for the annual NCA College Nationals in Daytona Beach, the National Cheerleaders Associations competition for college athletes, the current highest level that they can compete in these days, although there is a push for it to be added as an Olympic event for LA 2020.
Before I watched this show I would’ve said that adding Cheer to the Olympics seems like a silly idea, but after watching this 6-part series, and learning a bit about how they score plus the amount of skill is actually required for all of this, I see this as just a difficult a team challenge as figure skating (which got a great Drama dropped in early January on Netflix, in Spinning Out).
Throughout this series, we really get to know Monica Aldama, the coach and driving force of the Navarro College cheer squad, as well as the students who make up this team. Students such as Gabi Butler, a cheer star who is well known through her videos online, and Jerry Harris, a leading voice to help pump this team-up who went through a lot with losing his mother to cancer. Add in Lexi Brumback, a tumbler who can keep up with the boys and struggles with her troubled past and present, as well as Morgan Simianer, who is the constant fighting underdog with another rough life leading to her time with Cheer (where it might get better (if you consider bruised ribs better)).
Take the time to dive into this show, especially if you were a fan of the Step Up movie series (or the ensuing Step Up: High Water TV series on YouTube, which has two seasons), and those type of shows, or if you just enjoy a good look behind the scenes of a popular American tradition.
The one setback of the show is that you can’t see the actual performance from a “TV standpoint” but rather you see it as iPhone footage, as the climax of the show since there was a conflict with Varsity Spirit, the company that puts on the event, although according to news articles, it appears like future events/seasons may have better footage.
But to be honest, while seeing articles complaining about the lack of that real view, I liked having the “behind the scenes” feel to all of it, since that’s what the show really was about.