If teen dramas Euphoria and Pretty Little Liars had a child Dare Me would be it. In the ferocious and competitive world of cheerleading, watching two firecracker leads battle one another chew and spit each other out makes for nail-biting stuff – especially with the simmering tension of a murder mystery thrown into the mix. The book-turned-TV series stars The Goldfinch’s Willa Fitzgerald and The Get Down’s Herizen F. Guardiola, and touches upon irresponsible gun etiquette, bullying, and of course, murder.
Read are our breakdown of Dare Me below…
WHAT: The series focuses on two teenage cheerleaders and “best friends” Addy Hanlon (Herizen Guardiola) and Beth Cassidy (Marlo Kelly) – though the friendship is somewhat questionable. Once thick as thieves, the arrival of their new young cheer coach Colette French (Willa Fitzgerald) sees the once dynamic duo become at increasing odds with one another. Prepare to be shook by the stunts (in line with Netflix’s doc Cheer, with the tumbling, pikes and backflips). Will they stick the landing? Or will they turn full-blown Carrie in the changing rooms? And with lead Addy becoming increasing interested and captivated by Colette, the relationship between the teacher-student soon becomes more than meets the eye.
WHERE: The series takes us around a small mid-western town, where the losing football team is the highlight of the town’s week and teen binge-drinking in motel rooms are a daily occurrence for the high school cliques.
STAR OF THE SHOW: Marlo Kelly’s Beth gives Effy from Skins and Alison from Pretty Little Liars a run for their money. Her outstanding performance as a toxic manipulating teenage girl steals the screen. As the series pans out, the viewer sees her unaddressed childhood issues spiralling out of control, with her obsession with the downfall of her new coach ramping up the intensity in the series. The actress is a newcomer on the scene with her only acting credit being popular Australian TV show Home and Away. But with the likes of Isla Fisher and Chris Hemsworth breaking out from the famous TV Show we can imagine great things from spawning from this for Marlo Kelly’s career.
WHO TO WATCH IT WITH: Concentration is key in this thriller, with hidden meanings and secrets often subtly exposed – so you have to pay attention throughout for the explosive finale to make complete sense. We recommend tuning out from social media for the night and tuning in for this series.
STAND OUT SCENE: Episode 5 breaks into the aftermath of another one of the cheer cliques seedy and chaotic motel nights. It is possibly one of the best episodes in the series as we see queen bee Beth break down for the first time. Her perfect “Top Girl” persona shatters and we finally peel back the layers of abandonment by her emotionally neglectful parents. The episode truly is a captivating one and sets the tone for the rest of the series.
WATCH IF: If you’re a fan of Pretty Little Liars and Euphoria you’ll love this. Small towns mentalities that are big on drama.
DON’T WATCH IF: The series touches upon a lot of hard-hitting issues, such as drug-misuse, bullying and suicide. If you are sensitive to these topics you might want to give this one a miss.
WONDERLAND RATING: 3/5