There are a lot of things I could say about Zero Chill, Netflix‘s newest ice skating/hockey show that is more or less aimed at the same people that loved Julie and the Phantoms and The Babysitters Club, instead of the Spinning Out crowd. But I think I’ll start by saying that, at it’s core, this is a fun show.
And fun is never a bad thing, if you ask us.
The show’s description sort of sets the stage for what we get, a light, teenager-y show about friendship, family and oh yes, what it takes to get to the top.
Welcome to the Hammarström Ice Hockey Academy – a place where dreams are built and broken in the rink. Meet the young players who have left their homes in Canada and Europe to train with the best and compete at the very highest level. Meet, too, the young women who are working just as hard to become world-class figure skaters. Enter a world where the joys and woes of young adulthood are magnified by a passion for your sport, a determination to master the ice, a will to win and to be the best. Zero Chill is a 10-part coming-of age story about friendship, family, sport and life itself.
Even the tone of the description fits! I swear, think The Cutting Edge, but lighter. And you know, with more teenagers. And a little more of parental/family drama. Yes, there’s friendship – I would say the female friendship at the center of this is one of the most important parts of the show – and there is some romance (what show of this kind doesn’t have romance?), but at the center there’s a brother and sister duo that are both trying to find their place in the world of competitive sports, just as they try to figure out who they are.
Yeah, being a teenager is hard, imagine being a teenager with these expectations!
I truly appreciated that the show tried to keep a balance of Mac’s storyline and his hockey dreams, and Kayla’s storyline and her ice skating dreams. But I especially appreciated the way Mac and Kayla are both allowed to be the characters they need to be, or at least the characters they want to be, without ever needing to become someone else for the sake of the other.
The parents I appreciated a little less, but in a way, even that works, because if I’m watching a teenager-y show and I’m siding with the teenagers, even if I’m decidedly not one anymore, that means they’re doing something right!
Of course, this being what it is, this show is a cheese-fest. At times, it even feels like too much. But it never truly crosses the line into yeah, I can’t watch this, to the show’s benefit. We all need some mindless entertainment, and Zero Chill could do worse than become that.
Also, just look at the above picture. That’s my main reason why even though, at times, this felt like a background show, I could never truly keep it in the background. It was just too pretty, the actors were too into it, and the whole thing was truly uncomplicated fun.
Yes, there’s drama.
Yes, there’s shipping.
Yes, there’s friendship.
And yes, there’s a pair of siblings who get along, who make sacrifices for each other, who love each other, who sometimes don’t see eye to eye, and who are nonetheless, each other’s support system, and that’s super nice to watch.
Worth it? I guess it depends on your expectations, but if you want something light and simple that will keep you entertained, you could do worse than this.
Are you excited for Zero Chill? Share with us in the comments below!
Zero Chill will be available on Netflix March 15th.