Guts, Glory, & Glitter – GLOW Has It All & Some Laughs, Too!
Hair pulling, cunt punches, and fake miscarriages? Yes, these are the moves and antics that arise from female wrestling in the 1980s. GLOW captures all these and more with hilarious results and charming character development. From the team behind Orange Is The New Black, this female wrestling comedy/drama brings together another great ensemble cast of women actors. While their jumpsuits are mostly made of spandex and feature a lot more variety of colors, this all-star cast might be the first team who can unseat the reigning champions over at OITNB.
Alison Brie leads the team as Ruth Wilder a struggling Hollywood actress in 1985. Desperate for a job she takes a chance at a mysterious audition her casting director gives her. At a rundown gym, she finds Marc Maron as Sam Sylvia and dozens of women surrounding a wrestling ring. This isn’t your typical casting call. This is auditions for GLOW, the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling! Eager to land the job, Ruth tries too hard and gets on Sam’s bad side. However, after betraying her friend Debbie (Betty Gilpin) she ignites a cat fight in the middle of the ring. Ruth creates the drama Sam wants to see on his wrestling show and lands the job. Furthermore, no one knows if the domestic dispute was real or not and that is the glory of professional wrestling.
As the leading lady, Brie takes a big step forward in her career. After being a supporting character on shows like Community and Mad Men, Brie is now the unquestionable star of GLOW. Ruth is a great character and Brie plays the part nicely. Becoming the heel of her social life creates an opportunity to use that as inspiration at her new job. Following Ruth’s growth from a small time actress to a rising star in the ring makes for some entertaining and often funny television. There are times you hate Ruth due to her mistakes. However, with Brie’s girl next door charm and ability to bring out the inner wholesomeness that Ruth really embodies, it’s hard not to cheer for her. You want to see her succeed because you know she’s better than the person her rut creates.
The task of reining in over a dozen women wrestlers can’t be easy. Yet, Maron as Sam makes it look that way. It’s probably because it’s more difficult being a struggling director of B-movies than coordinating women’s wrestling. Like Brie’s Ruth, Sam is a character you should really not like, he’s a giant douchebag. However, Maron gives Sam a certain charm that keeps you cheering for him. Both Brie and Maron’s characters prove that this series is just well put together. Combining great acting with great writing and giving us complex characters that feel human and relatable.
At the core of GLOW are the powerful friendships that consist of this team of women. While some of them are opponents inside and outside the ring, they still create an unbreakable bond no matter how big an obstacle gets in the way. Whether it’s perfecting the body slam off the top rope or mending a broken relationship, the show has a lot of guts and a lot of heart. Watching these fourteen women become friends, grow into their wrestling personas, and really get behind their bizarre new career path makes GLOW a must binge show.
Yet, that’s where the show falters a bit. You binge and it’s over. Just when you get attached to these women and get ready for some epic wrestling action, the season ends. The series is way too short with only ten 30-minute episodes. It’s going to be a tough year of waiting for more episodes of GLOW to hit Netflix. While shows like OITNB and House of Cards feature seasons of 13 hour-long episodes, GLOW gives us the short end of the stick. Sure, a season ending with you wanting more means the show is great, but I still feel like I was shorted some change.
Maybe the season is shorter to test the waters. Perhaps, we will get a larger episode order from Netflix for Season Two of GLOW. That’s my hope anyways. The first season of the show creates a great foundation for the series to launch from. With great characters on the mat and outside the ring, stellar performances from every member of the cast, and just enough wrestling action to make you come back for more, GLOW is easily my favorite new team of women. The glitter and glory are theirs for the taking.
Now You Know Whassup, Chucks!
Images via Netflix