Wednesday, April 1, 2020

What’s All the Noise About “Cheer”?

by: Mykenzie Layton/Senior Writer

The Netflix series Cheer debuted on January 8, 2020–and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should.

The reality-documentary style show follows the award-winning Navarro Cheer squad of Navarro College, Corsicana, TX, as the team prepares for the national championships at Daytona, Florida.

While at first glance, it may appear to be a show simply about cheerleading, its actually so much more. The documentary follows the cheer squad’s pursuit of a competitive title, making sure to mention the team’s prior accomplishments,  14 National Championships since 2000, and five NCA Grand National Championships since 2012.

As Cheer progresses, the audience meets a fascinating cast of characters who are trying to juggle their personal lives, college classes, and, most importantly, cheer practice.

Throughout the six-episode documentary series the audience learns of the coach’s religious dedication, the Texas culture, and, of course,  the backgrounds of various cheerleaders. A number of cast members come from tough backgrounds, and Navarro offers them a home and a safe space to be themselves–and, for all intents and purposes, a ready-made family.

Cheer is the first reality show of its kind–and it’s a big hit. One only has to Google some of its most-loved characters in order to get a sense of its phenomenal following. For example, Lexi Brumback, unknown to the public prior to the documentary, has 786,000 followers.

Other major characters are:

Monica Aldama, the cheerleading coach of the elite co-ed cheerleading team at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas.

La’Darius, an African American with social adjustment difficulties finds his niche on the squad as a base and tumbler.

Jerry Harris, orphaned as a teenager and brought up by a childhood friend, ends up playing an important role as a mat speaker, motivating the squad through his mat talks at practice and at competitions.

Morgan Simianer, practically homeless until her grandparents took her in, joins the Navarro team as a flier and changes her life.

For those familiar with the cheerleading world, Gabi Butler, already a well-known talent, also appears on the show.

I would give this show an 8/10, as the characters are artfully captured with background information that includes interviews with cast members’ family and friends. Additionally, the cast is extremely talented and the show is worth watching just for that.

So, if you haven’t watched the show, at least check out the trailer below and let me know what you think!

(Cheer is directed by Greg Whiteley , and produced by One Potato Productions, Boardwalk Pictures and Caviar. For One Potato the executive producer is Greg Whiteley, supervising producer is Adam Leibowitz, and producers are Arielle Kilker and Chelsea Yarnell.)

Mykenzie Layton
Mykenzie Layton is a current senior and in her first year of journalism. She is doing her first year of basketball cheer this year and enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her lovable animals. Mykenzie also wants to attend college but is very indecisive about her future. 

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