Season two of Cheer single-handedly combats outdated stereotypes regarding the sport



Netflix documentary and TV show named Cheer season two poster

Over the course of my sixteen years on this earth, I have grown to learn that more often than not, when someone disagrees with you, there is little you can do to change their mind. It is for that reason that, although I may try to debate, leaving people and their differing opinions alone is something I have had to adapt to—to a certain extent.

However, some arguments I will defend until there are no words left to be spoken, no debates or differing opinions to be shared, that haven’t already been said and rehashed, and the peer to which has fallen under my wrath ultimately agrees with me. 

One of those debates being is cheerleading a sport?

Although I have a slew of personal anecdotes and experiences on the topic that are ready to be put to use at a moment’s notice, the recent increase in competitive cheer awareness from shows such as Cheer, a Netflix original, certainly helps to back up my argument. 

Season one of Cheer came out in 2020, shedding new light on the athletic, incomparable, challenging, but ultimately fun life of a competitive college cheerleader at Navarro College. 

It showed the day-long practices, the intense competition from rival teams, and the bonds necessary for when your sport revolves around throwing people in the air and expecting them to catch you. It allowed the non-cheerleaders of the world to accept that cheer is, in fact, a sport and should be respected as such. 

The show’s popularity quickly took off, and soon after the release was renewed for season two, Cheer hit our screens once more on January 12th, 2022. 

I could feel myself enthralled by the drama, intensity, and new faces that were brought to the screen this season.”

Instantly, within the first five minutes of season two, episode one, I could feel myself enthralled by the drama, intensity, and new faces that were brought to the screen this season. 

However, quickly after the initial shock, it became clear that season two was taking a different, potentially better, approach compared to season one. New conflicts appeared such as veterans from last season coming back for a spot on the team even though they already won a championship—ultimately snatching the mat time away from a rookie. 

The quote, “If you don’t want someone coming for your spot, do better,” was said on multiple occasions, spoken by a different athlete each time. This statement perfectly demonstrates the pressure these men and women alike feel when fighting to be the best at what they do. 

Another main difference I noticed this season was the focus on Navarro’s rival team. They received much more frequent camera time, which allowed viewers to not only get to know but actually grow attached to some of their athletes. Their rival team is Trinity Valley Community College; last season they were completely portrayed as the enemy. However, we are now seeing their many struggles, as well as their amazing talent, in addition to being Navarro’s number one competition. This change in pace is likely due to the hate that the team received when the show first aired.

With TV shows such as this one, it is easy to forget that the people on the screen are not simply characters set for our amusement, but rather real people with lives and feelings similar to ours. 

The show could have easily been filmed from the perspective of Trinity Valley being the protagonist, and for that reason, I have great respect for the producers showing off their talents as well as Navarro in season two. 

Contrary to its title, reality TV is usually very scripted and can oftentimes feel forced. What I love about Cheer is that no matter what drama was simply written for the screen, or truly fought out in real life, there is no faking a national competition. When you win, you win fair, no matter how many fans have watched your show, and that equally applies if you lose. 

This team has faced a great deal of both winning and losing, but all that aside, Cheer has redefined people’s ideas of what cheerleading is in an updated, well-respected manner, something few people have been able to achieve in the past and something I am very thankful for.