Hellcats – Beale St After Dark (S01E03) – Episode review

With this third episode of [[Hellcats (TV Series)|Hellcats]], it feels like we’re really getting to know the characters and get used to them. Relationships are evening out and the series has quickly settled down to what we could call business as usual.

Beale St. After Dark sees Savannah (Ashley Tisdale) go on her first date with Dan Patch (Matt Barr). But it almost didn’t happen after Marti (Alyson Michalka) told her Dan was a player and while not quite out of her league, she definitely wasn’t his usual ‘type’. So, in order to support Savannah, the whole Hellcats family comes along.

I thought the notion of secular dating was pretty weird. This follows on from Savannah’s revelations last week that her parents are strict Christians. Now we discover that she’s only used to chaste ‘group dates’ which don’t sound kinky at all, do they?

A night out at the bar backfires dramatically when Savannah gets drunk, and Dan and Lewis (Robbi Jones) end up in a fight with a football player who’s dealing drugs to Alice (Heather Hemmens) to speed up recovery of her wrist injury. The guys end up in the slammer, but the footballer is rescued by…coach Red Raymond (Jeff Hephner). And speaking of Red, Vanessa (Sharon Leal) finally comes clean to Derrick (D. B. Woodside) about her relationship with Red when she was a cheerleader.

In other news: Marti signs up to be part of her law professor’s clinic, where he’ll be using two pre-law students to help a man get off a life sentence for a simple burglary. He sets her a secret assignment which turns out to be bogus, but by teaming up with a fellow student, they manage to outsmart him and win places on the law clinic.

I’m going to say that I love Ashley Tisdale in this show. Alyson Michalka has the easier role since she’s not been typecast, but Tisdale deserves compliments heaped on her – Savannah is a tough little character, a religious girl who broke from her family to do things her own way. She’s vulnerable and naive at the same time, and the fact that she doesn’t understand sarcasm just shows what a different world she came from.

Michalka is pure sex bomb with her blonde curls, pouting lips and eternally-exposed midriff. Her character is every bit as likeable as Tisdale’s, possibly because they’re both struggling against their backgrounds and their parents.

I had thought that by this stage the charm of Hellcats would have been starting to wear off. But it’s a far more intelligently written show than you might think when someone utters the words “cheerleader drama”. I’ve yet to find out who the footballer who sold Alice drugs is, but I like the character. We could do with an asshole on the show, someone to be an adversary for the guys.

What did you think of the latest Hellcats, Shout readers?

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