GLOW, or Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, is a new Netflix original series that centers on a group of women who are performing for a wrestling organization in Los Angeles in the 1980s. GLOW is loosely based on the real-life events of a group of women taking on wrestler personae, which resulted in a television series that ran for four years. This is brought to us from the producers of Netflix’s popular show Orange is the New Black. Allison Brie leads the cast as a Ruth Wilder, a young aspiring actress seeking her big break. She lands an acting gig performing as a wrestler for a new and upcoming wrestling show. She lacks experience in the field of wrestling, but with her determination and eagerness, she learns the ropes of the game while trying to better herself as an actress.
I was pleasantly surprised with how GLOW presented itself. It has the same feel and structure as Orange is the New Black with its all-female cast and development for side characters. Each female wrestler in GLOW was given a chance to have a backstory and provide some insight on their character choices. Ruth Wilder was the focus of the storyline, but her female co-stars had enough development to where they felt like an important piece to the team. Ruth has some troubles with another wrestler and her former best friend named Debbie Eagan going into practices. Early on, we learn that Debbie’s husband has been having an affair with her friend Ruth. GLOW crafted a convincing storyline between the two women which kept me glued to my seat. Its development isn’t as kind as I wanted it to be, but it paints the relationship in an honest light.
GLOW’s storyline focuses on building the relationship between the show’s director and crew, but it also has a comedic side to it. Marc Maron plays the director of the show “GLOW” and his humor is not to be overlooked. He plays a narcissistic low life whose focus is how he going to score his next bump and he appears to care very little for the show and its cast. The character creates an atmosphere around himself that is very unwelcoming and not presentable. His honest approach to his staff and friends provides for some honest and shocking humor.
Alison Brie is a standout in her role a young aspiring actress who eventually adopts the character of an America-hating Russian. Ruth puts a lot of care into her role and she is always willing to go the extra mile to put on a great performance. She has no background in the field of wrestling, but her determination to learn makes her my favorite character in the show. This show offers a lot of acting within acting. Early on it’s a bit rough but as the show goes on the wrestling characters, along with Ruth, end up really selling their roles. Her care for her acting career and her rather convincing Russian accent helps sell her wrestling character and lead to some hilarious moments and interactions among the other wrestlers.
One of the best parts about GLOW is that it’s shot like a movie with perfect camera and audio quality. A lot of care went into the style of the show and if it wasn’t for the new cameras and audio equipment, I would have believed this was shot in the 80s. From the costumes to the big hair, the whole show screams 80s. Much of the feel also comes from the excellent music choice. By selecting popular 80s songs, GLOW provides a sense of authenticity to it that I loved.
This 10-episode show builds up to the first taping of “GLOW”. Throughout the 10-episodes, the ladies practice day in and day out learning how to sell their characters and perfect their wrestling moves. The final episode is the actual taping of the show set as an epic wrestling match between all the characters. For me, this was the most exciting and entertaining moment of the season and I was disappointed that it came at the end of the show. I would have liked to see more of the lady wrestlers filming their stunts. I think the taping of the show should have been spread out between at least 2 to 3 episodes instead of cramming everything into one. However, knowing where the season left off gives me excitement for a second season if Netflix decides to renew it.
GLOW was an overall entertaining show with a tight script and developed characters. The humor is quick-witted and constantly surprised me. A lot of effort went in to making this show feel authentic by using popular 80s tracks, outdated costumes, and a whole lot of hair spray. More of their actual wrestling show would have been a treat, but maybe they will save that for a later day since the real-life show ran for four years.
Have you seen GLOW? Would you watch a second season? Tell us what you think!