Even if you’re not a fan of modern WWF style wrestling, you will enjoy Netflix’s new series Glow. Based on the events of the real Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling cable series from 1986, the new show chronicles the road to the ring and the personalities of the ladies of the first crop of lady wrestlers.
Lead by Alison Brie, the cast is a fabulous ensemble of misfits and ‘out there’ characters based on the first 12 women from the real G.L.O.W. and subsequent additional seasons. (The original GLOW had 4 seasons, but a fifth season was being shot when the show went off the air in financial turmoil. The owner attempted to do a revival in 1991, but it didn’t work out.)
The main meat of the story revolves around Brie’s character Ruth Wilder, a struggling actress who ‘accidentally’ sleeps with her best friend’s (Betty Gilpin‘s Debbie Egon) husband. Debbie is a soap opera actress, who left her well paying job to have a baby, and has been steadfast in her choice to not return to acting, until the opportunity to join the ring crew presents it self. Humor and heart bounce off the ropes in equal measure, some cringeworthy (of course) happen, as they do when you have a highly independent group of women living and working together.
Each episode clocks in at 30 minutes, and this was a smart move for the series, as the action and pacing is just about perfect. Nothing is stretched out, the dialog is smart and realistic (or as realistic as it can be in these situations), and fans of wrestling will appriciate the attention to the athleticism needed to compete in matches.
Also, if you have the right mindset, Glow is kind of like the best X-Men live action show ever.
Once I pointed this out to my housemates, it could NOT be unseen. Marc Maron‘s Sam Sylvia is pretty much Stan Lee from the 70s-80s. No really. Each of the ladies can easily be matched up with an X-Men counterpart.
The 10 episode first season is completely self contained, an enjoyable marathon-able show with a set ending. So even if Netflix DOESN’T pick it up for a second season, which would be a goddamn shame, you don’t feel like everyone is left in the lurch. EVERYONE should watch it.