So now that Stick It has become a fairly popular tv show (Make It or Break It), it’s high time for bring it on to become one too, right? (Maybe they think a tv show is better than yet another sequel?) Enter Hellcats, about Marti, a girl who is in desperate need of a scholarship when hers gets cut. She detests cheerleaders, until she discovers that her sports-centered university gives their cheerleaders scholarships and decides to join up.
Ashley Tisdale’s character Savannah is less believable than her character as Maddie on Suite Life or Sharpay in High School Musical. It’s like they couldn’t decide which way to take her and so they just made her all over the place. She plays the captain of the squad who first has a run in with Marti when she makes fun of cheerleaders. She’s like Torrence Shipman and takes cheerleading VERY seriously (not a fan of the brown hair, by the way) so she was not happy to hear someone dissing the sport. “We’re cheerleaders too, only no beams, no bars, no vault” was Torrence’s speech, and hers was almost the same. She also tried to slap Marti which seems like perhaps not the best reaction.
Meanwhile, Aly Michalka plays Marti and her character is perhaps even worse. We see her making fun of cheerleaders and aiming imaginary arrows at them for fun (though at least she’s a little sad when one of them gets hurt). Her dialogue is so cookie cutter “snarky girl” that it comes off as disingenuous. She’s the Emily Kmetko of our story. She was a gymnast until high school because her mom once showed up and embarrassed her at a meet. Her mom is basically Chloe Kmetko, wild, irresponsible, forgetful, and embarrassing. Marti has had to take care of her most of her life and is hoping to go to Law school and get away from her mother. If she stopped being a gymnast before high school, then presumably she stopped around age 14-15 and is now 18-19 but she has apparently not lost any of her skills (remember Payson’s story, how likely is it that her body hasn’t changed?) since she does tumbling runs easily which helps impress (though she makes it as a flyer to replace an injured girl). Like Emily, she is also hip and different and more “punky” with people against her and at least two boys totally into her. Oh, and how does she prepare for her cheerleading tryouts you ask? She watches Bring It On of course! (Also, I don’t buy her as a law student, show me that she’s smart!) She fits into the perky personality of a cheerleader far more easily than Missy did (even if Eliza Dushku looked ridiculous in her fake dreds.)
I’m a sucker for competitive sports so I’ll keep watching to see where it goes. Besides, it looks like it may give me as much to make fun of as Make It Or Break It, which is always fun.
Some other notes: it premiered to pretty good ratings for the CW, is slated for 13 episodes for now, is executive produced by Tom Welling of Smallville, and is based off of a book called Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders that I actually kinda want to read.