An Emmy-winning Netflix show is getting a surprise Season 2 premiere in January. Variety announced that Cheer, the hit documentary series following the Navarro College cheer team, is debuting new episodes on Jan. 12. The season will deal heavily with the misconduct allegations and child pornography charges against team member Jerry Harris, who was a breakout star of the show when it first debuted in January 2020. According to Variety, the new season began filming around the same time.
"The Emmy-winning breakout sensation is back, and the stakes have never been higher," reads the official logline for the show. "As Navarro defends its championship crown against a slew of challenges, including their fiercest rivals at Trinity Valley Community College, unexpected events threaten the camaraderie of the team and the season itself." The show will follow Navarro coach Monica Aldama and members of her team — including Lexi Brumback, La'Darius Marshall, Morgan Simianer, and Gabi Butler — as they take on arch-rivals Trinity Valley Community College. It will also reveal how the squad handled the news about Harris, and the ensuing aftermath of the charges against him.
Navarro Cheer is back and their rivals are stronger than ever.— Netflix (@netflix) December 28, 2021
Cheer Season 2 premieres January 12 pic.twitter.com/p7Q38SHYif
"I was floored and heartbroken. I tried to unpack what it was that I was feeling," Cheer director Greg Whiteley said of learning about the accusations against harris. "Here was a person that I felt like I knew very, very well. But then there was news that led me to believe I didn't know everything about this person and that led to, in a weird way, me mourning the passing of the person that I thought I knew." Whitley continued, "Jerry would've been impossible to ignore because it impacted the team so severely."
This is partly due to the fact that Harris had already been filming for Season 2 when the allegations arose. "The series covers events as they unfolded, beginning in January 2020 through April 2021, so the charges against Jerry Harris are covered in depth in episode five," Whiteley said, then adding that he has had no communication with Harris lately. "His lawyers prevented any contact." Whiteley went on to assert that the two brothers who first came forward with claims against Harris, who say they were only 13 years old when the inappropriate communication began, "have an important story to tell; my job is to allow them to tell it."
Finally, in an overall statement on Cheer Season 2, Whiteley said, "I am a huge believer in the power of stories and telling them honestly. I believe the story is going to ultimately be the best version of itself when you are honoring what is true, and you're not running from it. This season covers events as they unfolded, beginning in January 2020 through April 2021, following Navarro College and their rival Trinity Valley Community College on their journeys to the national championship. The new episodes also tackle extremely difficult moments, including the impact of COVID-19 and criminal charges against one of Navarro's former team members."
He added, "It was inspiring, heartbreaking, sometimes frustrating, and ultimately moving to be a part of their lives. Flying home from our last day of shooting in Daytona, I thought, 'I cannot believe we saw what we just saw, we experienced what we just experienced.' If we do our job right, we're able to take the audience on that same ride."