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Parents' Guide to


By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Engrossing docuseries follows cheer team champions.

Cheer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 18+

Pushes the Envelope on Physical Abuse

I believe the opportunity that some of these kids have been given is great and they all great in their own way. Where it crosses the line for me is it’s almost glamourizing pushing yourself to the limit and risking serious injury to win. It’s too much. And Monica makes it very clear that it’s her reputation at stake which I believe is her real motivation behind her strict, firm and at time grueling approach to preparation for 2.5 minutes once a year in Daytona. I believe she wants it to be about the kids, but it really is about her winning. Enough is never enough. Furthermore, I feel like this production projects Texas values on kids who come from all walks of life and situations. The History Professor being the best example. She says she’s teaching TX history when all she is doing is projecting the ultra conservative values of Corsicana onto Students who don’t really care. She goes as far as to say she totes her gun with her everywhere she goes. If the goal of this show is to show how physical cheerleading is and others should see it as a sport, fine, but the message that you get and see is young kids who love the sport being pushed to the limit constantly and made to feel bad when they fail. As one reviewer put it, Monica doesn’t put much into their little victories. It’s a business to her more than anything. She claims and states the kids are more important yet every decision she makes it geared toward ensuring the win. How about some of those kids who never make it to Mat? It’s a business decision to keep them off and hoping, but trusting Monica because of the reputation she’s built. Personally, the guy who runs the Trinity Univesoty program is more balanced and a better example.
age 16+
Only watched a few bits of a few episodes and decided this was not for my 13 year old daughter who is a cheerleader. The reality of some of the stories is heartfelt but really not appropriate for a middle school aged person I think. Too much drama with a capital D. The rating of TV-MA was enough for me to tell my daughter that she will have to wait a few years to view.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (10 ):

This surprisingly captivating docuseries about a team at the top of its game will delight cheer-loving viewers and convert the cheer-averse. The alternating scenes of cheer practices and performances and the life stories of compelling personalities in Cheer invest the viewer from the very first episode. It's also very balanced. Coach Monica's strong persona doesn't dominate the show. The young people really do shine here, and viewers will find themselves invested in their (and the teams') success. Stakes are established early: risk of major injury and the fact that only twenty of the forty cheerleaders will be selected to be "on mat" at Nationals makes the show pleasingly suspenseful.

A missed opportunity: going deeper into the important issues of LGBTQ discrimination and financial barriers to cheering, which are raised, but not given the deep attention they deserve. Other than that, the story is structured so well that as the competition nears, the tension and anxiety swells to near-panic levels for the cheerleaders and viewers of the show. The result of Nationals is as emotional as it gets in documentaries, but by the time the viewer gets to the end, many tears may have already been shed -- this show pulls at the heart all the way through and may even convert new fans to the sport.

TV Details

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