Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Bella and the Bulldogs

Bella and the Bulldogs

Spring 2016 Television
Ages: 6 - 11 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TV G

Meet Bella. She's a cheerleader for her school team, The Bulldogs. But Bella's also got a killer arm. She can throw a football.

When the coach of the school's struggling football team happens to see her launch a long pass, Bella gets recruited to be quarterback. Football also happens to have been her lifelong dream, one she shared as a little girl with her late father.

With that concept - a girl quarterbacking a school team (which isn't exactly new but is nevertheless a method for illustrating gender stereotypes) - comes all sorts of challenges.

The boys are not exactly on board. "No girl can play football," says one. Even Bella's cheerleading friends, Pepper and Sophie, have a hard time being supportive of the idea when Bella misses a big cheer competition because of football.

But what's really important in the end is how much Bella's friends care about her and about each other. She's breaking a glass ceiling and they're helping her push through it. She learns to overcome fears and pursue new hobbies and abilities, all while building self-confidence.

It's a win-win - for Bella and for viewers.

Ann Oldenburg   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Ann Oldenburg, a freelance writer and adjunct professor at Georgetown University, writes about television, celebrities and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She is the co-author of a travel guide book titled The Dog Lover's Companion to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, with her husband, Don Oldenburg, a former Washington Post writer. She and Don, who have three sons, live in McLean, Va.

Look for this product at:

Share This