- Network: Netflix
- Series Premiere Date: Jan 8, 2020
Season #: 2, 1
- Critic score
- By date
Cheer Season 2 is, like the first season, an addictive triumph. It expands the narrative to include a rival cheer team worth (begrudgingly) rooting for and a new cast of characters to love. But the most impressive thing Cheer Season 2 does is honestly examine the fallout of Season 1. The documentarians capture the good, the bad, and the ugly. ... Cheer Season 2 is The Empire Strikes Back of contemporary sports docs.
Now aware of its influence and with the added responsibility that comes with it, “Cheer” delivers a fascinating command performance, with all the attention and empathy that the stories at its center demand.
"Cheer" depicts the turmoil of high competition and the double-edged sword of fame. And it lays out what makes the world of cheerleading so addictive, both for its participants and for viewers.
In a smart narrative shift, Whitely centers a good portion of this season on Navarro's rivals, Trinity Valley Community College. ... Sexual abuse is a topic "Cheer" handles with care and respect, devoting significant time to the survivors, not just the perpetrator. ... "Cheer" does a good job of existing in that middle space, a space where we don't know what's coming and we haven't recovered from what happened, not yet, maybe not ever.
Overall, Cheer is still a fascinating piece of television that feels refreshingly honest in its storytelling. The confidence with which Whiteley and Yarnell tackle this season’s conflicts, whether or not it’s fun to watch, prove that this series is in great hands. Cheer may not be as instantly comforting as it was in its inaugural season, but few shows depicting real life over the past two years have been.
The result is a season missing much of the youthful heart that distinguished its predecessor, but it’s still a well-crafted sports drama and an enthralling showcase of this particular blend of acrobatics and flair.
Covering an expanded amount of time and an expanded number of issues, even with an expanded (nine now) number of episodes, doesn’t come smoothly. There are provocative and entertaining things in the season of Cheer, but it is a messier piece of work and, perhaps somewhat by design, a less satisfying one.
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