Netflix's 'Cheer' Is The Surprise Smash Hit Of 2020 And Fans Are Addicted
The series is tumbling and high-flying its way to becoming the surprise smash hit of 2020 - and one reason why is that it defies all expectations.
Forget your visions of Bring It On's picture-perfect Torros and Clovers. Cheer gives viewers a far more brutal picture.
Directed by Greg Whiteley, the series follows the Navarro College's competitive cheer squad as they train intensively for the NCA College Nationals in Daytona, Florida.
Daytona is a coveted national title - in the world of cheerleading, winning it is the mother of all jackpots.
On top of that, only 20 members of the Navarro's 40-strong Cheer team will make the cut and appear "on-mat" to compete. Cue nerve-shredding levels of competition amongst the squad.
Kealia: I've heard people say CHEER on Netflix is really good, we should watch it.
Me: I guess we can give it a shot.
Me 2 episodes in: JERRY HARRIS IS THE HEART AND SOUL OF NAVARRO COLLEGE CHEERLEADING. IF HE DOESN'T MAKE THE MAT, I WILL RIOT.
- JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 21, 2020
For everyone who's as obsessed with #CheerNetflix as I am, the Navarro team was here today! https://t.co/oF9377NPkC
- Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 23, 2020
There's performance anxiety. There are bone-crunching injuries. And at the helm, there's Coach Monica, a woman with military levels of precision who "doesn't put up with weakness".
Needless to say, the internet is gripped.
"I was NOT prepared for how addicted I would be to #CheerNetflix," tweeted one fan.
"I thought I cared about my friends and family and then I watched #CheerNetflix and the only thing I care about now is the Navarro Cheer Team, making mat for Daytona, and protecting Jerry at all costs," gushed another.
I was NOT prepared for how addicted I would be to #CheerNetflix :no_mouth:
- Thiccolo :camera_with_flash::kiss::heartpulse: (@ShenaShenanigns) January 27, 2020
A third quipped: "7pm: let's see what #CheerNetflix is all about.
1am: *so nervous for Daytona performance, gets stomach pains*"
Even Ellen DeGeneres got involved, tweeting that she was "obsessed". We feel ya, Ellen.
But why is Cheer so damn addictive?
Well, the sportsmanship on show is epic. This isn't half-assed pom-pom shaking but the best of dance, gymnastics and circus skills - all combined into one hot, sassy mix.
7PM: "Let's see what #CheerNetflix is all about. ♀️"
1AM: *So nervous for Daytona performance, gets stomach pains* pic.twitter.com/4v1Wfo7Doi
- Mariah Ellanson (@mariah_ellanson) January 25, 2020
Then there's the diverse squad and their incredible backstories, which - going by the tweets - have viewers around the world sobbing through their Netflix marathons.
Several members of Navarro's squad grew up in care and have found a refuge in cheerleading - as well as a friend and advocate in coach Monica.
Take Jerry Harris, who lost his mum to lung cancer at an early age and was adopted by a family friend.
Jerry doesn't fit the cheerleader prototype - he describes cheering in high school "weighing over 300 pounds" - but easily steals the crown of the most motivational member of the squad.
I thought I cared about my friends and family and then I watched #CheerNetflix and the only thing I care about now is the Navarro Cheer Team, making mat for Daytona, and protecting Jerry at all costs. https://t.co/jWc5rkvX8d pic.twitter.com/jJjXBqvwKw
- Eugene Lee Yang (@EugeneLeeYang) January 23, 2020
A force of positive energy, he's forever yelling encouragement at his cheer peers.
Elsewhere, Navarro's squad is full of gorgeous humans.
Like former tearaway Lexie, who went off the rails in her teens and has finally found structure and self-worth in training.
Or Morgan, who lived alone in a trailer after being abandoned by her dad, and now thrives on the support of Monica.
And who could forget showman Ladarius, whose levels of confidence mask a painful childhood of bullying and neglect that he's overcoming with the sport he adores.
It's the combination of these stories - which are by turns devastating and heart-warming - and the cut-throat competition of a high-impact sport, that makes Cheer such compulsive viewing.
Why does it have to end?
Season 2 can't double-somersault into our lives fast enough.
Featured Image Credit: Netflix