Cheer

Cheer

Critic's Notebook: How TV Is Reinvigorating the Female Sports Drama

With shows like Netflix's 'Cheer,' TV has been picking up from where film left off years ago following the demise of the once-popular female sports drama.

14.2.2020

New critic's notebook from RobynBahr: With shows like Netflix's Cheer , TV has been picking up from where film left off years ago following the demise of the once-popular female sports drama

With shows like Netflix's ' Cheer ,' TV has been picking up from where film left off years ago following the demise of the once-popular female sports drama.

and Spinning Out each emphasize the extraordinary physical power of female athletes, which viewers rarely get to see in a medium where women are typically either the beauty or the brains, but almost never the brawn. The characters on these shows embody raw power and endurance, whether they're flying 20 feet through the air, learning to control their wrestling maneuvers for maximum safety or cutting through ice to propel themselves into a three-turn aerial twist. Unlike female superheroes, whose hyperbolic abilities are so outside the realm of possibility that your brain can glaze over watching Wonder Woman knock out her foes during combat or Black Widow finagle weaponry with precision, athletic characters remind you of women's material potential. These athletes don't need to embody sexuality in order to give their physical talents value. In the words of actor and writer Brit Marling: TV's female athletes aren't #Badass. They're prodigious. These shows also have the narrative space to showcase the darker side of athletic ambition. On Cheer , much of the pathos stems from characters horrifically injuring themselves during practice, cutting their chances of making it to Nationals. These cheerleaders crack their bones, suffer multiple consecutive concussions and are pummeled so many times in the ribs they risk permanent disability. Without a professional league, there's a firm expiration date on their careers once they hit their early 20s and can no longer compete in the NCA. Similarly, on Spinning Out , we watch young women go through hell in order to train for the Olympics — eating disorders, sexual abuse, gory injury — but the worst may yet come for some of these athletes who have devoted their lives to a one-in-a-million chance of success instead of getting a formal education. On this show, the women who have been chewed up and spit out by their passion can only envision a bleak, empty future. GLOW also offers an insider's view, showcasing that professional wrestling isn't exactly a "fake" sport, as some naysayers claim, but a highly controlled and choreographed one. As we learn, it takes just as much bodily strength to simulate an act of head-thwacking violence as it does to actually perform it. These backbreaking steps lead to rough days, as evidenced by the third season, which sees its characters struggle with the monotony and chronic pain of performing the same moves night after night. For decidedly unathletic people like myself, it's easy to start thinking of yourself as a brain in a jar, completely disconnected from the meat bag that actually houses your consciousness. I have always been more interested in nourishing my mind rather than my body —hence, a lifetime of irregular sleep, unsteady hydration, and developing a connoisseur-level fascination with novelty potato chips. Only in recent years have I recognized that powerful muscles encase my bones, and despite inheriting the squat form of a classic endomorph, I'm surprisingly strong. Lately, every time I stretch my inflexible back and inch closer to actually being able to touch my toes again, I imagine Cheer Read more: Hollywood Reporter

RobynBahr Dare Me? (Even though it’s not Netflix.)

Hollywood Critics' Groups Squabble Over Who Is a Hollywood CriticThe Critics' Choice Association — the folks who run that selfie festival known as the Critics' Choice Awards — are trying to clamp down on another critics' group in L.A that changed its name to the Hollywood Critics Association. Okay In the age of crowd sourced reviews, critics are no longer relevant. This situation deserves criticism... 🤔

Your 2020 Guide to All the Renewed and Canceled TV ShowsSo many networks have renewed your favorite shows already.

Amazon focusing on sci-fi TV shows, Netflix expanding comedy, romance - Business InsiderAmazon Prime Video has found success with sci-fi shows like 'The Boys' and 'The Expanse,' and dropped millions for the rights to 'Lord of the Rings.'

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