As soon as Netflix’s ‘Cheer’ first premiered in early 2020, it took over the world with its remarkably gritty and powerful portrayal of competitive cheerleading. After all, this documentary series revolves around the cheer teams at Navarro College and their rival Trinity Valley Community College as they prepare to compete in the annual championship. It thus examines everything from drops to fights and from passion to victories to emphasize precisely why cheer is an important sport. So if you’re wondering whether there’s anything spurious in the production, we’ve got those details for you as well.
Is Cheer Fake or Real?
Created by Greg Whiteley (the brain behind ‘Last Chance U,‘ ‘Resolved,’ and ‘Most Likely to Succeed’), ‘Cheer’ seems to be as close to reality and authenticity as possible. In other words, none of the circumstances, competitions, games, or dialogues are penned by professionals and handed to the coaches or athletes to be delivered on camera, making their emotions natural. However, because of all the time, money, and other resources utilized to bring about such a series together, it’s also not unusual for the producers to push some topics of conversations or edit scenes during post-production.
One of the prime examples for the latter is towards the end of season 1 when we learn that Lexi Brumback had a run-in with the law that resulted in her being booted off Navarro Cheer. That’s when we see her getting ready to go out and enjoy the night, implying that she could’ve returned to her old, troubling ways, yet that’s not true. “The rave scene that they put in the last episode actually happened months before Daytona,” Lexi told ET. “They kind of just made it seem like when I left [Navarro] that I was just gonna be screwing up and everything. I actually went to school, just not to Navarro.”
A couple of other instances of such alterations are the portrayal of Gabi Butler’s parents and the aftermath of Mackenzie “Sherbs” Sherburn’s fall. The former came off as incredibly intense and a little controlling in season 1, but both Gabi and Greg have since admitted that that’s not how they are. The creator even went as far as to concede that more elements of their lives and interpersonal relationships should’ve been included to give us the overall picture.
Coming to the accident that led to Sherbs getting hurt, the subsequent re-choreographing to make the routine safer was cut out of the show entirely. With that said, though, the touching backstories of each cast member, their conversations and interests, along with everything else, are real.
Several incidents involving the familial issues of Morgan Simianer and Maddy Brum, La’Darius Marshall and Coach Monica Aldama’s tumultuous bond, Navarro and Trinity’s long-term rivalry, and of course, Jerry Harris’ 2020 arrest on federal charges of child pornography are quite authentic. All in all, despite the fact that several aspects have been influenced (for our entertainment) in post-production editing, ‘Cheer’ is still not fake because nothing related to the cheer competition or any individual’s personal experiences/feelings is directed.
Read More: Where is Cheer Filmed?