1-2-3-4, what have we been waiting for? Cheer Season 2!
Wait, I binged through it already?
Those were my thoughts exactly when I unfortunately hit the last episode of Cheer Season 2 this past weekend. As someone who loved the first season of Cheer and couldn’t wait to see what they did next, I was eager to continue the saga of this team. But now that I’ve finished all the episodes so quickly, I can only wonder what to watch next, and I’m sure you’re feeling the same way too.
Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for you to enjoy if you’re looking for a new show to watch that might remind you of Cheer in many ways. From scripted shows that have gone on for quite some time to other awesome docuseries that you’ll really love, these are some of the best shows just like Cheer that you can watch now.
Last Chance U (Netflix)
This is their last chance, and they’re not going to throw it away. Last Chance U is a Netflix original series that follows the inspirational stories of a group of young men who have one dream - to play in the NFL, all taking place at East Mississippi Community College.
For fans of Cheer, this is the perfect series for you. It reminds me a lot of the team from Navarro and the love that they have for each other, but also the strength they need to have in order to be the very best. Most NFL players come from major Division 1 college football teams, but a small percentage manage to make a team through less conventional means... like Last Chance U.
Friday Night Lights (Peacock)
The first of three scripted series on this list, Friday Night Lights is a banger of a show. This popular drama series follows how football can shape a town, from its players to the fans to the family members of the team, and how they all have one shared thing in common - their love for the game.
Friday Night Lights was iconic in many ways. The Friday Night Lights cast was stellar creating excellent drama and keeping me enthralled from beginning to end. But for fans of Cheer, this show has two things you’ll love - the sheer athleticism of the games (even if they are fictional), as well as the family bonds that come from playing on a team, like the cheer squad. Friday Night Lights is apparently getting rebooted, so maybe now is the best time to watch.
Cheer Squad (Netflix)
Next up, we have Cheer Squad, another cheer reality series. In this reality series, we follow a team of cheerleaders who are at the top of their game and are the two-time World Champions. But with the pressure getting stronger each season, are they able to keep their crown amidst all the other talent?
I mean, do I have to spell out why this show would be perfect for you? It has all the same elements of Cheer and more. The crazy stunts, the fun relationships, the intense competition. But what makes this series even more special is the drama. I feel like Cheer Squad is a million times more dramatic and in a great way. It’s something you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from, not for a single second.
The world of fighting, from MMA to mixed martial arts, is a dangerous yet interesting one, and that’s exactly what Fightworld is all about. Following Frank Grillo, this Netflix original docuseries explores the different elements of fighting that are taught around the world, and the traditions that surround each of their cultures.
While you probably know Frank Grillo from his time in the Marvel movies, specifically the fun fight scene in Avengers 4 (even though he originally turned down his reappearance as Crossbones), the actor is a prominent enthusiast of fighting culture and has a serious passion for it, one that could rival the coach of the Navarro squad in Cheer.
Something else I really love about Fightworld for fans of Cheer is how much you learn about each fighting style. It’s the same concept as Cheer where you learn so much about why cheerleading is such a great sport. Fightworld is just as educational as it is entertaining in all the right ways.
Sunderland Til' I Die (Netflix)
Next up, we have this docuseries that focuses on the trials and tribulations of a soccer team - otherwise known as the real football. In Sunderland Til’ I Die, a soccer club is trying to fight back to their glory days after they are relegated from the Premiere League, and must prove that they are better than they seem.
For fans of Cheer, this is one of the best shows out there because it shows the pure passion that these players have for the game. Even if they failed in so many ways possible, they want to prove that they are better than anyone bargained them for, and to fight their way to the top tooth and nail. Honestly, this docuseries reminds me a lot of the Apple TV+ original series, Ted Lasso, which follows almost the same premise. For fans of Cheer, maybe watching both shows will entertain you, but start off with this incredible docuseries.
Hard Knocks (HBO Max)
Moving on, we have another amazing football series, but this time, focusing on the NFL. For almost twenty one years now, Hard Knocks has been focusing on the worst of the worst in football each year - or, at least close to the worst depending on the year - showing their training camp from day one to their first game, and seeing if the football team can improve in any way.
The reason I put down Hard Knocks for Cheer fans isn’t really because they have similar premises. I know they're very different sports, but the one thing I really relate to both of these is the pure enthusiasm that the players have for their teams. For example, the 2021 season of Hard Knocks focused on the Dallas Cowboys, and both the pros and the rookies had the same passion for this team to succeed, just like the team for Cheer. And look, they ended up going to the 2022 playoffs through the Wild Card division - they didn't make it very far, but that’s another article for another day.
Basketball Or Nothing (Netflix)
Another awesome docuseries from Netflix, Basketball or Nothing follows a basketball team that is located on the largest Native American reservation in the country, the Navajo Nation, and follows the boys team at Chinle High School and how their lives have changed because of the game.
For fans of Cheer, this series has that same premise - the urge of this team to bring home a state championship trophy and prove that their community is far more than anyone else believes them to be. But something I really like about this docuseries is that it heavily focuses in on how their cultures and home-lives affect who they are in the sport. I grew up not knowing much about the Navajo tribe or what their culture is, and having a series like this that explains what life is like in this community and how basketball fits into that is super helpful and really intriguing to learn about.
Dare Me (Netflix)
Next up, we have Dare Me, the second scripted series on this list that is sure to hook you the moment you turn it on. In this thrilling series, Dare Me tells the story of a high school cheer squad whose lives get upturned when a new coach arrives, and with her, a whole chest full of dark secrets that are waiting to be unleashed.
I will never forgive USA for cancelling this show after one season. Dare Me is so good and I wish we got to see more of it. For fans of Cheer, it has all that you want regarding some cool stunt work with cheerleading and a whole lot of drama, but Dare Me has such an amazing cast, incredible storylines and so much more that you’ll be dragged in from the second you start watching it. Truly, give it a shot if you haven’t seen it yet.
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team (Paramount Plus)
You thought we were done with cheerleading reality shows? Heck naw, let’s look at Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. In this ongoing reality series, we follow the cheerleaders of the popular football team, or rather, the people who are trying to become a cheerleader, and the incredibly difficult audition process you’d have to go through.
I bet you didn’t think you’d see the Dallas Cowboys twice on this list, huh? Don’t worry, that’s the end of my sports talk, but for fans of Cheer, this show is perfect. The show has gone on for sixteen seasons, following a new cast of cheerleaders every year, detailing their troubles to try and get to the top of the squad. The training camp system is intense as well. If anyone ever says that cheerleading isn’t a true sport, just show them this series, because I’m always astounded at the athleticism of these women.
All American (Netflix)
Last but not least, we have All American, the last scripted series on this list. This popular CW show follows a young man who grew up in South L.A., but when he is recruited to play for the varsity team at Beverly Hills High School, he has to not only prove his ability on the field, but off as well, dealing with a vastly different lifestyle that he never thought he would get close to.
All American has hit number one on Netflix multiple times and developed a fanbase for a reason. The show has a phenomenal story and touches on serious topics, such as the effects of class in the sports system, inequality, racism, and so much more. For fans of Cheer, you’ll not only love the characters as much as you love the real-life cheerleaders, but want to root for their success every step of the way. All American is even receiving a spinoff soon, so now is the perfect time to watch it.
What will you watch next? Will there be a Cheer Season 3? Only time will tell, but for now, at least you have something fun and new to watch while we wait.
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!
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