GLOW – Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling. Everyone knows television wrestling is fake. But that isn’t the point of this Netflix Original series.
Heavy on neon and 80’s references, GLOW looks and sounds cheesy as hell. I half-expected the show to be accidentally funny. It’s actually quite entertaining and smart.
The creators behind GLOW did something clever. Instead of dumbed-down educational sequences about how television wrestling is fake, they focused on the lives of the gorgeous ladies and their interaction. GLOW doesn’t have a perfect ending wrapped in a pretty pink bow. Yet the conclusion is a rather satisfying resolution.
Right at the start of episode one, I had my doubts. Ruth, the leading lady if you will, didn’t come across as a sympathetic character to me. In fact, she was kinda non-descriptive and it was hard to root for her. A struggling actress who has never made a name for herself, Ruth sleeps her way through a number of fumbles.
However, I’m glad I kept watching By the end of the second episode, the set-up is clear. Ruth is not suppose to be a heroine. She’s a foil. It’s clever. Instead of hitting the audience over the head with heroes, and heroines, and perfect plots, we are introduced to a fake villain who’s job is to make the star of GLOW shine. And with that, she’s sympathetic.
You want Ruth to win. To craft the perfect character to portray on television wrestling. But if she wins, will she lose the only real acting job she’s ever been able to get?
GLOW is about a lot more than just television wrestling. It’s about the struggle of women behind the curtains that we are never shown. Struggles with financing, money, relationships, family, female friendships, and hard-hitting issues many women face every day.
There are attempts at various political statements, campy as they are, but they’re always shown as the most ridiculous tv wrestling scenarios. The show takes itself seriously, without taking itself too seriously.
There’s no feminist extremism here. There’s simply ordinary women fighting for their own choices. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail, like we all do. Every damn day.
But you will only see all of the above if you dig a little deeper, beyond the flashy neon.
On the surface, it’s wildly entertaining watching the women learn how to show the perfect fake wrestling moves while they wrestle with their own imperfections.
It’s worth watching after you leave the hype at the door. It’s also based on a true story.