Cheer is a 2020 Netflix documentary series on the cheer squad at a small junior college, Navarro College, in Corsicana, Texas.
8 out of 10 stars. The documentary series is terrifying, exhilarating, and frustrating all at the same time.
This six hour series follows a year in the lives of a cheer squad in Corsicana, Texas at the small junior college Navarro College. The town is small with only 20,000 people, so cheerleaders come from all over the country to study here so they can be on the cheer squad.
Unlike professional athletes, these cheerleaders are not paid millions of dollars, don’t get millions of dollars from athletic sponsors, and actually spend a small fortune on clothes, training, travel, etc. They work their bodies until they fail and they do all of this because they love it.
What I found deeply disturbing about this documentary were the multiple injuries caused to the girls on the team when they were repeatedly dropped by the boys on the team, the same boys. And yet those boys were kept on the team as they lost one girl after another to serious injuries. In particular, a boy named LeDarius was absolutely vile to the girls on the team. In scene after scene you see him catch a girl then walk away before her feet have touched the floor, essentially dropping them, time after time after time. It’s painful to watch. He calls the girls, his teammates, “bitches” repeatedly and yells at them. He texts them before competitions with hateful texts blaming them for the team’s failures. And this young man is given a prominent spot on the team because the coach, Monica, favors him. :0
What was also rather disturbing was the illiteracy of the teammates. Some of them couldn’t operate a simple laptop. Others talked about eggs being “dirty food” because they’re dairy. Eggs are not dairy.
Then there’s the coach, Monica, a woman who keeps bragging about her MBA from the University of Texas, what she calls the “best business school in the country”. That’s not the best business school in the country. It’s probably closer to among the worst. Monica puts the team through brutal practices. You can hear the girls being hit with the boys’ hands when they’re caught from what is called “baskets”. But again, watching the same boys repeatedly drop the girls was painful to watch.
8 out of 10 stars. The documentary is entertaining, but be prepared to watch some brutal practices in which the girls are repeatedly tossed about like rag dolls and dropped from great heights.