Hellcats

Common Sense Media says

Peppy drama's got game -- and sexy content.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show attempts to shatter negative stereotypes about cheerleading by promoting competition and athleticism. There's also an overarching message of getting to know people before you judge them.

Positive role models

There's at least one "villain," but most of the characters work hard to get along for the sake of teamwork and competition. Several characters undergo significant attitude adjustments and learn to see the good in others.

Violence

Some verbal sparring and a few sports-related injuries, but nothing too intense.

Sex

Most characters dress suggestively and show lots of skin -- both in and out of uniform -- and dancing can be overly "sexy." There's also some sexual tension and implied sex, in addition to onscreen kissing and making out, between college-aged characters.

Language

In addition to the "hell" in the title, language includes words like "damn," "bitch," and "whack job."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking stems from the fact that the main character's mom owns a campus bar, but cheerleaders are prohibited from drinking alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, in spite of some skimpy outfits, sexy dancing, implied sex and gratuitous shots of washboard abs, this cheerleading-themed drama that's built around a pair of Disney Channel alums is comparatively tamer than others like it on prime time. The language rarely gets saltier than the occasional "hell" or "damn," and most characters generally prove to be strong role models. Although it's set in college, it will likely appeal to teens and tweens -- particularly those who love to cheer. But the sexual content is best left to older teens who can understand the consequences.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

When her scholarship gets cancelled due to a slip-up, street-smart pre-law student Marti Perkins (Alyson Michalka) tries out for Lancer College's competitive cheerleading squad to secure funding for her classes -- and, before she knows it, she's one of the high-flying HELLCATS. But while Marti's moves could help the squad win the national championship, her unconventional style rubs a few of her new teammates the wrong way. Team captain Savannah Moore (Ashley Tisdale) is on her side, but manipulative rival Alice (Heather Hemmens) doesn't always play nice.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The basic premise of a rough-and-tumble outsider joining the in crowd
is hardly new -- in fact, we've even seen it in other cheerleading
movies before. (On the big screen, we'd simply call this Bring It On.) But that doesn't mean that Hellcats
is a total snooze. On the contrary, in spite of some cheesy dialogue and
misguided montages, it's an earnest (but admittedly sexed-up) look at a world of serious
teamwork, intense competition ... and skimpy midriffs. If you can get past a
few eye-rolling moments, Hellcats is a heck of a good time.

A much-altered Tisdale -- who was once as well known for her blonde hair as she was for her over-the-top antics as Sharpay in the pop blockbuster High School Musical -- is barely recognizable as the squad's uber-responsible brunette captain.
But it's a good change, and she provides much-needed balance to
Michalka's often-overwrought attempts to look rebellious. (Side note: At Lancer College, having curly hair means you're "edgy.") For a couple of Disney alums, these kids have done all right.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about cheerleading and its overall image in the public eye. Do you view cheerleading as a "real" sport? Why or why not? What position does this show take when it comes to associating cheering with athleticism?

  • Does the series treat cheerleading seriously, or is there a bit of cheekiness at play? Does playing up cheerleading's sexier aspects take away from the argument that it's a competitive sport?

  • How realistic are the characters when it comes to the things they say and do? How does this show compare to other series and movies you've seen about cheerleading?

TV details

Cast:Alyson Michalka, Ashley Tisdale, Heather Hemmons
Network:CW
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Hellcats was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old January 10, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Boring show ....

I fell asleep watching this and it's boring to watch I don't even need to watch this show to know whats going to happen it pretty bad
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byfarida17 November 18, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

hellcats

um i watched some episodes of hellcats and i think its great
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written byMillyMolly December 9, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Really Fun!

Its really good because the story always changed around, and you dont know what to expect. There are some really good dancing and cheerleading. I realy like the charecters.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide