Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pilot Script Review - Hellcats

HELLCATS (fka CHEER)
Network: CW
Written By: Kevin Murphy
Draft Date: January 12, 2010
Pages: 58

I'm not going to spend much time on this review, as there's really very little to review. Remember when all those Grey's Anatomy "in the world of ____" scripts were coming out a few years ago? Well, this is the first of the Glee rehashes. The title Cheer made a lot of sense, as it's ostensibly Glee in the world of collegiate cheerleading. And you can also see why it had to be changed. Too close for comfort.

The actual content of Hellcats is close enough on the surface to Glee, with several helpings of Bring It On (a film that is name checked when Marty, the ex-gymnast brainy girl who needs help renewing her scholarship or she'll get kicked out of college and thus is trying out for cheerleading despite making a habit of mocking the cheerleaders with her townie friend during their practices, rents the movie prior to her tryout... and, SHOCK!, is brought on the team because her infusion of cheerleading and dance moves makes the cheer coach excited). Honestly, why not just do a TV branded version of Bring It On? Yes, yes, I know, they come out with direct-to-DVD sequels every year or so.

Back to the Glee comparisons. Let's checklist this stuff, shall we? There are some direct parallels.
- team: McKinley High Glee Club / Lancer cheer squad
- a visit to see the big future competition: Vocal Adrenaline / Southern Christian cheer squad
- former champion in club when it was a strong program and is now back as coach: Will Schuester / Vanessa somethingorother
- other coach in school conniving to get funds sent back their way: Sue Sylvester / Red somethingorother (and, no, Red doesn't come close in the script to standing out the way Sue does... despite elements of carbon copying, Hellcats doesn't have the tone and zingers of Glee... and certainly not the musical performances)
- member of team working to various degrees with other coach to hurt the performance of the team: Quinn, Santana, and Brittany / Alice (who is injured and Marty replaces her)
- authority figure who tells coach that if they don't win at ____ level of competition, the club is over: Principal Figgins / Bill somethingorother, the head of athletics
- lovable outcasts: Rachel, Artie, Kurt, Mercedes, Tina / Marty (kinda?)
- budding romance between lead female and lead male jock type: Rachel & Finn / Marty & Luis
- shower scene with lead male jock type: yes (for Will to discover Finn's voice) / yes (for Luis to surreptitiously give Marty his towel when her clothing has been stolen from the locker room)

Um... yeah... so... who's suing who? Well, I guess Kevin Murphy got away with it when he crappily ripped off Cupid and made it into Valentine... though this is far closer to Glee than Valentine was to Cupid.

There are some things that are different. As above... no musical performances in Hellcats. Though there are cheer sequences (so, basically, we get dance montages instead). There are no Sue Sylvester zingers, but, well, Jane Lynch is incomparable so there was never going to be anything close.

Oh! And let's not forget the speed with with the Hellcats have to prove themselves. While Glee took 14 episodes (if you include the pilot) to get us through the first round of competition (but only the qualifying round that makes sure that sometime in the future they will have to face their true competition), Hellcats accomplishes that by the end of the pilot because the qualifying round is just one week away from the start of the action. And, oh boy, does it feel rushed. So much so that there is absolutely no room for aftermath... the final page of the script has a disembodied announcer telling us that Lancer has received a great score from the judges and qualified to fight another day mere seconds after the Hellcats complete their routine.

Pass. For the love of god, CW, pass on this project.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only reason I'm even giving such a show a chance is because of Tom Welling..

LONG LIVE SMALLVILLE AND TOM WELLING!

Anonymous said...

Fuck you very muuuch (8)

katikat said...

They can't pass on it. It's a Tom Welling's project and I bet that it was tacked on his signing up for S9-10.

Anonymous said...

RSRSRS fuck-you

Anonymous said...

i did not even bother to read your post. i read not even half way through [ which said absolutely nothing. way to not have an attention grabber to start with. this is a blog right? shouldn't you know how to write? ]
and then it said "it is like glee in these reasons--"
... that is NOT a review. that is comparing and contrasting. so silly to compare these two, anywhoz
i skimmed through some of your comparisons and might i say that you pointed out the STUPIDEST things to be comparing the two to. you wanna compare all those? ok... take movies and books and try to find something SUPER original. you'll come up with a majority that isn't original, just sayin.

Anonymous said...

ps; im not a crazy weirdo fan haha, for, the thing hasn't even come out&i have no idea what it REALLY is about. i'm just stating that this post is kinda really silly.

Olu said...

No good man, not good.

Olu said...

I don't think you'll get one good comment anytime soon

kaitlyn whealy said...

HA. HA. you haven't even seen the damn show yet. so don't knock it til you try it.

E.I. said...

It's called a SCRIPT REVIEW for a reason?

E.I. said...

Anyways, can't wait for the Betwixt review! Hope it'll be good! *fingers crossed*

Christian said...

LOL @ Anonymous and its clones.

Anonymous said...

"Pass. For the love of god, CW, pass on this project."

Travis, you are beyond awesome!!! But this is the CW we are talking about. They will probably green light it.

Anonymous said...

"It's called a SCRIPT REVIEW for a reason?"

exactly my point, obviously you are too stupid to realize what i was saying
it is NOT a review.
it's compare and contrast.

Travis Yanan said...

@Anonymous (or at least the "it's not a script review" one)

You clearly missed the point of my review of this script. The use of compare and contrast was necessary to highlight how inanely derivative the script is. There is not an original idea in it, insofar as it takes many elements of Glee and Bring It On and mashes them together into an utterly unremarkable undertaking of a read that no discerning reader, or eventual viewer (as Anonymous 4/20 2:06pm pointed out, this is the CW so chances are it'll get a pickup not in spite of its lack of originality, but because of same).

If you look at the majority of my reviews, I do NOT go word for word, plot for plot. I don't like spoilers and I don't enjoy spoiling people. My reviews are simply my impression. And this review was no different.

Anonymous said...

this is so going to be on the cw i dont know for fall or midseason but its def a show they would pick up

Anonymous said...

travis yanan so what you saying that hellcats is not original idea know what glee isn't original

Anonymous said...

Why attack Travis for having an opinion? He surely knows more about TV than you do.

I understand if you're a Tom Welling/Aly Michalka/Ashley Tisdale fan and are defensive on their behalf, but... why not just wait for them to work on something that's actually good?

Anonymous said...

So it's terrible like HSM... did you find it boring and without any original part?

I don't understand why people that support smallville or Ashley tisdale should love this show?!!

anna kristine said...

And the fans just come flocking in don't they? I'm willing to give this a chance, just to see if it really is the rehash that I'm 80% sure it is. It needs to distinguish itself from Glee if it's going to survive.