“Cheer” gives viewers a look at the harsh realities of cheerleading


Cheer logo, Netflix

Cheer came out on January 8, 2020

Grace Cochrane, Staff Writer

A new reality show has just landed on Netflix. “Cheer” is a Netflix original documentary-series following the Navarro College cheerleading team, one of the best in the nation. Most viewers probably have never heard of Navarro, but cheerleaders all over the nation know exactly who the team is. The show follows their journey all throughout their season from the beginning, all the way to the NCAA College Nationals in Daytona, Florida. The show gives viewers the background of the people on the team and how the sport has changed their lives.

Personally, reality shows are not really my thing. They can get kind of fake at certain points and I just don’t really enjoy them. But let me tell you, I loved Cheer. It was really raw and real; it shows the hard, gruesome parts of cheerleading and how much of an impact it can have on a participant’s life. I also have never done cheerleading and have no relation to the sport, but it was such an interesting show. It revealed the rough parts of people’s lives along with the happy points of the team’s success. A lot of people do not know how demanding college cheerleading can be, but the show reveals how much training and energy is put into it. The documentary also sheds light on the injuries of cheerleading, and how painful and season-changing they can be. 

She sneaks out in between practices to go to the ER.”

— Grace Cochrane

There is a lot of controversy around this show. Many injuries happen during the season and this started some controversial conversation. One team member, TT, arrived to practice with a back injury and the head coach, Monica Aldama, made him practice saying he let the team down when he had injured his back. Another team member, Morgan, develops a rib injury after repeatedly falling from significant heights and only having her teammate’s arms to fall into. She falls onto the floor in pain and clutches her ribs. The coaches ignore her and we learn that she is too scared to tell Monica. She sneaks out in between practices to go to the ER and refuses to take the medicine as it will relax her muscles which she knows would not be beneficial because she cannot let her team down. 

A lot of people (including me) love the show because of the team members. Hearing everyone’s backstories really adds an empathetic aspect to the show. My favorite team member is Jerry Harris. Jerry is the son of a single mom who died of cancer and that really took a toll on him. On the team, Jerry is a bright, beaming, smiley, supportive member. It’s a very inspiring story that shows the possibility of growth and healing.

If you’re looking for a good show to watch, watch this docuseries. At only six hour-long episodes, “Cheer” is a very addicting, easy watch. This show gives viewers insight on a topic that isn’t very well known but views feel like a part of it while watching.