I really liked this! So refreshing to see a show that lets the drama happen organically instead of staging everything. I did think the mom asking about the curtains/cells was staged, but only because they needed some way of demonstrating Patti's rules and how she stands her ground.
What I found the most interesting is that it would have been easy - and predictable - to follow a southern team that consistently placed high but instead they chose a northeastern team (not really a region famous for churning out top cheer teams) whose goal was to place in the top ten (up from 18th). On paper the stakes don't seem as high as say, Dunbar going for their third consecutive title in 'Cheerleader Nation,' but I find the "personal best" goal for this team much more compelling and relatable.
(Of course, the choice of team might have been logistics-driven as much as anything, as I noticed that Kelly Ripa/Mark Consuelos are producing, and they are NY-based. Either way, I like this team!)
On top of that, I liked the girls we met in the first episode and also liked Patti and the way she explained some of the stunts. Patti seems to really love what she's doing and while you have to have a big personality for a job like that, she doesn't come across like a total egomaniac (like Abby Lee on 'Dance Moms') and seems to really put the team and the girls first. Also, the lessons she teaches seem to be geared towards setting the girls up for real life (ie, you won't always have someone there to cheer for you), and as tough as she is I think these girls will be better for having this experience, no matter what they choose to do in life.
Edited by eastlandgal, Sep 11, 2012 @ 1:55 PM.