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5 reasons to watch 'Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team'

Football season is almost upon us, and that means one thing. Fantasy leagues? Perfecting your crock-pot buffalo dip? Sure, but it also means it’s time to hate-watch the torture and torment of the latest group of girls hoping to wear the shiny white boots and star-spangled scraps of the world famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on CMT’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (season 11 begins airing Aug. 25).

As a young girl growing up outside of Dallas, my bedroom walls were covered with the typical Tiger Beat posters — yet smack dab in the middle of Scott Baio and Shaun Cassidy was a poster of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, because Texas. When I discovered this show years ago, I was simultaneously hooked and horrified. Watching what these girls endure to reach their dreams — the personal criticism, objectification, and indignity — is astonishing, and, after you’ve convinced yourself that watching it doesn’t mean you support it, is even somewhat admirable.

The perky former DCC (and jilted Bachelor winner and DWTS champ) Melissa Rycroft is once again lending her expertise, and the always entertaining Kellie Pickler is stopping by for a guest appearance, but here are five other reasons to tune in to watch this year’s agonizing yet exhilarating journey.

The dynamic duo
Without question, the number one reason to trade hours of your life for the shame and self-regret you’ll feel by the finale is to watch the grown-up versions of Regina George and her minion Karen — otherwise known as Kelli Finglass and Judy Trammell, the director of the DCC and the head choreographer, respectively.

kelli and judy look2

Much like the girls, I can’t decide if I love them or loathe them (fearing them is a given). Passing out rejection, judgment, and criticism through fake smiles and less than half-hearted attempts at kindness and sincerity, Kelli and Judy can be vicious. Watching these two interact with the girls is often like rewatching the video footage of Mantecore attacking Roy Horn — you know someone is about to get eaten by a savage tiger, but you simply can’t look away.

judy and kelli look

Beauty tips
They say “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” and these DCC hopefuls take that well-worn saying seriously. No, I’m not talking about their body mass index (don’t be absurd). I mean their beauty game, which is strong. The contoured cheekbones pop, the cat-flicked eyeliner makes Adele weep with jealousy, the fake eyelashes threaten to tickle you through your screen, and the loosely curled hair extensions go for miles. It’s impressive and mind boggling at the same time, especially when you consider that when I was 20 years old, I swiped some blue eyeliner on my lids, coated my lips with Maybelline’s Frosted Cupcake, sprayed my wet hair with Aussie Scrunch Spray, and called it good.

tryouts hair

The wardrobe … or lack of
Looking for a snazzy new sports bra or a hot pair of booty shorts? Then look no further. The girls will have their most colorful Polly Pocket-sized spandex on display for you to admire as you sit on the sofa in your sweats eating away your feelings of envy and resentment. It’s like online shopping … for your daughter’s Barbie dolls.


As summer draws to a close and your body is hating you for the buckets of guac, frosty margaritas, and countless bags of chips you’ve happily consumed over the past few months, go easy on yourself. Hearing these girls cry because they’ve eaten nothing but celery for four days or because they cheated and ate six almonds instead of three will put your entire life in perspective. Life’s short, eat the extra nuts.

Demoralization 101
Instead of Making the Team, the show should really be called Crushing the Dream. When a hopeful gets called into the lion’s den Kelli’s office, one thing’s for certain: her soul — not to mention her dance ability, body size, boob size, facial expressions, haircut, energy level, and/or overall intelligence — is about to be slaughtered. But she’ll sit there shaking, with black tears silently cutting a path down the four layers of foundation on her cheeks, nodding and murmuring “yes, ma’am” repeatedly as Kelli and Judy level her with their steely stares. It’s horrible. It’s demoralizing. It goes against almost everything I’ve ever taught my daughters about life. And because I hope that one day, one of the girls who’s getting completely insulted and leveled will defend herself, drop the mic, and walk away — no matter how much she wants to wear those damn boots — I will continue to be sucked in.

crying boomerang

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team begins Thursday, Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on CMT, and make sure to check back here on Fridays for the recaps. I’ll bring the guac and the regret.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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