* CONTAINS NO SPOILERS* Alison Brie stars as Ruth Wilder a struggling out of work actress who receives an invitation to try out for an all female wrestling show named ‘GLOW’ (Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling). The show revolves around a group of females who are thrown together to create a new and entertaining wrestling show directed by Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron). It documents their struggles and their success and the sisterhood that goes with it.
Whenever Netflix sets their show in the 80s, they seem to get it so right. The show is set in Los Angeles in 1985. From the costumes to the the big hair to the soundtrack, everything is perfectly believable. They nailed it with ‘Stranger Things’ and they’ve nailed it again.
The acting is superb. Marc Maron is extremely impressive as the lousy ‘Z’ list director Sam Sylvia, and he makes you feed into the obnoxious nature of his character. My only previous of Alison Brie (Ruth) was her minor role in ‘Get Hard’ but after seeing her in ‘GLOW’ it is clear to see she has huge potential as a leading lady in TV and film. You can sense the pain of Ruth throughout the show as you follow her struggles and determination to succeed, Brie makes the character relatable to the point where it may frustrate you, she steers the ship throughout the 10 episodes and does so in an annoying manner where at times you want to strangle her for her over the top theatrics, but that is what makes her so exciting. Betty Gilpin also does a terrific job as lead wrestler and soap opera star, Debbie Egan, as you get emotionally invested in the drama that seems to follow her wherever she goes. It was also a nice touch to see real wrestlers like Carlito, John Morrison and Brodus Clay play a part in the show. Each wrestler translated very well from their acting skills in the ring to acting in ‘GLOW’.
The cast is a complete group of diverse females. From the token Brit to the blonde bombshell American to the big Samoan with wrestling heritage. The writers play on this incredibly well. Their knowledge of wrestling shines through as they replicate the stereotypes you often see in wrestling, even today. The Soviet vs American hero storyline is still a prominent theme in wrestling and becomes the main theme for ‘GLOW’.
The all female cast is empowering and inspiring. If you feel like the show has shades of ‘Orange is the New Black’ it is because it does, the team behind successful prison show are also the team behind this soon to be successful wrestling show. The show is almost the baby of ‘Dodgeball’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’, it has the underdog vibes of ‘Dodgeball’ mixed with an empowering female cast like ‘OITNB’.
Everyone I know from MMA journalists to WWE enthusiasts, find the show to be brilliant. And the accuracy is striking for them. Although you don’t have to be a wrestling fan to be a fan of ‘GLOW’, it is a compliment to the accuracy of the show that all these professionals and fans are so engrossed by the show.
The story is much deeper than wrestling though. Issues like infidelity, divorce, abortion, feminism, racism, stereotypes, body confidence and sex are met with good writing, humour and classy acting.
‘GLOW’ provides the ingredients to make you feel every emotion possible. From the despair of the first episode to the glory of the last, you are sure to be taken aback by the emotional rollercoaster that Jenji Kohan and her team have created.
The 30 minute episodes allow you to binge watch this show within a day if you take to it. I found the show to be completely refreshing and unlike anything I’d seen before. The humour and drama will keep you entertained and the acting will keep you invested. It is a must see for anyone and is sure to be the start of another successful show for Netflix. Netflix have struck gold again, ‘GLOW’ is an absolute triumph that shines as bright as it’s name.