TV Review: GLOW (Season 1, 2017)

Based on the real world promotion Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling
set in the middle of the 80s where spandex, big hair and misogyny were ripe and rampant, the first season of GLOW premiered on Netflix in 2017. Aspiring actress Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie, Community) wants more than secretary or housewife roles, and soon finds herself at a tryout for a new role: as a women’s wrestler. Also joining the cast for the new show are feisty Cherry Bang (Sydelle Noel); Carmen Wade (Britney Young), a woman with a family heritage in pro wrestling; the Englishwoman Rhonda (Kate Nash); and the Chinese Jenney Chey (Ellen Wong), among many others. Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) is the director of the show, and Sebastian “Bash” Howard (Chris Lowell) is the producer and chief financer.

+ you’ll soon find yourself really caring for most of the cast. Sometimes their personal stories are a bit forced or on-the-nose, but by the mid point of the season you will have your favourites and your not-favourites, and the ones who you want to succeed and those you are indifferent towards – which is exactly how the world of pro wrestling works
+ aside from core cast member Kia Stevens (formerly Kharma, currently Awesome Kong), I spotted several other wrestlers, such as Johnny Mundo, Joey Ryan, Alex Riley and Brodus Clay. I wasn’t actually expecting to see so many real world wrestlers, and hopefully season 2 could get someone like Hulk Hogan (his personal issues aside) for the show
+ one scene in the middle of episode 5, as a character finally discovers how they, personally, can enjoy the “art” of pro-wrestling is almost verbatim what I have been trying to tell people for years

– I don’t quite understand what genre this was meant to be. There was some funny moments, but then there was some very serious moments as well to bring the show back down. There was enough drama to cement it as such as a genre, but then there would be more jokes or slapstick to bring it back up. Overall, it felt very uneven

> as soon as I saw Betty Gilpin, I thought “she looked like the wife who was cheated on in “American Gods“, and the lo and behold, it was! And then she was a wife who was cheated on in this, too

Should you watch this show: As a wrestling fan, this had enough of the backstage politics and wrestling lingo to believably be a wrestling show. But as a comedy/drama/sports television series, it often feels uneven, despite it’s great cast of characters, and a love or knowledge of pro-wrestling is not required. If you want a very character driven story this will be right up your alley, as long as you can look past the inherent silly nature of what pro wrestling is.

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