Marshall, says Bobby Finger, "has that perfect reality-TV mix of raw, unimpeachable talent and an appreciation for mild (though typically justifiable) drama. If the entire squad were placed on a personality matrix, it would seem that most of Marshall’s teammates would be clustered at the extremes — extroverted and jubilant like his close friend Jerry Harris, or somber and reserved like flier Lexi Brumback. But Marshall occupies a point somewhere in the middle. It seems like he’s always teetering on the edge of every possible emotion, doing the best he can to maintain a kind of balance between vulnerability and bravado." Finger adds: "Cheer paints the portrait of a black gay kid from the South who channeled a painful, solitary childhood into a powder-keg personality that now seems destined for a life in the spotlight as an actor, a dancer, or perhaps even a model. The goal of these kinds of performance professions, which are now within arm’s reach, is simple and explicit: to be seen."