For as long as I can remember, I have always heard the words “Cheerleading is not a sport.” Well, after watching Netflix’s new docuseries about a small junior college in Navarro, Tex., I certainly beg to differ. Netflix released a brand new series in January called “Cheer,” and it has completely swept the internet by storm.
The show has become so popular that it has even become its own trend on the famous social media platform TikTok. The show is not dissimilar to Netflix’s other famous docuseries “Last Chance U” which followed the lives of football players at a community college in Mississippi.
“Cheer” follows the lives of many different kids on the team, such as the star athletes as well as the kids who are still trying to prove themselves to their coach, Monica Aldama.
Aldama is tough as nails and does not care about any of their feelings when it comes to making tough decisions.
At first you are a bit taken back by Aldama and her coaching style, but it also explains why they have won 14 National Championship titles in the junior college division since 2000, as well as winning the “Grand National” title five times. You take one look at Aldama and think that she is just some washed up cheerleader using her former skills to coach.
If you assume this, you are certainly mistaken, Aldama not only has all of these titles to prove her work, but she also received a business degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
She coaches at Navarro because she is from the town Corsicana, where Navarro is, and that is where she and her husband wanted to raise their family.
The show follows the life of Aldama, as well as five of her athletes: Morgan, Lexi, Gabi, Jerry and La’Darius. These characters each are very different and have a wide range of skills, but just like everyone else they have one goal, being on the mat at Daytona. The rules in the NCA are that only 20 people can perform on mat at the National Championships in Daytona.
Aldama has a 40 person team so just in case someone is injured they have an automatic backup. Which happens a lot. Each episode someone is either concussed, is dropped in a stunt, or injures an ankle or all of the above.
The hardest part about watching the kids find out who made mat is that Navarro is only a two year college, which means some kids will go to this school to train only with Aldama and not even make the mat once.
The five members of the team all come from completely different lives. Morgan is at Navarro for her second year and did not make mat her first year. The Netflix crew goes into Morgan’s heartbreaking backstory which makes you love her even more. Morgan is definitely the weakest of the five that I previously mentioned, which makes her the underdog, and who doesn’t love a good underdog.
The next member is Lexi. Lexi is a very antisocial girl who is absolutely insane at tumbling. She is the only girl on the team who can tumble like the boys, and the flips she throws are absolutely ridiculous. Lexi is definitely the black sheep of the team; she is constantly shown vaping and she has a sour attitude towards a lot of the team rituals when she first arrives at Navarro. However, after learning more about Lexi and how difficult her life has been, she begins to be someone you want to root for.
Gabi Butler is the star of the team; she has a massive following on social media, constantly is doing photoshoots for cheer magazines and has devoted her life to cheerleading. She does every single part of the routine perfectly every time. Gabi is shown to be under a lot of pressure every episode from her overbearing parents. Gabi is a very unique person; she has her days where you like her and days where you don’t.
Jerry is by far the most amazing person on the team. He, just like Morgan, was not on mat the previous year, so he is constantly trying to prove himself to Monica and asks how he can improve. He is always the most excited one on the team and is constantly happy even though he has been through so much.
Finally, La’Darius, by far the biggest personality and diva on the team. He has this super-ultra funny personality to him but he constantly gets frustrated with his teammates. He, out of the five, definitely has the most growing up to do.
This show will make you fall in love with the kids on the team and will have you holding your breath during their entire Daytona routine. The series is only six episodes long, and they are one hour each. “Cheer” is available to stream on Netflix.