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TV Review: Hellcats – “Woke Up Dead’

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The CW’s Hellcats has had a break, and begins its final run of new episodes in its freshman season tonight. Promos and the episode title refer to Dan’s (Matt Barr) application video to get into film school, which has the Hellcats running around fighting zombies. Dan begins to question his resolve to show it, though, when he learns that other applicants, including last year’s winners, take a more artistic approach. Luckily for him, Savannah (Ashley Tisdale) turns Dan’s video in anyway, and it is met with much enthusiasm by the gathered audience. Dan (and viewers) will have to wait for an official acceptance, but it appears likely he will be at Lancer next season as a student.

It’s almost a bit of a tease, as the zombies were actually in very little of the episode. Those expecting some serious screen time for the undead did get an extended dance sequence / trailer, but fantasy stayed fantasy, and reality stayed reality. The separation is likely a good move. While some shows can get away with mixing a bit of hyper-reality into their stories, Hellcats already satisfies that with all of the cheer leading stuff. It’s not that their competition routines are unrealistic, but it does fall into the pure entertainment category more than straight drama, so extra is not needed.

Marti (Alyson Michalka) finds out that Wanda (Gail O’Grady) lied to her about her father, Rex, being dead for all these years when she goes to a guitar store and finds one of Rex’s set lists dated five years after Wanda said he died. Marti is deeply hurt, but Wanda tells her not judge without having been in the situation. Marti was a young child, and Wanda removed her from a drug-addicted parent. While perhaps Marti would have liked a dad growing up, not having one is likely better than having Rex.

This is a sticky issue with no clear right side. Marti has every right to feel betrayed and lied to, but at the same time, Wanda had the best of intentions when making the decision. Plus, Wanda’s choice likely made both of their lives much better. A toxic childhood has been avoided. Marti can be hurt, but she should apologize and forgive Wanda before too much time passes.

Lastly, Alice (Heather Hemmens) helps Kelsey (Holly Elissa Lamaro) expose a cheating ring at Lancer, only to later be asked to kill the story by Lewis (Robbie Jones), who is part of it. Dishonesty is not part of Lewis’s current character, but since the misdeed happened his freshman year, it fits his backstory. Poor Alice is torn between career and wanting to help someone she still cares deeply about. While she tells Lewis no, she does make a tentative effort to protect him, which is dropped as soon as Kelsey laughs at her. It’s not likely Alice will be winning Lewis back anytime soon, so she should try not to lose too much sleep over it. As she says, Lewis has stellar grades. He can recover from this.

What did you think of the episode? Should Wanda have told Marti the truth? Will Alice stand up a bit more strongly to Kelsey? Is Dan’s entry into film school a done deal? Were there enough zombies for you? Does Aly Michalka look just as hot as a decapitated corpse? Sound off in the comments!

Hellcats airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com