I don't give a crap about competitive cheer-leading and never will, so I only gave this Netflix documentary series a chance because I was super bored and I noticed a rave review somewhere.
Wow, was this ever good. I vaguely knew that at this level, it was a genuine sport requiring serious athleticism, but I had never understood how much skill was actually required and how intense the training is. Fun fact: this sport is the number one source of serious injuries to female athletes, and you see exactly why. On just one training day alone, the crew the show follows had three girls taken out of rotations because of concussions from falls.
Smartly, the documentary focuses on a handful of personalities so you get a personal connection to how things develop as the team heads for the biggest competition the sport offers. You really end up emotionally invested in their fates. By the time their final performance came, the two minutes and 15 seconds I had been watching them train for over the course of a year and five episodes, I could not watch it sitting down and could barely stand to watch it at all, having seen so many heartbreaking falls, pyramid collapses, and injuries even later in training when you'd think they had it down pat.
Can't stop thinking about it and will certainly watch it again. Seriously, give it a try, even if you don't care about any sport at all. It really is about the people, which is what makes it work.