“GLOW” is a newly released show on Netflix from the same mind that brought Orange is the New Black, another popular Netflix series. The series, set in 1980s Los Angeles, is a comedy-drama about wrestling circuit featuring only women, called Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW). The show, which entire first season aired on June 23, 2017, focuses on a large cast of characters working together for the female wrestling promotion come to fruition.
The series’ main protagonist, Ruth Wilder (Allison Brie), is likable despite the fact that she revealed to do something reprehensible. However, the show manages to redeem her character through her charming and quirky personality, which brings a lot of lighthearted moments to the show. The other characters that stand out in the series are Sam Sylvia, the director of the circuit played by Marc Maron, Debbie Eagan, Ruth’s friend played by Betty Gilpin; Cherry Bang, played by Sydelle Noel; and Carmen Wade, played Britney Young. The director is witty, Wade is eccentric, and Bang is a strong-willed persona; yet all these aforementioned characters’ face their own demons, such as family ties or failing careers. It is the character’s struggles that evokes sympathy for these characters and makes them more dimensional and realistic, and the characters’ quirks and eccentricities are what makes the characters likeable and enjoyable to watch as well.
“Glow” does a great job to balance the screen time between a large cast of characters. In fact, the dynamic between the cast of characters is rather interesting. The characters are distinct and diverse in physical presence and personalities. There distinct natures make most of the characters rather compelling, and the fact that the show takes the time to delve deep into each of the character’s stories make them 3 dimensional and even more compelling. The show finds a way to touch on most of the characters’ faults and little quirks, which is tough to do with such a large cast of characters. If there is a second season, it would be great if the show explores the characters more deeply by probably devoted each episode to one characters to give the audience more backstory on the characters. Nevertheless, the characters’ quirks and their dynamic with one another are things that drive the show and keeps the audience watching.
Another aspect of the show that is great is the premise. The idea of the characters working together, with conflicts, to achieve a goal is compelling. The audience is on a journey with the characters, and most likely willing to route for the characters along the way. As they are learning more about wrestling as a craft, so does the audience, especially those who are not familiar about what goes on behind the scenes of wrestling. The series immerses the audience in the wrestling entertainment world, allowing the audience to appreciate wrestling as a craft. However, the show falls down in one aspect because it fails to address the dangers of wrestling, especially wrestling when not being trained properly. The show could take advantage of this as a plot line but it fails to even touch on this subject.
Nevertheless, the setting of Los Angeles in the 80’s is fully realized and believable in this series and the show sets a certain atmosphere that places the audience in the period and feel more connected with the show.
Also, the show explores great themes, such as view of females in the time period, perception of wrestling, and show business. The show also balances both comedic moments with dramatic elements;
the acting from the actors, along with the writing in the show, allows for both comedy and drama to coexist very well. Also, the fact each episode is approximately 30 minutes makes the show easily digestible, and makes this Netflix show easy to binge.
The show deserves great critical praise and recognition as it is well crafted. The acting and writing is superb and the characters and atmosphere are compelling and these are reason to continue to watch the show as the audience feels for the characters and feel for their struggle to reach their goal of having the wresting show come to fruition. The series gets 4.25 out of 5 paws.