Season 1 Episode 8 episode 8

Hellcats Episode 8 "Back of a Car" Advance Review

Hellcats Episode 8 "Back of a Car" Advance Review

I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of tonight's "Hellcats" episode, "Back of a Car". I've tried to make this review less spoilery, but there are loads of hints ;).

"I like that there's a sense of History in the Bobble-head community."

     The appropriately titled, newest episode of "Hellcats", "Back of a Car" is set against the 25th Anniversary Spirit Party for the Hellcats. Since the Hellcats were founded in 1985, there's a fabulous 80's theme. I love, love, love the montage of 80's songs accompanied by every iconic image, apparel piece and impersonation you can think of.  Being the ginormous Drama nerd in High School and College that I was I have to throw in that Lancer's costume closet is beyond the realm of awesomeness.  Clearly the Hellcat's coach Vanessa Lodge~Sharon Leal has her own skeletons and closet of secrets, but mostly we've seen a passive, soft spoken side of her. Well, Vanessa breaks out of her blue and white work-out clothes and rocks it as a stunning, more fit version of Tina Turner, leading her Hellcats back in time.  

"The football puff piece."

     First, I can't express my dislike for Ryan Kennedy's character, Jake Harrow enough. I know he's the QB and more than likely from southern money, but come on, does he have to be such a douche. Jake is a walking, talking cliche of a 1950's man who believes a woman's proper place is on her man's arm; looking beautiful, but devoid of any real thoughts or ideas. He really doesn't deserve Alice~Heather Hemmens.
In previous episodes Alice has been catty and hard to like, but "Back of a Car" has made her my new favorite character of this new, underrated series from the CW. Though Alice is ridiculously arrogant, she may be the smartest character on the show. I relate to and admire her smart, quick defense of the term 'Pom~Pom Girls' that the  'football puff piece' reporter threw at her. Hemmens wields her character well, debunking popular stereotypes about cheerleaders with an articulate rebuttal. Plus, there's nothing better than using innocent Southern charm to purposefully unearth a nasty scandal, like play-for pay. There's a very intense, heated scene between Alice and Bill Marsh~Aaron Douglas which will certainly change the Jake/Alice dynamic permanently. Alice represents that strong Southern woman who fights for independence and equality, and by the end of the episode she gets her payback - turning the Lancer football piece into a feature on the Hellcats. 

"If you think I'm going bra-less, you can forget about it." 

     Ashley Tisdale's character, Savannah Monroe, is truly the most amiable, genuine character on "Hellcats" and Tisdale plays the role perfectly. I delight in Savannah's ability to set an itinerary for everything, including her virginity, and still appear almost entirely sane.  However, for better or worse, Savannah is very insecure. That's what uber-christian, brain-washing parents fully equipped with blinders will do to you! The unexpected friendship of Savannah and Marti~Alyson Michalka is a huge draw for me. I venerate in Marti's protective loyalty toward her newest friend. Everyone needs that person who will have their back no matter what, and with Savannah's strained relationship to her family coupled with her naivete, her need is bounteous. Personally I felt like Marti's big share was perfect. Her design was intended to bring Savannah back down to a more realistic view and thus, in Marti's mind, providing a better experience for her and Dan's first time.  Unfortunately, Savannah's lack of secular world experience means that she has to see and feel things first hand, but that's not always a bad thing.

"Tempted by the fruit of another."

     Que the opening 80's number for the Hellcats squad. The party is in full swing. Vanessa busts out a rousing rendition of Squeeze's hit "Tempted", cascading seemingly endless irony all around with the not-so-subtle song lyrics, hitting home on many levels with several couples. Here we get our first real episode appearance of Marti's mom Wanda~Gail O'Grady, commanding a dance from Dan. Wanda is far more insightful than everyone gives her credit for, but she often bleeds into the category of TMI(to much information). Bless her, she just doesn't know when to shut-up. I'm assuming she's drunk, because she often is, but her never-ending conversation with Dan is bordering on word vomit. Never-mind the fact that she's breaking her daughters' trust exhaustively, she has left some seriously sticky emotional fodder in her wake for Marti, Dan and Savannah.

"There are no mistakes, just new opportunities."

     "Back of a Car" is the best episode for "Hellcats" so far, receiving an A from me. The developing storyline of Marti's blossoming law career adds a needed contrast to the Cheer Town drama. It's down to earth and adds depth to the show, giving the audience something more to focus on.  Tensions are building and a somewhat fortuitous love triangle may be emerging. I won't spoil the end, but WOW! There's a mammoth reveal in the closing scene that left me in tears. I really didn't see it coming and Ashley Tisdale's performance is marvelous. Her emotions were conveyed so well that they would have resonated with someone who doesn't watch the show. This major upset is sure to leave an aftermath that Marti, Dan and Savannah will not soon recover from, leaving the door gaping open for heated, more charged interactions between characters.

I hope you enjoyed my review and thanks so much for reading!  Tune in tonight on the CW for "Hellcats: Back of a Car".