13 Things We Loved and Hated About the Series Premiere of 'Hellcats'

HELLCATS - Premieres Wednesday at 8 PM on the CW

Welcome to the first installment of Hammervision Does All the New TV Shows.  On the docket tonight is Hellcats, which is pretty much Glee-goes-to-college plus cheerleaders and minus Jane Lynch and Mr. Schu's rapping.

Things We Loved:
  1. The lead, Alyson Michalka, brings the right notes of Jo Polniaczek sarcasm and tom-boyishness to her performance.
  2. DB Woodside!  I welcome any and all Presidents Palmer into any TV show at any time.
  3. Some clever one liners.  I liked the bit about not trusting any society that builds pyramids.
  4. Producer Tom Welling!  You've come a long way, Clark Kent.  
  5. The Tiz is not a total bitch.  The total bitch stock character part went to the girl who plays "Alice" instead.
  6. Coed locker rooms!  In college!  So much opportunity for debauchery! 

Things We Hated:
  1. Lancer University is just a dumb name for a college.  
  2. Gail O'Grady looks...overdone.
  3. Instead of just using a star wipe to cut between scenes, Hellcats uses a cheer wipe.  That's a whole new level of cheese.
  4. Marti's mysterious ability to dance and tumble (and B-girl) like she's Justin Timberlake/Legacy/Kerri Strug.  They kind of addressed the gymnastics thing, but seriously?  She's not even rusty.  And the coach's being drawn to her clumsy lack of ability to follow simple choreography?  Totally unbelievable.  Nigel Lythgoe would've sent her to choreography with Nap/Tab and then told her that she needs to take some classes to learn her craft before she can progress to the next level.
  5. The blatant rip-off of Glee's big "drama."  The Man (in this case played by the Chief from Battlestar Galactica) is threatening to stop funding for the performance-based club unless they can prove themselves in competition.  Yawn!  Boring.  Seen it a million times.  Seen it just last season, in fact.
  6. The line, "Save the cheerleaders; save the scholarship."  Way to reference one of the biggest television failures of the past five years, Hellcats!  Do you really want to put yourself in Heroes company this early in the season?
  7. The biking montages.  There were three of them.  In the first twenty minutes.  
The Rundown: I'm going to give this show another chance, just to see if it can manage a coherent storyline and consistent characters (unlike Glee).  There is some promise here, even if there is no real stand out character a la Sue Sylvester.  (Sorry for all the Glee references.  They just can't be avoided.  This show was obviously greenlit to capitalize on all the Gleek fever.)
Final Verdict: DVR and watch it on a lazy Saturday afternoon when you're trying to avoid all the college football and real life cheerleaders.

Filed under: Reviews, TV, TV Recaps

Tags: Glee, Hellcats, Recaps, reviews, SYTYCD, The CW, TV


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  • Quite frankly, I think "Glee" is overrated. When I saw the previews for the show, I said "I'll bet there's a flamboyantly gay guy." Lo and behold, there he is! Said "There's gonna be a jock who is a closet choir member." Boom, there HE is! The only character I find interesting is Sue Sylvester. "Hellcats" doesn't exactly seem like a TV masterpiece, but I'm willing to stick it through if only to see Gail O'Grady and Sharon Leal each week. ;-)

  • In reply to Tresix:

    Glee is the worst. I'm definitely with you on that.

  • Not too painful to watch, but I probably won't be tuning in next week. Unless you've never seen Bring It On, or can't get enough of it, you can skip Hellcats.

  • In reply to Hammer:

    I've never seen Bring It On. My big admission for the day.

  • I actually didn't hate Hellcats. I expected to. Yes, there are a lot of the tired old story lines. For example, why doesn't anyone ever want to be a cheerleader - why are they always forced into it? Or, as you mentioned, just happening to have a division 1 sports and dance ability that I haven't practiced in years...

    Anyway, I didn't hate it, which is saying a lot for a pilot. I also love the 24-heavy casting: President W. Palmer and Mrs. Charles Logan. The problem is I can't think of what kind of story lines could possibly sustain this thing? Afterall, it's no Friday Night Lights, so I predict it gets boring and repetetive almost immediately. I'll keep watching and find out. Oh, and Ashley Tisdale was not nearly as obnoxious as expected, and I didn't spend the entire time staring at her nose, so that was an unexpected plus...

  • In reply to Ashby:

    Sadly, the mom was not Mrs. Charles Logan, AKA Jean Smart. It was just Gail O'Grady from NYPD Blue, who has had a LOT of plastic surgery.

    But President Wayne Palmer? Always welcome. I actually hope this show works out just so he has a job. He chose wisely with his last pilot, Viva Laughlin.

  • In reply to Magistra:

    READ: He did NOT choose wisely with his last pilot. It's opposite day, apparently.

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