Fall Pilot Review – HELLCATS on The CW
What? Marti Perkins is a pre-law student at Lancer University in Memphis, Tennessee. She hip, she’s edgy, she wears REALLY short shirts, and she is a townie with “working class roots”. She finds out that the scholarship she relies on has been canceled after she gets the mail before her mother does. She realizes the only way she can stay in school is by using the gymnastics background she has to impress the school’s cheer squad; they just so happen to be down a Flyer, thanks to a little stumble in the air. On the team, with scholarship in hand, she moves in with the squad. Savannah Monroe is her new roommate – she is the peppy, popular opposite of Marti and they form an unlikely bond. Alice Verdura instantly hates Marti thanks to Marti’s instant connection with Alice’s ex Lewis. The rest of the core group is made up of Dan Patch, Marti’s best friend and fellow townie who is as much against cheerleading as Marti once was. The squad is coached by Vanessa Lodge, a former Hellcat herself, now engaged to the team doctor Derek, and dealing with residual feelings with Hellcats football coach Red.
Who? Stars Aly Michalka (Marti), Gail O’Grady (Marti’s mama), Ashley Tisdale (Savannah), Heather Hemmens (Alice), Robbie Jones (Lewis), Matt Barr (Dan), Sharon Leal (Vanessa), Jeff Hephner (Red), D.B. Woodside (Derek), and Gale Harold. Produced by Bonanza Productions in association with Tom Welling Productions, Warner Bros Television, and CBS Television studios with executive producers Kevin Murphy, Tom Welling, and Allan Arkush.
Where/When? The CW, 9/8c after all new episodes of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL
Why (Why Not)? If you’re a fan of BRING IT ON, and you go into the premiere of HELLCATS expecting much of the same sarcastic humor and fun that the movie has, you will be let down. HELLCATS never seems to find the tone that it’s looking for, relying instead on cute girls and hot guys to be a big enough draw that people will tune in. Aly Michalka is miscast as the lead of a show, being this hot blonde girl portraying an outsider, when she very well could be the head cheerleader at any school she wanted. A lot of liberties are taken to avoid explaining just how this girl suddenly manages to get a full scholarship just by joining the squad as a replacement flyer. Matt Barr is charming enough, and Robbie Jones is always fun (he made ONE TREE HILL slightly bearable once upon a time as Q). Ashley Tisdale shines as she always does, playing Sharpay-in-Memphis. It is the perfectly benign cheerleading drama that someone out there was hoping to see on TV on a weekly basis. It’s not high up on my list, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a chance to wow you.
How? If you want to check it out, DVR it and check it out on the weekends.
Follow the jump for a preview and Gallery of images from the show…