Three cheers for the quirky queer cheerleading web series “Wildcats”

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When I heard about the premise for new web-series Wildcats, I was immediately reminded of the cinematic masterpiece Bring It On. It’s hard not to make the connection: both feature high school cheerleading squads that prefer cheer competitions over rooting for teams full of hapless teenage boys. So, when I sat down to watch Wildcats I was excited, but had fairly low expectations. I thought, “Welp, I loved Bring It On, so hopefully this is pretty good, too.”

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But, you guys: Wildcats is actually great. It’s weird in all my favorite ways, and it’s really fucking funny. The plot centers around high school senior and ex-cheerleader, Allison Behave. The series is presented as a flashback, with Allison recounting the tale of her fall from cheer-grace to an off-camera journalist, Bethany. Allison is coming to terms with her sexuality and new found urge to stand up to authority in the name of feminism.

10834926_389400784572503_7341147751764615530_oLinnea Sage as Allison

There are a few missteps, namely a couple of random blaxploitation references (which struck me as not only out of place, but especially off when you consider just how white the cast is) and a bathroom scene that stretched too long. (Aside: My wife and I were discussing it as we watched, and we both commented that while we appreciate women subverting the traditional comedic narrative that only men can do “gross” humor, we just don’t find it to be that funny—from a man or a woman. But that’s okay—we can all like different things! ::musical note emoji::.)

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Overall, the series felt the strongest when it was exploring Allison’s teenage uncertainty. Is she queer? Well, she’s fast forwarding an episode of The L Word to find the sex scene (and you are LYING if you tell me you’ve never done that), but she’s also hooking up with a boy at a party because she’s supposed to. Is she a feminist? She thinks it’s bullshit that the girls have to bake cupcakes for the basketball team, but she doesn’t want to be the only one to not participate.

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I definitely want to see more of Allison’s journey, so I’ll be eagerly hoping/waiting for a second season of Wildcats. I highly recommend checking out this funny, quirky web series.

Dive into the full series here. Let me know what you think in the comments or on twitter @jennalykes.

 

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