Mousse up your hair, put on your finest 80s outfit and get ready to wrassle!
Netflix‘s new series, Glow, is an incredible homage to 80s culture and the world of women’s professional wrestling. Centered around a down on her luck actress in Ruth (Alison Brie), the plot of season one follows her on her quest to make it in the entertainment industry. Ruth’s acting career is floundering when she gets the opportunity to audition for a new women’s wrestling TV show, Glow (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) directed by Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron). Along with Ruth are a cast of 13 women trying to learn the necessary skills to put on a good show. The bulk of the season is spent dealing with training, financial issues, and personal drama, as we get an insight into the girls’ backstories and personal lives before the taping of the first pilot episode.
I really enjoyed this first season, it had the feel of Orange is the New Black in the sense that different episodes were centered around backstories of the different girls. And much like OITNB‘s “main character” Piper, Glow’s Ruth is similar in the sense that she starts off as the “main character” before we start to get more information and plot points for the supporting cast.
The interactions between the girls were hysterical, as we see them come together from differing lifestyles and bond over their new career; one they didn’t plan on pursuing. I felt very invested in most of the cast members, especially the dynamic between Ruth and Debbie. Their drama and “reconciliation” was a major throughline that made things interesting over the course of the 10-episode season.
Marc Maron‘s character, Sam, was very interesting. He’s the classic “scumbag with a heart of gold” that kept you rooting for him during questionable decisions and situations. Sam is very complex and I liked how he became so invested in the girls while dealing with his own demons. The girls and Sam all bonded in such a genuine way despite the early tension, making them feel like a true family.
Another high point in the series for me was the 80s culture. Filled with rockin’ 80s tunes, big hair and bright outfits, the feel of the series was spot on. Netflix is doing a great job with their shows being set in different time periods (think Stranger Things). Everything felt so fluid and definitely brought me back to when I was growing up and I really appreciated the overall flare. We even got some cameos from real-life professional wrestlers like Awesome Kong, John Hennigan, Brodus Clay, Carlito and Alex Riley. Seeing the girls trying to develop and implement different characters and gimmicks was one of the best parts of the show.
This show has something for everyone, and whether you’re a fan of professional wrestling or not, it’s captivating enough to get past. I’m very much looking forward to season 2, as the ending of season 1 seemed to arrive so quickly. Though the ending goes out on a high note, there are certainly dangling storylines that will be sure to pop up next season to cause dissention between the cast. All in all a very well done show.
My rating: 8/10