A fictionalised account, loosely based upon the formation of the original wrestling show the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling (GLOW, 1986-1990), the new Netflix original also titled GLOW, starring Community (2009-2015) star Alison Brie, is a delightful and touching comedy drama surrounding the world of women’s wrestling.
Brie’s character, Ruth Wilder, is a struggling actress in 80s Los Angeles, unable to even receive callbacks let alone a job. But when she finds herself at an audition which turns out to be hiring female wrestlers, she eventually falls in love with the sport and the comradery of her new found friends.
Co-created by the producer of Orange is the New Back (Carly Mensch), GLOW isn’t your typical happy-go-lucky comedy however. It isn’t afraid to pull up some intense themes such as adultery, racism, sexism and really tough life choices all whilst depicting real women actually acting like real women. With Netflix not having to comply to cable TV’s regulations on language or nudity, there’s also this added edge of reality which most shows can’t provide.
On top of this, the 80s aesthetic is perfect. The costumes, make-up, setting and soundtrack combine excellently to make a well crafted, rounded world which certainly sells this world to the audience.
The acting from all of the magnificent and varied cast of women is brilliant, especially Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin (Debbie Eagan) who form the main antagonistic relationship throughout the series, however the rest of the cast also certainly have their moments of stealing the show. The show rotates characters to the forefront for different episodes, allowing all of the girls to feel fleshed out and grow into their wrestling personas.
Above all, the show highlights the power of women. No other show has depicted women of every shape and form, throwing away vanity and performing wrestling moves on each other. The actresses truly go above and beyond to gain the real fake wrestling moves rather than using body doubles, which certainly adds more to the series as a whole.
Overall, a very impressive series filled with comedy, emotion, important themes and an excellent cast of women who have created a series which is a guaranteed good time.