Netflix’s ‘Cheer’: Where Are Morgan, Gabi, Jerry, and the Others Now?
Sometimes the most fun Netflix shows are the ones that don’t get a big advance buildup and turn into stealth hits. Cheer, a docuseries about a championship college cheer team, is one of those. It has all but obsessed some of its viewers, including some celebrities.
The show captures the drama of school competition so well that it feels like it should wrap up with one of those “Whatever happened to” reels that often conclude docudramas or high school/college comedies. Decider put together something like that.
What is ‘Cheer’ about?
The series, which dropped on January 8, tells the story of Navarro College Cheer in Corsicana, Texas. So renowned is that college’s program that it was won the National Cheerleaders Association championship 14 times.
The official synopsis reads: “Over the course of six episodes, viewers will join the Navarro College cheerleaders as they face injuries, sacrifice, personal setbacks and triumphs, all leading up to one nail-biting and adrenaline-pumping final competition at the National Championship.”
In other words, one could call it Bring it On: For Real. The series covers the 2018-2019 team as it competes for the championship in Daytona. Don’t let anyone try to tell these people that cheerleading isn’t a sport. If that stereotype still exists, it would wither in the face of Cheer.
The show comes from the creators of Last Chance U, another Netflix docuseries, this one focusing on the football program at East Mississippi Community College. Like the athletes in that series, some of the athletes in Cheer come from troubled backgrounds, with all of them striving to make better than good.
What has happened to the cheerleaders from ‘Cheer’?
According to Decider’s recap, the various figures in Cheer have gone on to various fates, and sad to say, not all of them are good. There’s not space to recap them all, but some highlights follow.. It might be best to skip this section if you haven’t seen the show yet, because spoilers follow.
Gabi Butler has left Navarro to pursue more long-term opportunities, including holding her own clinics at gyms across the country.
Meanwhile, Morgan Simianer decided to stay at Navarro, which is notable because she had completed the school’s two-year term. She has done this so she can stay with Coach Monica and hasn’t yet identified any long-term goals.
Cheer did not end so happily for Lexi, who was arrested after she took the fall for a drug bust involving her friends. She seems to be making a comeback, however, with her most recent Instagram post showing her in a Navarro uniform with the caption, “Honey, I’m home” with #fiofmu, which is a mysterious acronym that sort of serves as the team’s social media trademark.
Arguably the central figure of the bunch was Coach Monica Aldama, who probably has the least surprising story: She’s busy coaching what she fully intends to be the next Navarro championship team. All these dramas give Cheer a greater rooting interest than “Does the team win?”
What has been the impact of ‘Cheer?’
The show has a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Steve Greene of IndieWire writes, “As much as it salutes the various breakthroughs that Navarro team members make, “Cheer” is certainly not blind to the consequences that come with such a full commitment to a single pursuit.” The show even made a former athlete turned reviewer contemplate her past.
“My days of even dreaming of being an elite athlete may be long behind me, but the goal of becoming even 1% of what Aldama is will never leave me. She is the first and last word in fairness, discipline and tenacity,” wrote Lucy Mangan of The Guardian.
The show made other former cheerleaders, like Chrissy Teigen, root for the Navarro clam. She posted on Instagram, “Watching cheer on Netflix got me reminiscing about how i sucked at cheerleading almost as much as I sucked at doing my brows.”