Welcome to SPORTY GIRL BOOKS. At SPORTY GIRL, we want to give all girls the chance to love, watch, play, read, and write about any sport that interests them. We look forward to the day when the words, "You play like a girl," is the biggest compliment anyone can receive.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sporty TV Review: Bella and the Bulldogs

There's a new show on Nickelodeon and it has this sporty book blogger very excited. It's called Bella and the Bulldogs. Here's a blurb about the show from Nickelodeon's publicity site:

Bella and the Bulldogs

A head cheerleaders life takes an unexpected twist when her rifle-like throwing arm takes her from the sidelines to becoming her middle school's starting quarterback in Nickelodeons newest live-action comedy series,Bella and the Bulldogs, premiering Saturday, Jan. 17, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). In this new comedy Bella Dawson (played by newcomer Brec Bassinger), a confident, caring and talented teenager, suddenly finds herself fulfilling a lifelong dream but also having to navigate the world of her teammates Troy (Coy Stewart), Sawyer (Jackie Radinsky) and Newt (Buddy Handleson), without losing her two best friends, Pepper (Haley Tju) and Sophie (Lilimar) from the cheer squad. The show will air regularly on Saturdays on Nickelodeon.

The show, appropriate for kids 6 and up, does a good job of sharing some of the challenges of being a girl in a boy's sport. While a real player probably faces issues more challenging than stinking on first date, and Bella's problems are solved with less effort than would be experienced in the real world, young girls and boys can still see the importance of working towards your dream and facing challenges, even if they are small. In the first three episodes Bella's teammates try to get her to quit, accuse her of betraying their trust, and force her to take part in their tradition of not showering.  

In the first episode  when Bella gets sad about a problem with her friends, her coach gives her a response similar to Tom Hanks' "There's no crying in baseball."  Coach says, "This is a locker room which means it's a no cry zone. Football players can't afford to get all emotional. We take our feelings and bury them deep inside. Then we burn them out so we can't ever find them. That's what a man does."

But unlike in A League of Their Own, where the baseball player has no response, Bella says, "Well I'm not a man, I'm a girl. And when I feel things I can't pretend that I don't." 

Coach kicks her off the team, but this moment reminds Bella's friends that they were blocking her from living her dream.

Bella's friend tells the boys, "She earned her spot and she deserves to play, but you weren't man enough to let her."

With the support of her mother, her friends, and finally, her new team, Bella leads her team to a victorious game and hopefully a brilliant series. I look forward to watching more episodes of Bella and the Bulldogs. You should check it out too.

1 comment:

  1. It's so great to see that mainstream TV is embracing the roll of a girl in a traditionally male sport. As we challenge the term "like a girl" I want us to also challenge the phrases "like a man" "man up" "that's what a man does" etc. These phrases continue to keep men trapped in historically gendered places in employment, relationships, emotions, and conflict resolution. Let's try to approach things as humans with all the humanity we can muster.