Updated: Jun 1, 2018
Streaming on Netflix
Metadata: 2017 | TV-MA | 1 season, 10 episodes, 30m each
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Why I watched: It just seemed too wacky to pass up. I thought I'd try one episode to see what the deal was...and before I knew it, I'd finished the whole season.
You might also like: Admittedly, I have not yet watched it, but there is a documentary on Netflix called GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. I'd bet good money it's worth a watch, and I know for a fact you'll want more when you finish the TV show.
GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) is a Netflix original series based on a real-life women's professional wrestling program that started in 1986. Whether the ladies are gorgeous or not is a little subjective—but there is absolutely no doubt they are glorious. By the end of the show, they are strutting their stuff in the ring with gleeful panache, embracing the stereotypes people assign to them in a way that ultimately empowers them. But it wasn't easy to get there; along the way, the women navigate intense uncertainty, physical difficulty, and dramatic unrest in their personal lives. Beyond that, it's hard to describe GLOW because it's like nothing else out there. The premise is so wild and fun that it's worth watching for the novelty of it alone, but there's also everything you could ever want in a TV show: comedy, action, drama, good dialogue, romance, interesting plot, unique-yet-familiar characters, crazy costumes, and lots and lots of high-cut leotards. (This is the 80s, after all.)
The show follows Ruth (Alison Brie), a highly motivated (and high-strung) aspiring actress—a "real" actress, as she likes to be called; she's done plays in Omaha, which doesn't count for nothing, you know?—as she stumbles into a crazy acting gig, which she ends up fully embracing after an initial period of hesitation. Part of what's funny about Ruth's character is that she looks so physically unimposing (she's short and slender), but she's cast as the bad guy in the wrestling show's storyline. Over the course of the series, Ruth has to confront and come to terms with her own former acts of villainy and the shame she's carried as a result, and doing so ironically allows her to embrace her character's evilness.
I'll just say it: GLOW is one of the best shows I've seen in years. It's quirky and outlandish in all the right ways, while still managing to be so ordinary, making it the perfect blend of spectacle and relatable. It's hard to explain, but I think you'll see what I mean when you watch. And you really should watch right now, since Season 2 is coming to Netflix on June 29. There will never be a better time to binge Season 1! You can thank me later.
Happy streaming! Grace