The full first season of GLOW is available June 23 on Netflix.
Inspired by the real story of a 1980s all-female professional wrestling league, GLOW follows a group of women in Los Angeles who learn to body slam and break out of their comfort zones – all in the name of creating a low-budget cable TV show. The 10-half hour episodes are charming and gritty all at once.
The series stars Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) as Ruth Wilder, an out-of-work actress who takes on wrestling in a last-ditch effort to keep her career afloat. She balances both comedic and dramatic moments well, and the shifts in tone between scenes don’t take you out of GLOW’s world.
Apart from Brie and comedian Marc Maron, the rest of the ensemble is relatively unknown. In one sense it makes the series a bit boring, but on the other hand, you really view each wrestler as her character, not an actress playing a role, akin to Orange Is the New Black.
Speaking of Orange, this show has a similar vibe. This is mostly due to them sharing a creator in Jenji Kohan. Both programs have a diverse female cast, and mix heavy themes with humor. I have no doubt in my mind that GLOW will find an enthusiastic fanbase eager for more episodes.
Due to the 1985 setting, viewers can expect lots of ridiculous fashion and pop culture throwbacks. Nostalgia certainly seems to be a lot of the show’s appeal, but I wasn’t familiar with the real GLOW from that era and I still thoroughly enjoyed my binge.
I give GLOW an A.