Show: GLOW – Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
Where to find it: Netflix
My Rating: Solid 7.5/10
Genre: Historical Comedy Drama Action Reality
I’m not even sure if it’d be classed as PG-13? R? I’ll rate it HBO, how’s that? If you let your kids watch Game of Thrones, this shit will be tame in comparison. If you let them watch The Walking Dead, you’re completely fine as well – no one dies in this. (Sorry, spoiler!)
Stars: Allison Brie – yeah, that mousy-haired chic from Community, Chris Lowell plays “Bash” (Stosh “Piz” Piznarski – my favourite of all of Veronica Mars’ boyfriends!!!) the producer, and a bunch of others as well, but those are the two I recognised first.
This show is once again bringing us back to the neon geometric shapes, shoulder pads, CFC-ozone-depleting feathered hair, and the desire for women to capitalise on every possible facet (this isn’t a disparaging comment, rather than merely noting a fact) of women’s empowerment that the 80’s saw.
Glow is a television show that focused on female wrestlers in the ring.
Okay, so I’m gonna stop right here and explain.
1. I don’t do soap operas.
2. Wrestling doesn’t make sense to my brain in any context – Greco-Roman, WWF/WWE/Whatever it’s being called these days, and any other form that is choreographed or however they train for the other style that isn’t all about feathers and stage shows and stuff. I get that it makes billions of dollars in entertainment revenue, and I know that the “fake” kind garners more attention than the “real” kind.
Still, that being said, I went into this with a half-hearted “sure, I’ll check it out, because I’m down for anything and YAY Netflix in IRELAND!!!” I was delighted that I enjoyed it so much.
We cruised through the first season (10 episodes) in my first two days here, and that was great, as I am still trying to get my brain on track to write and work again after being yet again awake for way too fucking long.
Yeah, there are swears in it. Community chic actually bares her breasts, and the only other one to do that is Melrose, so if you’re thinking this is gonna be a cheap thrill, this isn’t the show to watch. But aside from that, let’s jump into the story.
There was a real GLOW that did take place from 1986-1989 (four seasons), and a 20th anniversary edition of that, and a previous biopic of the story as well back in 2012. This is a Netflix Original Series, and if you walk into it knowing that it is going to seriously not take itself seriously in its seriousness, you’re gonna be just fine.
There are incredibly gasp-worthy moments, and huge cringe-worthy ones as well. Oh wow, this has moments of sheer “how many times did you have to rehearse that to become SO FUCKING AWKWARD, I want to reach through the screen and save you from yourself!?!”
Each character has their own mini story, though I don’t think we really get to see some of the other lesser character’s until likely Season Two (we’re all still waiting to know if it’s going to be picked up or cancelled) – kinda like the Orange is the New Black backstories on everyone, but with less stabby-stabby. Probably. Not sure about the old biddies though; they might just be pure evil.
So basically, the idea behind it was to have chics wrestle each other to a plot, like… IDK, did Andre the Giant hate Hulk Hogan for some nasty grooming tips or maybe stripping in public all the time? If that was a thing, then that’s basically the idea.
As the show (itself, not the metastory) progresses, there are moments of reality that you as a watcher are going to have a visceral emoting of; be it good or bad, you’re going to cringe, gasp, or just shake your head while awkwardly laughing at them as well. There’s BAD acting, but that can only be done well and properly with exemplary acting in the first place. Allison’s character, Ruth Wilder for instance, is a hopeless mass of adorable horrifyingly bad decisions with over, under, and incomplete acting as she tries on over a dozen personas to become liked enough to be noticed. She’s the titular character, and plays this role so flawlessly, you’re convinced she’s a derpy ray of sunshine whenever she happens upon the screen.
**Read between the lines on this one folks: Allison Brie is one of those impeccably amazing actresses who know HOW to act in an acting role about being an actress and still makes you want more because she’s like a cheerful infectious delight you can’t get enough of. I hope she is given larger and deeper roles, because her comedic timing is brilliant, and you can’t fake that level of simplistic awesomeness.**
There are some truly horrible moments, but they were played out so well, you’re caught up in the story and are shocked when your emotes match those of the other participants in the actual situation, so they aren’t going to take the shit. Without a spoiler, there’s a costume choice I was like WHOOOOOOAH that’s way too far, and was honestly gonna be DONE with it, but I was asked to wait it out, and I’m glad I did. It was more for Sam’s reaction than the actual outcome that did it for me, and surprisingly enough, I had to give him props for his “hey, that’s too much, even for me”.
This show won’t be for everyone, but it is definitely a good distraction for several hours, and the characters, even in their extreme derpy moments, are delightful to see come to life on the screen.