Certain people around these parts have not finished watching Cheer, and I have chastised said people, who are named Lainey, about it for several weeks now. (Lainey: I have 20 mins left! It’s just that I got caught up in some BTS hysteria.)
Luckily, she’s not a baby about spoilers, but she’s gonna have to get on board now because certain trains have left the station. Specifically, Jerry Harris (does he really need a last name at this point? We all know who ‘Jerry’ is by now, don’t we?) has signed with UTA and an ‘influencer management company’ called Digital Brand.
So, this is mostly the best thing to have happened and also a little bit the worst. That is, there is nothing better than when someone who genuinely deserves to be celebrated for being amazing and unusual and distinctive actually is celebrated – and that includes financially. Without knowing the details of the deal, I think it’s safe to say that this is going to mean everything from TV appearances to sponsored posts and endorsements, and who among us could be mad about Jerry getting all that and more? None of us, that’s who. We legitimately need more Jerry in our lives, and if I was advising him I would 100% say he should get every single thing out of the fame Cheer has bestowed and then some. He deserves it.
But it also means that the moments in time we saw crystallized in the first season of Cheer are probably a moment in time we won’t see again. By now we all know that Jerry, LaDarius, Lexi, and Morgan have all returned to the iron-fisted embrace of Coach Monica and Navarro College, and though they keep saying they ‘don’t know’ if there will be another season of Cheer, I’ve noticed that nobody has specifically said the cameras are or aren’t following the team this season, including Jerry himself in an interview with Vulture.
So… maybe they are, planning for the moment when Netflix says ‘yes, we want more’. Maybe they aren’t yet, and they’ll try to create a new story with the Navarro team, or some other team, if and when the official order comes in. But… it won’t be the same, regardless, you know?
The creators of Cheer talked about how if they saw the team ‘performing’ for the cameras when they were first following them, they’d simply stop filming, and while I understand and endorse the technique, it would, or will, necessarily be a whole different scenario now that the show has aired and some of the team have entirely new life and career prospects. Once you’re aware of how people see you, and that they love to see you that way, how can you not want to be that way all the time?
Earlier today Lainey wrote about the ‘cultural obligation’ of having to see something so you know what everyone else is talking about. To me, this is the same lesson from another direction, or an endorsement of binge-watching. Sometimes you have to gobble up something good as soon as you can, because changes are inevitable, and even if the changes are great for all involved, you’ll never get the chance to see the Cheer cast working hard just for the love of it, before they were aware of how incredibly their lives were about to change.