Sunday, January 24, 2021     Volume: 21, Issue: 47
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A VIGILANTE
BEST WISHES, WARMEST REGARDS: A SCHITT’S CREEK FAREWELL
BINGABLE: ABANDONED (2016)
BINGEABLE: BARRY
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTARIES
BINGEABLE: OUTLANDER (2014-present)
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
DA 5 BLOODS
ENOLA HOLMES
FIRST COW
GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)
HAPPIEST SEASON
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
HONEST THIEF
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
LYING AND STEALING
MANK
SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE (2011)
SOUL
SUPERINTELLIGENCE
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE MIDNIGHT SKY
THE OPERATIVE
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
THE PROM
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO SEVEN
THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW
TREAD
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: BEST LEFTOVERS EVER!
TV REVIEW: BOSCH
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EVIL
TV REVIEW: FEAR CITY
TV REVIEW: HELL ON WHEELS (2011-2016)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK
TV REVIEW: JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: LOVECRAFT COUNTRY
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW (SEASON 11)
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE MORNING SHOW
TV REVIEW: THE MOST DANGEROUS ANIMAL OF ALL
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: THE THIRD DAY
TV REVIEW: THE VOW
TV REVIEW: TREADSTONE (2019)
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL (2014)
WONDER WOMAN 1984

GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)

PHOTO BY IMAGE COURTESY OF NETFLIX

GUILTY PLEASURES: CHEER (2020)


Where is it playing?: Netflix

What's it rated?: TV-MA

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Ready? OK! One, two, three, four, cheerleading is a sport I never thought about before … until now. I should also confess that I never really thought about cheerleading as a sport, but that all changed once I started watching Cheer, a Netflix original docuseries.

Warning: minor spoiler ahead! Cheer follows the lives of the (now) 14-time National Champion Navarro College Cheer Team.

In case you were wondering, the college is located in the small town of Corsicana, Texas, and ambitious youth come from all over the country just to see if they have what it takes to be a Navarro cheerleader.

The co-ed squad, coached by Monica Aldama, is the official cheer squad for all athletic teams of the community college.

Let me just put that into perspective for a moment. Not only do these young women and men practice and train for pep rallies and games, they also train for their own competition. 

The squad spends hours on perfecting a two minute and 15 second routine for the NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida. I cannot stress how difficult and physically draining the routine is and the hours spent to get it right. 

It’s amazing to see the young women propelled by their male counterparts into the air while simultaneously performing stunts—in mid-air. At the same time, it can really put you on the edge of your seat when a girl falls because she wasn’t properly caught at the end of her stunt and gets injured (this happens a few times, and the injuries vary from minor to severe).

Now, just because you’ve made the Navarro cheerleading team does not mean you’ll make it to “mat.” There are about 38 to 40 people on the entire team, but only 20 will be selected to perform the routine at the championship competition. Those 20 could change, at the direction of Aldama and her coaching team, due to injures, lack of confidence in a teammate, low stamina, and this is just a small list of what she’s looking at.

Aldama is a hard-ass who is passionate about winning but just as passionate when it comes to her kids (cheer squad).

Throughout the film, we get an intimate glimpse of the lives of the squad members: their upbringings and what got them into the cheer world.

The stories are not what I would have expected. Many of the teammates have experienced neglect from parents, the death of a parent, have made wrong choices, or experienced discrimination because of their sexual identity.

It’s hard not to root for every single person on that team who has overcome hardships, and, for some, it was cheerleading that got them through it.

Interestingly enough, after college, there is no athletic cheer squad that men and women can be drafted into, like football or baseball. So for many, this is it. It’s the most difficult and rewarding time in their life. (Six episodes, 52 to 62 min.) 

—Karen Garcia










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