On Netflix, for the cheerleaders of “Cheer”, the harder the fall

The first season of Cheer, exciting, staged a form of redemption through sport. The second season explores the impact that the success of the Netflix series has had on the team of cheerleaders from Navaro College. Among other things, he favored the revelation of a sordid case of sexual abuse of minors.

On January 12, Netflix released the second season of Cheer, his documentary series which follows the team of cheerleaders (also called “cheerleaders”) the most successful in the United States: that of Navarro College, a small university located in the equally small Texas town of Corsicana.

The six episodes of the first season caused a sensation around the world a year ago. “They found an echo far beyond the small world of cheerleaders because they told the story of young people who overcame terrible obstacles – poverty, sexual abuse, parental neglect – to compete in a sport that is very tough, physically and emotionally, and often considered a second-rate spectacle,” remind him Los Angeles Times.

A new, darker and more rambling season

The series, created and directed by Greg Whiteley, has won several Emmy Awards in the process and, in the United States, its protagonists have toured television sets, multiplied advertising campaigns. “They became Instagram influencers and TikTok stars, and inspired millions of viewers around the world who identified with them”, writing Variety.

The new season began filming in January 2020. Nine episodes long, it is in some respects less well-kept than the first season, a marvel of conciseness and consistency. “It’s a little rougher work and […] less jubilant”, judge The Hollywood Reporter. This second part is “more disjointed”, “a bit confused and fuzzy”, “darker and heavier”, adds Vulture, the pop culture site of New York Magazine.

Under media pressure

In this, the second season of Cheer no doubt reflects the tumultuous life that was that of the cheerleaders from Navarro College for the duration of filming. It was necessary to integrate new members, and the coexistence of young anonymous recruits with the now stars of the team was not without tensions and frustrations. It was also necessary to learn how to manage the pressure generated on the collective by the media attention and the fact of appearing in a popular Netflix series.

The team seems to have lost in spontaneity and innocence, notes Variety :

The burst of stardom inevitably transforms a once rewarding passion – whether it’s dancing, singing or ‘cheerleading’ – into a more calculated, more mechanical activity than before. Despite what they say, most of the subjects of these docuseries fade in the spotlight rather than flourish.”

Jerry Harris, shock and dismay

But that’s not all. The team also had to overcome the temporary absence of their revered coach, Monica Aldama, who flew to Hollywood to compete in dance with


Marie Beloeil

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