Spoiler-Free Review of “Dare Me” on USA Network: Dark Sensational Potential with Spirit Fingers

**This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!**

“Cheerleading equals death,” according to Torrance’s hilarious younger brother in Bring It On and he may have been spot on when it comes to USA Network’s new teen drama.  Teenage girls can be dangerous, especially when the captain’s spot on her beloved squad is threatened, as secrets slither into the open, luring us into a promising slow burn thriller.

After watching the Pilot episode, the show already reminds me of Bring It On combined with some dark cult comedy greats like Heathers and Jawbreaker, which could be the formula for a fantastic new show.

Dare Me is based on the novel of the same name by Megan Abbott, following the plot of a cheerleader who seeks revenge on the squad that betrayed her.  The show premiered on the USA Network on December 29th 2019 and will feature 10 weekly episodes.  It stars Willa Fitzgerald (Scream), Marlo Kelly, Herizen Guardiola, Erika Prevost, and Taveeta Szymanowicz.

The show seems like it may have been better suited for a slot on Freeform and a mid-season premiere can be problematic, but the show could be a diamond in the rough.

Does Dare Me do enough to capture our full attention in its Pilot episode?  Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Dare Me USA Network 1
Images courtesy of USA Network

Strong and interesting characters.

I am already a fan of Willa Fitzgerald and she is definitely making waves as the new coach of this cheerleading squad.  Marlo Kelly is also proving to be quite the scene stealer as the mean girl captain with a bitter sweet tooth for revenge.  More please!

Cheerleading can be brutal.

I absolutely love the concept of this show and we are immersed into a competitive world where these girls will do anything to be the one on top of the pyramid.  The dark and sadistic hints are enough to hold my attention, as we begin to explore the secrets leading up to some kind of unspeakable crime.

I have a lot of questions already, but that just means this show is doing a good job of keeping me invested so far.

The Cons:

Dare Me USA Network 2
Images courtesy of USA Network

Super long montages and lots of fluff.

The show is already coming across as a slow burn thriller, which means we will need to invest some time into it before we get any major reveals.  There is a lot of set-up in the pilot episode to really introduce everything, but I could have done without the numerous montages.  Seriously, it seemed like they were endless.

So am I in or out?

Dare Me USA Network 3
Images courtesy of USA Network

I’m in for now, but I’m not completely convinced as of yet.  The show has a lot of promise and potential to become something truly dark and magnificent, but I just need things to speed up slightly so that I don’t lose interest too quickly.

When a show airs weekly episodes, they need to do enough to keep viewers coming back and I think they have, but we need to keep up the pace and introduce more dark secrets involving this major crime to prevent us from losing interest.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Dare Me in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

I live in Long Island, NY. I am obsessed with TV, movies, reading and writing! My top TV shows are Lost, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Prison Break, Charmed, Veronica Mars, and Beverly Hills 90210. My dog, Honey, loves TV too!

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