Cheer, Netflix’s newest documentary series, took the world by storm. What is it, and how did it hook everyone? Here’s everything you need to know!
Cheer: The Biggest Thing On And Off Netflix
It seems like at least once a year, Netflix releases a show that gets everyone talking. First came Orange Is the New Black, then House of Cards, Stranger Things, Queer Eye, and The Witcher. Now, Netflix has a new worldwide hit on its hands: Cheer.
Cheer debuted on January 7, right as the new year started. It’s a six-part documentary series about a cheerleading team in Navarro Junior College, located in the tiny town of Corsicana, Texas. On the surface, it doesn’t sound too exciting or unique – but you only need fifteen minutes of watch time of the first episode to fall in love with it. Within a few weeks of its release, everyone, from celebrities to coworkers, was talking about Cheer, online and offline. While the story touched millions, the cast truly won fans’ hearts…
Blood, Sweat And Cheerleading Tears
Cheer revolves around an above-average cheer team. There are 40 members, but only twenty will make it to “the mat” – the final squad that will compete in the NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship – the Super Bowl of the cheer. The Navarro team won 14 times – thanks to their fearless leader and coach, Monica Aldama.
Aldama grew up in the same town and once also cheered on the Navarro team, before graduating from the University of Texas and McCombs School of Business. “I could’ve been a CEO of a company in New York but on a chance decided to apply for the cheer coach position,” she said. As a coach, Aldama fiercely rules the team, giving them tough, motherly love and protection. As a result, the team loves and admires her. Over the series, she gains their trust while putting them through the wringer, ultimately turning them into champions.
The “kids” – 18 to 20-year-old college students – are the heart of the series. Many of them came from broken homes, like L’Darius, a bullied gay man, and Morgan, who’s parents abandoned her as a child. There’s also Gabi, a tough, skilled athlete who became famous in the cheer community before the show. Then there’s Jerry, the fan-favorite. He gives the best “mat talk,” meaning, he cheers on his other teammates while practicing. Meanwhile, Jerry isn’t even sure if he will be promised a spot on the mat! However, the cast isn’t the only reason fans love Cheer…
Cheer: The American Dream
Fans also love that Cheer proves that cheerleading isn’t just an activity to accompany other sports’ games. It’s an entire sport on its own! In not only requires incredible athletic prowess but teamwork as well. The Netflix show shines a light on the immense work cheer teams put in and the acute injuries they suffer, despite the little payoff. After all, while there is a professional cheerleading league, National Football League Cheerleading, most NFL cheerleading squads are a part-time job. So, while college football or basketball players strive for the NFL or NBA, for the majority of cheerleaders, once they graduate college, they cheer career is over.
Despite this, these “kids” remain incredibly dedicated. In short, they embody the American dream: work hard, and you can make it. There is so much raw, unfiltered, honest emotion in every scene, you can’t help but get swept away in the real-life stories of the team, the individual, and the sport of cheerleading in general. All of these elements made Cheer a viral hit. Now, fans eagerly await the announcement of a second season, while rewatching the first! If you haven’t seen Cheer on Netflix yet, what are you waiting for?