Friday, September 10, 2010

Hellcats- Fake shoot the Cheerleader, Save the World

First I want to start off by saying that I wrote that title before Marti said that line in the show. I am serious. Then I found out that the creator producer of Heroes worked on the show, so it makes a bit more sense. Okay, onto the post.

Hello everyone, welcome to a new season of Television. I am starting off this year with the brand spanking new CW show Hellcats. I am excited to start recapping the show from the pilot. Also seriously what is there not to like about this show, hot and fit girls doing gymnastic moves. Enough said.

Biking through life
Well we start off with pre-law student Marti Perkins (the main character) awkwardly riding a bike that looks a bit too big for her. Apparently she rides her bike everywhere because in Memphis gas costs an arm and a leg. Well if drivers in Memphis have no arms and legs, that is definitely not a place I want to be driving through any time soon. She goes to Lansing University where football drives the social life and cheerleaders are hot shit (wow a school with a good football team, I wonder what that would be like). We quickly find out that Marti despises cheerleaders; she despises them so much that she has a game of shooting them with a pretend bow and arrow. It turns out that the Alice, the cheerleader she “pretend” shot fell off the top of the pyramid and actually got hurt. The team doctor (who is also dating the cheerleading coach) says she is out for 6 weeks and the team is going to need to find new members.

Marti bikes home and we quickly learn two things about her.

1) She has alot of trophies either for cheerleading of gymnastics (maybe the reason for her overwhelming hatred for them)

2) She never takes off her crocheted biking gloves.

She opens up one of her letters and discovers her tuition is three months overdue. She goes to the school bar where her mother works and learns that the institution has cut scholarships for children of the employees. Marti is now shit outta luck due to the fact she can’t pay for school and needs to find a new scholarship.

The joy of paying for college:
Marti goes to talk to an administrator at the school to discuss getting her scholarship back. And just like how Helen was Nikki’s hope in Bad Girls, Marti tells him that her education is her hope that gets her through life. As Marti is going through the catalogue of random ass scholarships she can try to apply for, one of the Hellcat members, Savannah, walks into the office to submit her cheerleading scholarship. Marti is appalled that something as horrid as cheerleading would warrant a scholarship. She calls Savannah a foot ball groupie and Savannah replies “There is nothing more personal than calling someone a groupie.” I am not sure about you, but I can think of at least 100 more personal things to be called than a groupie. They get in a shouting fight and decide to leave quietly as to not create a bigger scene.

We get it, Marti bikes alot
Back on her bike, Marti rides to the video store, rents Bring it On and goes home to practice the steps. I am guessing she is thinking of trying out for the cheerleading to pay for school, but that is just a guess. Using throw pillows as pom-poms she teaches herself the routine from the film and finishes it off with a back flip off the coffee table.

She is all ready to go now. At the tryouts there are hundreds of girls ready to claim their spot on the squad. (Wait, they didn't show Marti biking there, how in gods name will I know how she arrived!).

When Marti arrives she unfortunately finds out Savannah is not only one of the judges, but also captain of the squad. As in every television auditioning process we have to see the good auditionees and the atrocious. Marti does well at her solo floor routine but has a harder time during the choreography portion.She is nervous and losing the count and forgetting the moves. She decides to screw the choreography and show her own moves on the floor. When it comes down to decision time the coach really likes Marti spunk but bitter injured Alice does not. The final decision comes down to Savannah.

Welcome to Cheertown
OMG Marti made the squad! Phew, I was scared for a second. Part of being on the squad means moving into the cheerleading dorm called “Cheertown.” (I wonder how many times people vandalized that sign to read “beertown”). She brings all of her belongings to her room, and her roommate turns out to be Savannah. Savannah has tried to make space for Marti to put her stuff in the closet and in the drawers and the best interaction of television occurs.

Savannah: And here I’ve allocated half the dresser space for you. I prefer the upper drawers.
Marti: Oh, I’m a bottom myself.
Savannah gives Marti a confused look
Marti: That’s a joke
Savannah: We should come up with a signal for that to avoid confusion.

WHAT! I had to watch that clip over four times to make sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing. I still do not really understand what just happened. Does Savannah need a code for lesbian jokes, does she need a code for knowing if Marti is a lesbian, does she just need a code for everything.

Co-ed Locker Room?
Marti wakes up after her first night at Cheertown and goes to take a shower. To her, and my, surprise, the locker/bathroom is co-ed. I am pretty sure that is not even legal but I have no idea. Luckily each sex has their own room for showers and she heads for the door with the big old “W” on it. In the showers we are finally introduced to Patty “The Wedge” Wedgerman, the highly anticipated lesbian cheerleader on the squad. And she does not disappoint, she is a big old dyke. After The Wedge leaves, Alice gives a bitchtastic schpeel to Marti about how she is just a replacement and “when you are done with a band-aid you rip it off and throw it away.” Marti retorts, with perfectly executed timing, “Oh, oh, I’m the band-aid. Got it. Do you invent your own kind of metaphors or is there a book.”

Alice’s answer to that question is “I’ll just take your towel so you will look like a fool.” This would not be too big of a deal if it was not a co-ed locker room. Lewis finds her hiding in a toilet stall and helps her out. He drops his towel right by the door for her to wear and clears the rest of the guys from the room by asking if his penis was crooked. Good thinking Lewis.

Presenting Marti
Marti is officially introduced to the team as the newest member of the Hellcats. Coach Vanessa Hodge tells the team that if they do not qualify for championships that their program will be cut. It is just like Glee, but without the singing, and with cheerleader, and in college, and not with misfits. So not so much like Glee but I think you get my point. Vanessa says that they need to change things up and start improvising their routines more instead of going by the book. Marti leads them in a soul filled cheer/dance with a lot of hip movements and Alice is sulking in the corner. Especially when her boy Lewis starts grinding up on Marti.

Later Marti explains to Savannah why she quit gymnastics. I was expecting something like Save the Last Dance where her father died on the way to a meet or something like that. It was just that her mother freaked her out at meets so she quit because she was too mental. Alice heard this conversation and the one about Lewis liking Marti and goes to the bar to invite Marti's mom to the competition. Seriously, what a bitch.

So i really liked the show. It was cliche in some ways but also refreshing in others. Not all the girls on the team are bitchy, only just Alice really. They really seem like a tightknit team which is also nice. So what did you guys think of the show? Did you enjoy it, will you keep watching? Let me know, let me know.


(All pictures courtesy of CW)


Anonymous said...

I hadn't really planned on watching this show, but when I saw your recap, I thought why not? Plus, I like Aly Michalka, so that's cool. Anyway, it's a pretty good episode, so I think I'll keep watching. But actually, what I'm completely obsessed with is 'Rizzoli & Isles', they're 9 episodes in, and I highly recommend it. It's so freakin' good.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, I'm DMD, I just changed my screen name.

Alphabetsoup said...

Duns, yeah I knew it was you. And I do watch Rizzoli & Isles and I really like it. It is like a gayer version of Bones. I was going to write about it but I did not think I would do it as much justice as the afterellen recaps of it do. Have you read those?

Anonymous said...

I do agree with a majority of your post (especially Marti biking everywhere...) My issue with the show arises because I feel it's a plot that has been done over and over again. Where is the originality in a girl being forced to join a team that she despises in order to pay for college, get the boy of her dreams etc etc...? I'm also disappointed in the producers following the ever-present television cliche of cheerleaders being "the shit" on campus/ school (which points out a contradiction: if a campus activity is so popular and apparently has scholarships why is it's funding being cut?)

Perhaps I'm reading too much into a show (it is the CW after all). Hopefully it moves away from rehashing of old movies or television shows and into something resembling originality since this show demonstrates some promise.


Alphabetsoup said...

I did say that show was cliche, and I mean it is. One thing I like though is they dont make it seem like cheerleading guys are all gay.

On the note of funding being cut, I think it is on the traveling competition portion of the squad. These girls are sex symbols at the school, they are needed at football games, they are expected at a football college. Where they are "not needed" is competing. That is not where they are bringing money to the school. They are bringing in the money pretty much by being "football groupie".

Anonymous said...

I almost wish that they would have made Rizzoli & Isles sexually attracted to each other, so that it would also be similar to Bones in how the two major characters have sexual chemistry but refuse to admit it. That definitely would have made the show more interesting, but I'm not sure if it would make a better ? What do you think?

I wasn't familiar with the website AfterEllen, so I just went to go check it out. It actually looks like a really interesting website, and I love how they recap a lot of good shows. It's definitely something that I'll be checking up on frequently. Thanks for tip :)

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