A fairly new series called Hellcats is totally on my radar this Spring.
Starring in the lead role, Marti, is Aly Michalka from the sister pop duo, Aly & AJ (best known for Potential Break Up Song).
This chick has been getting quite a few roles in recent times, including supporting roles in the Emma Stone comedy, “Easy A” and the college version of Single White Female, the Leighton Meister vehicle “The Roommate”. When AJ, Aly’s sister got the role in The Lovely Bones, I didn’t hold much hope out for Aly but I am glad she has gotten the chance to flex her acting skills. She was pretty awesome as Taylor Tiara in Sweet Sixteen: The Movie, a few years back.
Hellcats is a welcome, somewhat comedic change from the over-serious tones of Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries. Described as a cross between the films Election and Bring It On, there is plenty of attitude, sass and great wit spit from both sides of the mat.
(A teeny fact that you might enjoy, Aly is from Torrance, California. Torrance just happens to be the name of the head cheerleader in Bring It On, played by Kirsten Dunst. )
Ashley Tidale, of High School Musical fame is one of the supporting cast as the Hellcats head cheerleader, Savannah, a highly anally retentive and super perky girl whose relationship with Marti begins rocky and by the end of the first episode, the two are best friends.
Rounding out the ladies in the show is Heather Hemmens as bitchy Alice, whom Marti has replaced due to injury. Alice was not only up for captain before Savannah transferred but was also the lady friend of Lewis, a male base, who has an instant attraction to his new flyer.
There are, for now, only two leading men, although the ladies are often complimented by large footballers, good looking law professors and other randoms.
Dan Patch is leading man number 1, best friends with Marti and a little taken with Marti while Lewis, is the ex-footballer turned cheerleading base who is not afraid to show his like for someone, as evidenced in the first episode, practically grinding on Marti in first practice, hehe… (What the hell is it with Marti? All the dudes love her!)
The main cast is aided by many gifted actors and actresses (aka real cheerleaders) plus the addition of some adult supervision comes in the form of Gail McGrady (of NYPD Blue fame), Sharon Leal (of Boston Publc fame), DB Woodside (of 24 fame) and Jeff Hephner (of The OC fame).
The last three are involved in a past to present love triangle which hasn’t yet affected the the cheerleading squad but I am sure it will soon. Leal plays Vanessa, a former Hellcat turned cheerleading coach, Woodside is her boyfriend, Derrick, the team doctor and Hephner is the returning football coach, Red Raymond, who doesn’t think the past is really in the past for he and Vanessa.
Gail McGrady plays Wanda, Marti’s absent minded, “we’ll fix it later” mother, and is pretty much the reason for Marti joining the squad. Due to unpaid bills, Marti loses her scholarship for her law degree and a cheerleading scholarship seems the way to go to continue studying.
From the four episodes I have seen, I have faith in this production. The cast is fresh, the music/score is present, the dialogue is demographically right and not dumbed down at all (think Dawsons Creek dialogue but fitted to the correct age group and a bit funnier.) The routines of the squad, while the Hellcats are trying something new, is just the same old, same old cheerleading to me.
And that’s okay because I watch it for the dramedy. I think we can work with this one for a while
Images via Google, wetpaint.com