Will HELLCATS Spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S for The CW? - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Will HELLCATS Spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S for The CW?

September 8, 2010 by  

Beautiful yet bitchy. Dating the captain of the football team. Just a little too much pep in their step – that’s usually how cheerleaders are portrayed in TV and movies. Will the new CW series HELLCATS move us beyond the one dimensional stereotype of these leaders of cheer?

After seeing the first episode, the jury is still out.

I’m going to give the producers the benefit of the doubt on this one. I think they are trying to break the cheerleader mold and show the audience that not everyone fits into these carefully constructed boxes, but I can’t say they were successful with doing so in the pilot.

HELLCATS tells the story of Marti Perkins (Alyson Michalka), a pre-law major at Lancer University whose only hope of staying in school after losing her scholarship is to join Lancer’s cheerleading squad – the Hellcats.  Problem is, Marti loathes the Hellcats and everything they stand for. She and her best friend Dan hate the Hellcats so much that they spend their free time watching them practice, seething with disdain.

What’s a poor girl with no money, no scholarship and a trashy mother to do? Desperate times call for desperate measures.

As if trying out for the competitive squad wasn’t hard enough, Marti has to do it with her tail between her legs. Not the best idea to trash the sport of cheerleading and brawl with the captain the day before you try out. That’s a little advice from me to you, Marti.

But not even the evil scowls of head cheerleader Savannah or co-captain Alice can keep Marti off the team. Not when she absolutely bowls over the coach with her powerful tumbling and unique and edgy dance moves.  (Oh sorry, should have I given that a spoiler alert? Um, Marti makes the team  – Spoiler Alert – not sure if you saw that one coming.)

Making the squad means Marti has to move in to Cheertown (I kid you not) and she’s hand picked to be the roommate of Savannah (again, not kidding) who suddenly wants nothing more than to be besties with Marti. But not everyone is interested in welcoming Marti like a Journey song. Alice isn’t too pleased that the newbie has caught the eye of Alice’s ex, fellow cheerleader, Lewis. Like sands through the hourglass…

How will the squad change now that the ‘take no prisoners’ Marti is on the team? Will Marti ever be able to win over Alice, Savannah and the others? Will she fall for fellow cheerer Lewis or will she end up in a will they won’t they with her best friend, Dan? (Hint: If a hot guy is cast as the straight best friend of the lead, sexual tension will ensue.)

Every show has an audience. I have no doubt whatsoever that HELLCATS will find a bevvy of fans to tune in each week. I just can’t say that I will be one of them.

My biggest problem with HELLCATS, aside from the major plot holes (um, one can get a full college scholarship just by joining the financially strapped cheerleading squad? Ok.) is that the creative team behind the show couldn’t settle in on a tone. Is the show fun, over the top and a bit campy? You’d think so given the quite enjoyable performance of Ashley Tisdale (Savannah). But juxtaposed with the brooding struggles of Marti’s lower class status, it’s really hard to say.  If the writers choose the path of grandiose comedies (think Ryan Murphy’s GLEE and POPULAR) then I think that there is real potential.  But based on what I’ve read, HELLCATS is trying to walk that fine line between comedy and a character driven drama, and in that capacity I don’t think the show will work.

Despite my own personal feelings about the premiere, I actually encourage all of you to check out HELLCATS tonight at 8pm EST on The CW. When it comes to TV, I always say ‘to each their own’. We like what we like because we like it.  If you give HELLCATS a glance and think it’s worthy of your TV time then great for you…and The CW.

Need to know a little more about HELLCATS? Check out this extended preview of the series premiere (it goes without saying that spoilers abound!)

Do you think you’ll be cheering for HELLCATS tonight?  Be sure to come back to this post after you watch and share YOUR thoughts.

Filed under #1 featured, Hellcats, TV News


4 Responses to “Will HELLCATS Spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S for The CW?”

  1. Alison on September 9th, 2010 4:32 pm

    I haven’t watched it yet, but it’s on my Tivo. I’m not expecting much mostly because it’s a CW show. The only other thing I have in that timeslot is Modern Family/Cougartown, so I can watch it. I’ll probably watch it tonight and see if it’s any good.

  2. Kath Skerry on September 9th, 2010 4:47 pm

    Alison, I’ve got to say, I think The CW offers up some quality TV entertainment. That said, HELLCATS isn’t one of those shows.

  3. Libby on September 14th, 2010 6:24 pm

    I’m a cheerleader and I saw it on a youtube channel. I WILL DEFINITELY BE WATCHING!

  4. Molly on September 14th, 2010 9:01 pm

    So I’m not into cheerleading, or cheerleaders for that matter. It’s not my cup of tea. But I have to admit I really enjoyed this show. It’s different, and yet just enough typical at the same time. I think what I like the most is the added twists on the characters. They seem to be and do differently than expected in most teen spirited shows or movies these days. And the cheers and moves were undeniably awesome. The music selected for the show absolutely MADE it. I hate to say it, but I think this show will end up being one of my guilty pleasures.